As I'm writing, I'm having my first cup of coffee from my brand-spanking new Kuerig coffee maker. I feel like I've died and gone to coffee heaven. My old one did die, actually, and I complained about it on Twitter. Within less than a minute a representative of the Kuerig company replied to my tweet with condolences and a number for a customer service rep who replaced it for free. No more slow-drip Folgers! Plus that's some hellacious customer service.
But I'm supposed to be writing about ROW80 as Round 4 closes. Like an idiot, I did not copy my overall goals into my little ROW80 tab up on my nav bar like I usually do, so I'm doing my best to remember what they once were. I think it was all centered around word count and specific texts I was working on. But midway through Round 4, my goals changed radically when I signed with Curiosity Quills Press for a four book deal. Suddenly I had deadlines that weren't self-imposed, and my goal became to keep up with those as best as possible.
Having a publisher really changes things. It became critical to meet deadlines, and to do that I had to establish a pretty set schedule. I pretty much work straight through the mornings now, and the early afternoons. My days before my kids get home from school are consumed with writing or editing. As a result, I'm farther ahead with the "big books" I contracted for, The Chronicles of Nowhere 1-3; one of them is set for press as I write this, and the other is over half finished. So I am over half way to my goal there. The serialized fiction I'm writing, Daughter of Glass, is also going well, but I do manage to run a little behind my goal of a chapter a week. It's more like week and a half, to be truthful. My goal in between ROW80 rounds is to work on upping word count. Having never written serialized fiction, I've been unsure how to pace myself. Overall I seem to be averaging about 2,000-4,000 words per week.
That's not as much as I would like, but that's before I factor in all the editing I'm doing. This round I started doing editing as a side thing, and it's to the point that I do more of that than actual writing of my own. I really do enjoy it, and I think it helps me become a better writer. However it's the same juggling act the rest of us face: trying to fit it in the writing in the face of other responsibilities. This leads me to the one big fail of the round: that I don't have the third and final book of my trilogy out yet. It's in good shape, and ready for release soon, but it keeps getting pushed back because I have these publisher deadlines to meet. I can only hope the fans will understand, and know that it really won't be much more of a wait. January seems to be crunch time with CQ, and I hope to be able to get it out then.
So going forward, that's my big focus from here on out: getting Blood Redemption into the hands of readers. Additionally, I have some blog posts and a radio show coming up in January, a co-writing project with the fabulous Stacey Wallace Benefiel, and a new adult romance being released in conjunction with the IBC's Blog Tour de Force event. So all in all, a busy schedule. And I have the feeling things aren't going to get any easier- just busier, and if I'm lucky, more organized.
I can't thank the organizers and participants of ROW80 enough for being there for me when I needed it; for all the encouragement; and for helping provide and environment in which I was comfortable pushing myself. I've been a sponsor for three out of four rounds now, and I think I'll be sitting this next one out (as a sponsor, I'm definitely taking part) unless need arises. This will also be my last blog of substance before Christmas; I am letting my holiday from blogging officially start today. Don't be a stranger, though, because I'll be posting custom-made Christmas cards and playlists of Christmas Music That Doesn't Suck right here, just for you. So until the New Year, here's wishing you the best of holidays and a heartfelt thank you for all your roles in ROW80.