Scaling back

When I made my wild plans for crazy productivity this year, I didn’t know we were going to be moving. Had I known, I would have planned differently. Had we not, everything would probably have gone just fine. Our schedule wouldn’t have changed, I wouldn’t have spent weeks showing the house, I wouldn’t have scrambled to pack and then spend weeks trying to get to those last few boxes that need to be put away. Those boxes are still sitting around, but at least it’s something like one box in each room now, instead of piles.

But we did move. And I’ll have more to say about that adventure later, but right now, this is about the impact the whole thing had on my writing.

The plan I had before was not unrealistic, given the amount of work I can achieve in a typical day. Writing 1000 words is about one hour of dedicated work for me, though I do better if I break it up into short sprints. Sometimes it’s faster, sometimes a bit slower. Another hour would let me edit 5 pages or so on average, which meant there was plenty of time left for everything else. I toned it down when it looked like I needed to spend more time working to prepare for our move, which I didn’t really talk about when we were going through it. As in, I don’t think I talked about it at all outside private updates on Facebook and occasional story posts on Instagram.

Needless to say, the preparation for buying a house, selling a house, and moving in between took a toll on my ability to work. I went almost a whole month without working on stories at all, which was miserable. I feel best when I’m writing regularly. I’m working my way back up to it now, but it wasn’t until the last week of April that I actually got to make progress. So with April out of the way, I sat down and made a new calendar: a story schedule with half the workload, because the other half of my time needs to be spent on house repairs and settling in.

So where do things stand now?

Here’s a quick rundown:

• I finally finished revision of Serpent’s Tears, the second book in my epic fantasy series. I’ll come back with a breakdown of how that went in a week or two.
• I decided to wait to work on Spectrum Blade until it’s what I can focus on.
• I decided to work on a few novellas here and there when I need a break from my epic series.
• I reworked my schedule completely.

My new schedule is much more relaxed, with nothing overlapping until we get to the end of the year. Ideally, it’ll let me finish things earlier and I’ll be able to pull things up and work at a comfortable pace until the year’s end.

The first weekend in May–tomorrow, now, I suppose–I’ll work on making one last adjustment to something in Serpent’s Mark, then the first two books are ready to go hang out with my favorite editor and fellow author, Megan. For the rest of this month, I’ll be working on a novella while I stew over what needs to be done to the next book in my epic.

I’ve given myself June and July to edit the first half of the third book. I originally planned to split all 3 volumes, but I’m not positive if this book can stand to be split because of how the story is paced. I’ll be rereading the book to determine what needs to happen before I commit–so while I’ve planned June and July for the first half, assuming it does need to be cut in two so it can be fixed like the first one, I hope it won’t take that long. In August, I’ll address the second half; that only gets one month, because Little Bit will be back in school and I’ll be back to having days mostly free to work once we hit the second half of the month.

The first week of September is dipping my toes back into balancing multiple projects; I’ll be editing the novella I’m writing this month during that week, so it’ll be ready to publish in either December or January. The rest of September and October will be devoted to the next book in my Snakesblood Saga, which will be either the fourth or fifth book, depending on how things shake out with the third. I’m positive that volume needs to be split, though, so I’ll do the first half in September/October and the second half in November/December. By the end of this year, Megan’s going to hate me.

Last of all, there’s the orange line in November and December, which represents a second novella–the companion to the one I’m working on this month. I’d like them to go out back to back, so it’ll go up just a few weeks after the first one, if all goes according to plan.

That last part’s the catch, huh?

That’s it for this general update, though. Next I’ll talk about about what happened with ST, the big move, what my future publication plans are shaping up to be, and what these new novellas are about. Ta!

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