I love my mum.
That’s pretty much what today’s post is about. If you don’t fancy that, feel free to skip ahead to my round-up of August in terms of goals.
Last week was an awful week. There’s no two ways about it. Too many small things reared up and worked their deadly magic to make me feel low, scared and (very) weepy. Funnily enough, it didn’t seem to affect my productivity because a hell of a lot has been done regardless. But not happily. Not with my usual cheer, enthusiasm and verve.
This is where Mum comes in. She got two phone calls from me (Da Shared Brain) last week. Two frantic, blubbing, incoherent phone calls in the space of four days. Both for different reasons. Both saying the same thing. I can’t cope.
The first thing she did was nothing. Meaning she didn’t try to comfort me or get me to explain. She just heard the tears in my voice and told me to cry. To get it out. And she was quiet while I did it. Silent but for the occasional soothing sound and whisper of my name. How is it that doing nothing can be so powerful? So helpful? So perfect. And how did she know that’s exactly what I needed?!
Is she magical? Psychic? Secretly recording video in my home and streaming it to her phone, Big Brother style?
But she is my mum. She’s known me longer and more thoroughly than anybody on earth (bar Dad, I guess) and that allows her to guess at what I need. And often she doesn’t need to guess. She just knows. More times than I can count, I’ve woken up to a text message telling me that she’s thinking of me. And I didn’t even know I needed the reminder under I saw it. She’s bailed me out of trouble, listened to me get into trouble and never, ever judged me. Ever.
Every now and then, despite my writing the post, DSB rears up and takes over to set the tone. This is one of those days.
I just need to take a moment to say thank you, Mum. Despite my status as ‘a writer’ I’ll never be able to find the right words to express fully how I feel and what happens inside when you help me. Even if that help is just holding a phone to your ear while I weep into it at the other end.
Thanks.August. Tick. The month is over and September looms bright and shiny and new. So many projects have come to a head that I think it’s safe to stop writing new stuff for a bit. Maybe. Perhaps. Let’s recap first, shall we?
Finish read through of SORB and make last minute corrections.
Sorted. I can’t mess with it any more. I need to let it go (famous last words).
Case availability of my editor and arrange when to send file.
Also done. In fact I sent her the file last night. There’s nothing more I can do to it without starting to edit my voice out of it, so I let it go. It’s in other hands now. Let’s just see what happens.
Work through known contacts of Deviant Art with regards to commissions for cover art.
One so far and a mutual contact through Facebook already contacted. I’m quite excited by the level of talent out there, and it seems that there are plenty of folk able to do what I need. I just gotta pick one!
Outline marketing plan
Nah. I mean I have some vague ideas, but insofar as making something that might be called ‘a plan’ I’m not quite there. Maybe this week?
Start deep edits on my ghost story (complete at least 2,500 words)
Started, continued and done. I realised somewhere in the middle of yesterday morning that the submission deadline was today and not in fact the end of the month. -_- Having shared the link so many times I’m stunned that I misread it so terribly, but it did mean that I had to step up the pace to get the edits done. I know I could still work on it. I could do more, but I realised last night that I had to choose; send out a piece I was confident in but still wanted to edit, or miss the deadline and edit it forever and ever. This is another example of ‘letting it go.’ And I did. King of Christmas has been sent and so too has another story I may have mentioned here before called The Last Time. All I need to do now is wait and see what follows.
August 2014 Goal Recap
Complete changes based on beta notes on SORB
As highlighted above, SORB is done. But for the remains of the notes from my editor there is nothing left to do but sort out peripheral detail.
Work on collaborative project
This was a silly goal. It’s too vague and didn’t give me something clear to aim for. Yes I’ve worked on it, but what have I achieved? I can’t measure that because I didn’t say what I wanted. This month I’ll do better in that regard. And, even better, I can tell you more about the project now and invite those who are interested to join me. So stay tuned; Saturday is the big day for hearing all about what I’ve been working on so secretly.
Write ghost story for Boo Books anthology call
Not only written but edited and submitted. Now that I think about it, I didn’t leave myself as much time as I should have. I’ll know for next time; a month just isn’t long enough. Even with a cap of 5,000 words.
Goals for September 2014
- Know who is going to produce cover art for SORB and how much it is going to cost. Have at least a faux deadline for completion of primary artwork.
- Have a clear idea of the steps I plan to take insofar as marketing (including blog tours, promotion posts, cover reveals, excerpts and social media work).
- Submit one existing piece (short story / flash fiction) to an appropriate (and preferably free) competition.
- Take on Phase Two of my collaborative project and find fellow conspirators (remember to check in on Saturday for more concrete details)
- Chill the fuck out.
Number 5 of that list is a very important one. I get the feeling that my phone calls last week would have been far less frantic if I took that advice. So here’s what I plan to do this week.
- Spend at least two nights NOT working*
- Get at least three early nights sleep*
- Find two potential cover artists and get in contact
- Outline marketing plan
*Yes, yes, I know these aren’t writing goals, but I’m starting to realise that if I don’t include these things in my list then I actually won’t do them. Go figure.
There. Now the drafting and editing has done I genuinely feel that my brain will ease off the peddle a bit. So far I’ve felt unable because there is so much to do. Now I can step back, have a rest and look to the other part of being a self pubbing author. The part that involves very little creative writing at all, but lots of planning, begging, organising and waiting.
Wish me luck!