SO MUCH TO DO

I have a lot to do.

I’m trying to get them all separated into things I want to do and things I need to do. I don’t typically do posts where I lay out what I need to get accomplished, but I have to figure this out anyway and might as well make a post out of it. These are not writing/editing related. I have a list of those on my What’s in the works? page, and I update it occasionally. If you’re interested in what’s going on with me in that regard, you’re more than welcome to check that page out whenever and see if I’ve updated it. (I’ve been updating it every two weeks or so, roundabout. It’s more so for when I actually accomplish the goals on there.)

These are in no (real) particular order and have no set time limit (as I have no idea which order I want to tackle them in):

1) I need to get a mailing list sorted out. I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now, but I really need to get that done. It would strictly be to keep people informed about when I have a release. I might do a quarterly ‘newsletter’ as well, but wouldn’t post anything from that onto here or the same in reverse.

2) I need to get the questions I’ve received for the video Q&A into a cohesive list. (One that might travel in a relatively straight line to prevent me from getting too far sidetracked and end up rambling forever.) There are still a few more days before I’ll attempt to tackle that, if anyone else wants to contribute questions. Really, I welcome anything for it. You can check out the post if you haven’t already. (Also want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that’s shown interest in it, and asked me questions. I really appreciate it.)

3) Decide whether I need to actually make all these spreadsheets I feel like I need to make, or if I can put that off for a little while longer.

4) Catch up with responding to things.

5) Get my sleep schedule sorted out because I really do not like being awake during the day.

6) Figure out how to get this muscle in my cheek to stop twitching. It’s extremely distracting. (I’m guessing it’s stress-related.)

7) Get a little more organized on Twitter.

8) Figure out a way to get organized in general that won’t take months upon months of cutting into my work time.

9) Reach out to more reviewers for Reave. (If you’re interested in that, let me know!)

10) Write up some rather important emails without causing more facial twitching for myself.

11) Get book 1 of the trilogy to the first beta-reader.

12) Figure out if I want to release that one next or between books 3 and 4 of the Reave Series. (Probably and preferably between 3&4, but that depends on several factors.)

13) Figure out what the hell I’m doing.

14) I really dislike odd numbers.

 

Okay, one more thing.

I haven’t ‘liked’ near enough pages with my personal Facebook account. I have a lot of blogging buddies on here and I would like to ‘like’ your pages. It’s MUCH easier for me to keep up with what’s going on with people by looking on there rather than on here (at least for now).

If I haven’t liked your page, please feel free to leave a link down in the comments and I’ll go do that.

Hope everyone is doing well!

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Reviews (Thank You)

This is an extra post onto my weekly schedule, which I’m proud to say I’ve both accomplished and done completely on time for an entire week. I thought about waiting until Monday to write this up, but I already have a subject to discuss on Monday (shocking, I know), and this is fresh now. Extra is good, right? So is writing about something you feel the need to write about, when you feel the need to write about it. And I need to write about this now. Forgive the length in advance. It’s important.

I woke up this evening (yesterday, technically) to find another review for Reave up on Amazon. I was half-asleep and looking at it on my phone, so I had a moment of, “Does that say eleven now?”

It said eleven.

I read the newest one and did something similar to what I always do, which is shake my head a bit and sit (or lay) there in this state of disbelief.

I should say here that I have faith in my work. Not so much in myself. I’m self-deprecating by nature, and compliments pretty much roll right off my back if they’re related to me. That’s a subject for another post, but I feel it’s important for me to clarify the difference between anything negative I say having to do with me as a person, opposed to my work. It’s difficult to get the difference across when you’re saying the sort of stuff I do. So when I say, “My writing is crap,” (usually another word), I don’t mean that I feel my work is crap. I mean that I wish I could do better. It keeps me striving to do better. I always want to feel that.

