Writer Wednesday – writing year review for 2019

writer-wednesday

For the last #WriterWednesday of 2019 I thought I’d do a post on my writing year in review. It’s been a rocky one – ups and downs galore – but I’m happy to admit I’m ending 2019 on a writing high 🙂
So, let’s start with January.

In January I decided to get my sh*t together and create a plan (okay, so the plan didn’t come together until the end of January, but hey, it was still January!). I love watching YouTube videos from the author, Sarra Cannon. She has a craft channel called Heart Breathings. She is such a breath of fresh air with videos on the craft and the realistic life/goals of a writer. I love her because she is so generous to her fans – always creating work books for free – and not being constantly all about the hustle, hustle, hustle. She is real and talks about the real struggles of writing when you have other commitments – a job, family, school, chronic health issues.

She has a system called HB90. You plan your writing goals for 90 days at a time and be laser focused for those 3 months.

I could do this. It would give me structure and 90 days was a good period of time.

So I planned. I planned my 3 monthly goals.

  1. Increase sales and engagement
  2. Finish and release the first book in the Knights of Hell MC trilogy
  3. Plot and write first 3 chapters of a Mills & Boon Dare submission

Easy. Sustainable.

Err…not. I failed. Oh, for the first month I wrote, I promoted and then I got lazy. Life happened. I got sick. Mom got sicker. Work got crazy. Life got in the way and I didn’t make writing a priority. It came way down my list of commitments.

Lets skip to June. I did some editing and started that Mills & Boon story while I was soaking up the sun in Santorini with Mister Scarlett (who wouldn’t want to write in such a beautiful setting?!), but it never got past 1,000 words.

santorini

Fast forward to August. I’m writing here and there. Book 1 in the Knights of Hell MC trilogy, Sinful, is complete (first draft only though). I made the decision not to release it until the other two were finished. I did add some words here and there, but nothing substantial. All the while the sales on my old titles have dwindled to nothing.

In September, I release an old story with Totally Bound.

By the time November rolls around I’m determined to get my ass in gear and do NaNoWriMo. As I explained in my other post, due to numerous things, I couldn’t commit to 50000 words. It just seemed too…insurmountable. So I made my own goal – 30000. 1000 words per day. Again, I charted my progression in another post (but I’m happy to say I hit it!).

One thing NaNo did for me was create a manageable, sustainable goal. I had to commit to just 30-45 minutes per day to getting the words down. That’s it. Just 30 minutes.

And you know what? It worked! By the end of NaNo, I had 36000 words. I’m happy to say as of Saturday just gone, I completed the first draft of the Mills & Boon submission I’ve been wanting to write for so long. Whoop, whoop.

Compared to this time last year, I feel in such a good place. I’m not doing 1000 words per day now, but I’m aiming for 750 a day. Mister Scarlett asked me how I was going to be accountable to myself now that NaNo is over and that’s a good question. After all, it’s easy to slip back into old habits. I’m a known slipper. Always have been. There is always something else I can find to do – binge Netflix, read, scroll through Instagram, watch YouTube videos, nap.

So for the end of the year and first few months of 2020 I have a manageable, sustainable (you seeing a theme with the buzzwords here?) plan.

From now until 31st December – I’m working on an erotic Christmas romance that I started in 2018. 750 per day, and I want to try and hit 10000 words by the end of the month. That’s with taking the holidays off. I started on Monday and I’m already 4063 words in.

word count tracker

January 2020 – I’m going to finish the Knights of Hell MC trilogy. 750 words per day. 20000 word target.

February – editing the Mills & Boon submission, working on the synopsis and putting together a trilogy proposal.

See? A plan. Manageable. Sustainable.

One of the things I have found in 2019 is the joy of writing again. It sounds like a cliche, but I lost that for so long.

Some days it’s still hard, but there are the days when it flows and the words fly onto the page, and there is such a joyous feeling inside me when that happens that I can’t explain it to people. The consistency helps the words fly. If there is one thing I’ve learnt over the past year it’s consistency is the key to the words. The more I do it, the easier it gets (not always, but mostly). The writing has also been helping me, mentally, deal with a lot of stuff. It’s an outlet. A sorely needed one.

