Nancy: Into the Great Unknown!

A few weeks ago, Jeanne told us about her plan to release The Demon Always Wins in September (yay!). In the comments section, I asked about her publishing schedule, and then jumped back into some deadlines for the day job and never got back to the conversation.

But with Jeanne and Jilly nailing down their 2018 self-publishing plans, the need to batten down the hatches with my own plan has been looming large in my mind. Like many of the ladies, I’ve joined Marie Force’s self-publishing loop, followed the work of self-publishing guru Mark Dawson, and tried to keep up with the ever-changing book marketing landscape. I’ve also had another great resource in some friends who moved from traditional to self- or hybrid-publishing, including Mindy Klasky, whose book The Rational Writer: Nuts and Bolts I discussed in a writing tools and resources post.

The take-away from all of this data is I know a lot of the what of self-publishing, and a good deal of the the how. The missing data, though, is the when. Continue reading

Nancy: Week 4 of the Plan: Tools and Resources for Productivity

My very own 'written? kitten!' muse.

My very own ‘written? kitten!’ muse.

Jilly’s Sunday post about productivity (or the lack thereof) and her ambitious writing plan for the rest of the year dovetails nicely with this final post about setting up a writing plan. I’ve written about setting up a big picture plan, breaking it down into bite-sized pieces, and applying the math to meet daily, weekly, and yearly word counts. That’s all fine and good until you sit down each day to work your plan and meet your word count…and get stuck. Or distracted (Look, shiny things! Email! Squirrels!) Or just plain overwhelmed by the ginormous to-do list to whip that WIP into shape.

So today, I’m going to tell you the secret to never facing that dilemma again! I’m going to hand you the key to unlocking your bottomless productivity and unending creativity! I’m going to…stop lying to you now, Continue reading

Nancy: Week 1 of the Plan: The Big Picture

Woman With a PlanA few weeks ago here at 8LW, I threw out a challenge to come back to the blog over the next few months to work out and discuss writing plans and goals not just for your current WIP or the next few months, but for the next year or two (or five). This week, we’re going to start that exercise by going big.

Like many of us, you might tend to keep your head down, focus on the WIP in front of you, and if you’re feeling particularly well-organized, set a deadline for yourself to finish it. This is a good and noble thing. This might be the only plan you need right now. But today  I encourage to step back from the WIP and think about the big picture. For the moment, let’s just call it your writing career, or at least the next few years of it.

Question and Explore. What is your ‘place’, your destination? Where do you want to be as a writer and a creative soul a year from now? Two years? Five? Before you answer, take some time to really consider this. Drill down into this goal. Let each question you answer lead to more questions. Continue reading

Nancy: Ready, Set, Goal!

Happy-New-Year-2016See that picture, that one there, to the left? Notice that beach peeking out through the numbers? Yeah, that beach is where I want to be right now, as the temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic finally plummet to more seasonal levels (sub-30° F). In fact, that beach, assuming it comes with tropical drinks and a pool with a waterslide, is where I want to spend all of 2016. There I could write my little heart out and meet, nay, surpass all my 2016 writing goals.

Alas, that beach is not where I am or where I will be. So I’m going to have to achieve my goals the old-fashioned way – through planning, tracking, and working around all the life stuff. If you’re not hiding out on a tropical beach for the remainder of the year, you might be in the same sad, ramshackle, beachless boat as I am. Hopefully, you’ve already set your goals. If you haven’t, or even if you have but you need help refining or tracking them, I’ve got you covered. We, with some help from the wider blogosphere, can get through this together. (And if all else fails, I have a frozen margarita maker we can use to make those tropical drinks.)

Aligning Goals to Your Publishing Path

We’ve talked many times on the blog about traditional publishing. The most common way to do it Continue reading