Behind me, I can hear an owl hooting away. I just needed to mention that, here in the middle of the city, that an owl is busy making himself known.
“Wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh, hoo!” He is loud and proud.
A few days ago, I gave myself a pep talk. To sum it all up, it was essentially, “Girl, get some writing done! Pick a project, knuckle down, and get it done.”
And I dutifully picked a project that stands at nearly 38k word count – Book One of The Chronicles of Liv Rowan.
A day later I was discouraged and feeling snippy. The words on the page felt insufficient, juvenile, and contrived.
And then, as has happened time and again over the years, I found myself questioning what I was doing, how to make it better, and walked away in disgust.
I set the problem into the back of my brain and concentrated on other things. Don’t know an answer to a problem? Set it on the back burner and let it simmer. Meanwhile, I pulled out The Hired Gun today and was like, “Oh, hell yes, I need to do THIS!”
I feel like I’m being wishy washy. Like I can’t commit to a single course of action.
A couple of things did occur to me on how I can solve my Chronicles of Liv Rowan problem.
- Make it first person – It used to be a huge no-no to write in the first person, and I’m a product of my time because I still have hangups about it, but first person is being used more and more, especially in the genre that Chronicles is slated for – Young Adult. I suspect that changing from third person to first person might actually liberate me in some ways and help remove the awkwardness I’m feeling with the story.
- I need to talk to my characters – As the problem of how to make Chronicles better simmered on the back burner, I realized that I need to have a talk with my characters. Like a real, get to know you kind of talk. I’ve got a decent line on Liv, the main character, but what about Lord Glass, or some of the villagers? What about the guard that Liv gets sweet on? I need to understand them, their histories and their motivations. This could help me write about them with more eloquence and detail.
Each day has less hours than it does projects to fill them – even with my erstwhile offspring gallivanting about Europe.
Currently my thoughts/focus are darting between:
- Practicing a keto diet, weight loss, glucose monitoring, and continuing my physical therapy exercises so that I remain pain-free
- Working on running my neighbor’s Airbnb and getting our Airstream up and operational
- Creating a closer connection with my foster daughter, especially after our most recent Family Support Team meeting. And also trying not to worry about my 12-year-old so far away in Germany right now.
- Audiobook recording and marketing my already published books.
- Getting one of my many book projects finished. Soon!
They bounce about, some pushing to the forefront of others, shifting, jostling about. Plates keep spinning and so do I.
My feet are firmly planted in reality. I look at every income source (from fostering to managing our neighbor’s Airbnb, to the state paying me to care for my dad) with the down-to-earth view of maximizing profit. I keep my expenses as low as possible without sacrificing quality of life and I make every dollar I earn bring dividends if possible. That means renovating the Airstream and renting it out as an Airbnb to pay for its improvements, or taking the couple of hundred dollars in extra income I get running my neighbor’s Airbnb and putting it directly into our Renovation Fund to accelerate the projects.
The income I make on my books is small – anywhere between $60 and $350 per month, but averaging around $175. Around 97% of that income is from one book – Get Organized, Stay Organized. Pretty good for being my first book!
But I have five other books out there that are barely selling. Why?
I’ve redone the covers. I’m working on getting more reviews for each of them, and that leaves my covers, blurbs on the back, and ad copy as possible fail points. I redid all of the covers, so I’m guessing this is means a failure in either the blurbs on the back covers or the ad copy. I’ll be working on these issues and attempting to get more book sales across the board.
Imagine if each of my books was earning me at least $175 in sales each month. That would be a nice chunk of change! This is doable, I just need to learn how to market better.