Even though I have the utmost faith in my work (but I will add here that this series was difficult to set up with that first book, opposed to others I’ve written, due to circumstances in it and a limit of . . . well, everything), the positive feedback . . . it’s baffling.

I nitpick, and stuff still slips through. I nitpick and overlook things because I’m looking too closely at something else. There are some things technically wrong with that book that make me want to punch myself in the face. But . . . people are enjoying it anyway. And that is the point.

The mindset I have when writing stories has always and WILL always be characters first. I focus on characters first, story second (because they put in place themselves), writing third. So I’ll be totally honest and admit that I expected to get my first one-star review right off the bat. I expected some person to do what I do and tear that thing apart. It’ll happen one day, but today is apparently not that day. (If you’re hearing Aragorn shouting, “BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!” in your head right now, we have something in common.)

That first bad review is going to sting. I’m sure it will. I’ve heard that my self-deprecation can be very off-putting, so unless we’re talking in person (where I have essentially zero control over what comes out), you won’t know what my response will be when my writing gets torn apart. I’m not going to write it down on here. If you know me at all, I’m sure you could take a guess at it.

But bad reviews will never take away the feeling of a good one, not for me. It could be the worst review in the entire world, and it wouldn’t take the others away.

My biggest fear with it (it being Reave here) was that people wouldn’t get it. I worried people wouldn’t (or COULDN’T) relate to Aster. I worried some of the subjects would put people off. I worried things would be misinterpreted. I worried people would think it was too slow, or that it lacked ‘explosions’ (everybody loves explosions). I worried people wouldn’t be able to stand the writing style. I worried nobody would be able to make it past the first page. I worried and worried and worried about so many things (it’s what I do).

PEOPLE ARE ENJOYING IT.

So . . . this entry right here is for me to thank any and everyone who has spoken to me about my book, or left me a review. Waking up and finding a new one where someone says they couldn’t put my book down, or that Aster is an achievement as a heroine, that the characters were well-developed, that they were attached to it in some way, or rooting for Aster, or saying the only bad thing is that it ended and they can’t wait for the next.

Can’t wait for the next . . .

I’m shaking my head again.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately, not knowing how to ‘get it out there’ with this freaking debilitating anxiety I have. I’ve done a lot of struggling with a lot of things that run along those lines lately, and different ones that all lead back to the same issues: My ability or lack thereof. My faith in myself.

Before I published, I was constantly asking myself why I ever thought I could do this. After I published, it was more, ‘Can I do this well enough?’

So thank you, from the absolute bottom of my heart, to anyone who has taken some of their time to say one good word about my book, either to me or anyone you think might enjoy it, or in a review. Reviews (along with word of mouth) are the lifeblood of an author. They’re what point out to potential readers the good and bad things about whatever book they’re contemplating picking up. They can make all the difference in the world in that regard. But what you reviewers might not realize you’re doing in writing just a couple sentences is giving an author a little bit of faith in themselves, and a lot of validation in what they’re doing.

I don’t know most of you to thank you in person, and trust me when I say it wouldn’t come out right if I could (along with the fact that I might possibly be tearing up a bit as I write this).

I’ve spent the last several years of my life holed away, writing, and hoping that I would finally get to the point where I thought I was good enough for this. 99 people out of 100 could hate my work, but if that one person loved it? I would keep releasing books, just for the one.

I really can’t thank any of you enough for making me feel like I might be good enough to do what I love. You’ll never hear me say my writing is good. I’ve said many times that I’ll claim passable on a good day. But it’s good enough for somebody out there, and that’s more than enough for me.

I just have to make the connection that it equates to me being good enough, and I’m getting there, thanks to you.

(And for all of you who are looking forward to the second, I promise I’ll have it out as soon as I have the funds to cover it. It’ll be a bit, which is good because it’s currently in the hands of one of my best friends [who is pretty much the most spectacular beta-reader in the world, along with being one of the most spectacular people in the world]. But I’m hoping to get it out for you all soon.)