Hi Everyone! It’s been a crazy past few weeks here in New Mexico. I finished the first draft of my third novel, Just in time to edit my second before November!
While finishing up novel two, I’m also rereleasing my books with new formatting, redoing my website and social media, and starting to really dig my heels into getting my work out there. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything for my writing career other than write. Now that I’ve got five published books, I think it’s about time I start polishing the non-literary parts of my writing career.
Business aside, things are going great. I’ve been sending a few people personal poems written using my 1960’s royal dart on nice Southworth paper. A few painter friends are doing trades with me for artwork they’ve done. We’re moving to a new place in Albuquerque soon, so we’re excited to have some really great artwork to hang up. Plus, it’s all done by friends. I haven’t really written poetry for a single person specifically before, but I’m getting really good feedback.
The changing weather is a reminder that NaNoWriMo is coming up soon. Last year was my first year participating, and it was kind of hell. That said, I did get a complete novel out of it, so I’ll be doing it again this year. I may even be doing it until I feel like I’ve got enough books out in the world that I don’t need to pump them out. Either way, I do think it’s a neat way to challenge yourself to write more on a regular schedule. If I could do two hours a day on a normal basis, I’d probably have a first draft of a novel for each month. That’s a nice goal, but really I think that it would mean putting out lesser quality content.
I’ve been re-reading a post on r/writing over the last day or so about just that. An extremely successful writer went from writing fantasy to romance books, turning their skill into a very lucrative business. In the post, the author states clearly that he or she had to make some sacrifices to make writing profitable, and one of those was quality. Specifically, the author said that one pass over your first draft and one pass by your editor makes your content better than 90% of books for sale on Amazon. I’d imagine that’s true, and that’s sort of my process, too, but I feel like you’re going to sacrifice artistic vision any time you turn your talent into a business venture. Not sure where I’m going with that, because I do agree. It’s just that I’ve been digesting that post for a few hours, and most likely over thinking it.
Back to business. If all goes well this month and next, with the move and everything I’m doing with my online presence, my second novel, “This Close to Sitting Ducks” will be out December 7th. I’m so excited that I was able to release two novels this year. I’m really hoping to continue putting out two or three books a year. My latest poetry release “In Your Gourd, Off the Dime” is one that I’m really proud of. I’m playing around more with visuals in my poetry books now, trying to make them visually stimulating instead of leaving bare words on the page. I may even go back through my other poetry books to sprinkle in a little salt and pepper.
November means I’ll have the first draft of my fourth novel done soon. I’m really excited about this one because it’s going to be a story that really allows for surrealism and exploration of both mental health and domestic violence. Those are all topics that hold special places in my heart. Once novel four draft one is in the bank, I’ll hopefully be getting three back from my editor and hitting that in December.
I’ve got something really special in mind after that. All of this is leading up to downtime to do research and potentially interviews for a project that I’m really excited about, which is a historical fiction novel. I don’t have much of the detail hashed out right now, but I can say that it’s been a real pleasure hearing what people think about my general idea. Folks that I’ve discussed this project with have all been overly excited about it.
With that, I’ll leave you to frolic in the leaves that will be falling soon. I’m going to try to be posting more leading up to November, since it’s usually radio silence for me during that month. Feel free to drop in on my social media accounts if you have questions or feedback, I’d love to talk to you on any of them.