Welcome to December! While I’m labeling today’s post accountability thread, you’ll note that in place of the runners jumping over hurdles image I usually include, I’ve chosen a picture of a woman in a zen pose as she looks out at the mountains in front of her. That’s in honor of the kinder, gentler approach I’m going to take this month to scaling all the cliffs in front of me. With the holidays, family obligations, and some exhaustion setting in from the breakneck pace I’ve been trying to keep, I don’t have much choice.
By this time in January, I might be lacing up my Sauconies and hitting the trail, sprinting up the side of the next mountain. But for today, I’m going to calmly celebrate November’s accomplishments and peacefully prepare my December plans.
So, this happened! I released that book pictured over to the right. No small feat, that. I’m still doing All the Things that come with the first couple of weeks of having a new book baby out in the world. I even celebrated in real life – something I unfortunately do too rarely – by going out to a special dinner at a new-to-us nearby restaurant. The hostess and our server were almost as excited about the book release as I was, and the manager gave us glasses of champagne to have with our dessert. It was really lovely, and much more than I’d thought I’d do.
Also in November, I FINALLY got all the pieces of setting up a newsletter campaign into place. I finished the freebie (available for, you know, free if you sign up for my newsletter), wrote and auto-scheduled the email sequence that goes to subscribers after sign-up, and planned out the first edition of the actual newsletter, due out mid-December. And the coolest part? I now have subscribers! Dozens. Not yet hundreds, but it’s early days and, like everything else in writing, it’s a process.
What else, what else…Oh, I finished the first draft of Two Scandals are Better Than One and got my coach’s final feedback on the story. That now goes into the revisions queue. I also got through the umpteenth round of revisions on One Kiss from Ruin, and sent it back to my editor for her final thoughts, meaning it’s time to send it to beta readers as well.
I also did lots of fiddly things like updated my website (now with sample chapters that are pretty true to the actual book chapters), dived into some newsletter and advertising course work, and adjusted my ever-evolving 2019 book writing/revising/publishing calendar.
Were there things I’d planned to accomplish that I didn’t? I’m sure. But – thumbs to fingertips, eyes closed, deep breaths – I’m choosing not to dwell on those. For today, anyway.
I’m going on the record here to say I’m going to spend some days throughout this winter solstice month making merry and enjoying the holiday season. For example, this Friday, my daughter is visiting and we’re spending the afternoon making Christmas cookies. Friday night, she and my son-in-law will help us decorate the Christmas trees. On Saturday, my husband and I are off to an annual out-of-state, overnight Christmas party, complete with Sunday morning brunch (those who know me best know Sunday brunch is my favorite meal of the entire week!).
You’ll notice I didn’t mention anything about working those three days. Ok, there’s Friday morning, and probably a few hours Saturday and Sunday mornings before others are awake. And the drive to and from the party, and Sunday night. But other than that, no writing, revising, or book marketing! These days, that’s as close to a weekend off as I get.
As for what I’ll be doing when I’m not immersed in holiday festivities, think revision. My women’s fiction story, with comments back from beta readers, will undergo an extensive but not too painful (as I’ve figured out how to ‘fix’ my MC) rewrite. Two Scandals will go through the first full manuscript revision (which will continue into the next month), and One Kiss will get final post-editing updates so it will be ready for a copy edit and proofread early in January. (I’ll share more about its release date in my January first-Monday-of-the-month update.)
I’ll also move from planning to first-draft stage with the next HFF book. This is Percy’s story, for anyone who’s read the novella, and I can’t wait to tell it! Working with weekly deadlines to submit to my coach means I should have close to 20k words written by the end of this month.
Then, of course, there’s marketing stuff. Too Clever is the kick-off of the HFF series, and something I hope readers – even those who come to the series through later books – will continue to discover and love. But it’s also my marketing practice book. In December, I’ll be entering the wild and wonderful world of Amazon promotional tools. Send good vibes. And possibly chocolate. And definitely Bourbon.
How’s by you? Any big writing, revision, or marketing projects on your December to-do list? Are you taking some time off, traveling, loading up on egg nog, or otherwise making the best of the final days of 2018?