As 2019 draws to a close, there have been ups and downs, I haven’t published anything new, but I have lots of things coming together. The best thing about 2019 is I’ve rediscovered why I write. I’ve rediscovered the joy and that makes 2019 worth it!

I hope your 2019 has been everything you imagined. Let me know if you have any plans for 2020. I’d love to hear them!

 

Pre-order my erotic, paranormal Christmas romance, The Invitation – only 99c! Available Nov 17th.

THE INVITATION EBOOK COVER

Just in time for Christmas, my Christmas erotic romance, The Invitation is available for pre-order. The official release date is Friday November 17th.

This is one of the first stories I ever wrote and submitted for publication. Gabriel Longthorn holds a special place in my heart, and I’m so happy that his story is once again available – with a spectacular new cover.

Big thanks to the amazing, R. L. Weeks for creating this masterpiece!

THE INVITATION BANNER (1)

As always, the book will be available via Amazon for 99c and free for Kindle Unlimited readers!

Blurb:

Every Christmas, Evie dreams of attending the glamorous masquerade ball at Longthorn, home of the reclusive Gabriel. She watches from afar, wishing she could be near him. Gabriel, the man in her most erotic fantasies. Then the invitation arrives, along with a beautiful mask and dress. Her presence is requested.

Gabriel needs Evie. As king of the Shadow world, he knows only one woman can complete him, can sate both his infinite carnal lust and the ache in his lonely heart. He’s spent years waiting for Evie, and he plans to claim her, body and soul.

 

Excerpt:

Her blood thickened. Desire punched through her fear. Her breasts swelled and her nipples tightened. Moisture slicked her thighs as if she’d inhaled a potent drug that made her instantly pliant and aroused.

Her drug had a name. Gabriel Longthorn.

The man of her childhood dreams. The man of her womanly fantasies.

Time slowed and the music became a distant echo as his gaze met hers. A predatory smile spread across his chiseled face and her heart almost beat out of her chest. Christ, he was beautiful. Devastating. And she wanted to fling herself on him.

Her strong physical reaction defied explanation. She’d been around handsome men before and never felt this sexual.

Both women scowled when they realized Gabriel no longer cared what they had to say. Evie resisted the urge to glance over her shoulder. Was he really looking at her and not some stunning redhead standing behind her?

He unfolded himself from the chair in a way that was much too graceful for a man his size before moving through the crowd.

She stared. He was hypnotic. Mesmerizing. The crowd parted. All eyes watched as he purposefully strode toward her. A smile curled the edges of his lips.

Dressed in a white ruched shirt and a frock coat of the finest dark-blue velvet, he was the epitome of an old-fashioned mystical being. His white breeches pulled across his groin as he walked, leaving nothing to the imagination. Black knee-high boots completed the outfit.

He stopped inches away from her. She could smell his spicy scent as he took the champagne from her grasp and handed it to a passing guest. His ice-blue eyes stared intently into hers.

“Miss Ward. Thank you for the pleasure of your company this delightful Christmas Eve.” He bowed and took her hand. He brushed his lips gently across her skin. His breath caressed the tiny hairs and she felt that caress between her thighs, as if he’d pressed his lips against her clit.

Her breathing hitched. She chided herself for being so enthralled. He was just a man. Granted, he was unlike any man she’d ever seen—charismatic, charming, gentlemanly, not to mention studly.

Good and evil warred inside her mind. She wanted to slide her body against his, run her hand across his groin and test the weight of his cock. Would it be as impressive and thick as the outline in his breeches promised?

Pervert, the voice inside her head cried.

She gathered her wits from the gutter. “The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Longthorn. I do wonder why I received an invitation.”

He stroked the pulse point at her wrist, rubbing slow circles and stoking her arousal. “Because, Miss Ward, you have a very fertile imagination. Sometimes we all need to take a little time to dream.”

Another footman brought out a chair to match Gabriel’s. The staff was amazing, anticipating the guests’ every need. Where did he find these people?

Gabriel turned to the crowd and walked toward the raised dais. Everyone stared at them as if she were a specimen under a microscope.

As if sensing her discomfort, Gabriel smiled and addressed the guests. “Please, my honored and most noble guests, continue with the ball! There is champagne to be enjoyed, food to be savored and decadent pleasures to be tasted…”