February and WIP Update

Happy February guys!

I wanted to stop by and give an update as far as my February goals and progress with Clara and Daphne.

At the end of January I finished edits on Clara and Daphne. So I wanted to talk about what’s next as far as getting this book ready for publication.

Right now I’m working on the 2nd draft of the book. This is a project I suspect will take February and March to complete as I’m rewriting, adding in new content, and working out some issues I came across in the 1st draft.

Today was my first day working on the 2nd draft, and I’ve already increased my word count by 852 words. I also rewrote a lot of the first chapter, so I feel a lot more confident with that.

My goal with this 2nd draft is to reach a total of 90k words by the end, and to overall be happier with the book itself. I definitely have a lot of work to do. The 2nd draft is going to  require a lot of rewriting and re-reading, but I’m okay with that. I know what needs to be done, and I’m going into this 2nd draft with a better understanding of the plot and the characters.

If you don’t already, be sure to follow me on Instagram (@lindseysablowski) for daily updates. I post a lot of my progress there, so if you’re interested in seeing how it’s going, definitely stop on by and say hello!

Here’s just a quick look of what needs to be done before Clara and Daphne is ready:

  • 2nd draft
  • Send to CP/beta readers
  • 3rd and possibly 4th draft? (I usually write between 3-4 different drafts. Clara and Ezra had three)
  • Purchasing the cover
  • Deciding on a relate date (still aiming for this year btw –probably a winter release)

So I expect the coming months to be very challenging, but I’m also excited –especially since this morning I already saw such a huge difference between the 1st draft and the 2nd.

I wish you guys the very best with your February goals, and I’ll be checking in again soon. I’ve been working on my book for like 3 hours this morning, so I think it’s time I take a break from writing altogether and relax.

Enjoy your Saturday!

2020 Goals and Release Plans

Happy New Year ya’ll! 

Today I wanted to take the time to talk about my goals for 2020, any upcoming events, and that sort of thing that I have planned for this year.

Goals for 2020:

  • Finish edits for Clara and Daphne –plan to have this done hopefully by the end of January or February at the latest
  • 2nd draft of Clara and Daphne –not sure what the timeline is on this yet
  • Start Youtube/Podcast –this is something I’ve wanted to do for the last year or so. I still don’t know which one I’ll do yet, and I’m actually waiting for us to move so I have a better area where I could record before I make that decision. So this is something that will happen later in the year (maybe around fall???)
  • Work on Bloodline Inheritance re-release –this is something that’s been on my to-do list for a long time. It’s going to require a lot of time and money (for the new cover), which is what’s caused the delay. So depending on how things go this year financially we’ll see what happens
  • Publish Clara and Daphne (before end of year) –I really want to release this book this year, as I’ve promised previously. I still need to purchase the cover for this book, which is still something that’s up in the air (as far as when I can afford to do so). If for some reason Clara and Daphne isn’t ready for release this year, I’m going to try to re-release Bloodline Inheritance so at least I stay consistent with my release schedule (and those of you who haven’t read the book will get to read it in its newest form)

Now obviously these are just a few goals for this year. I really want to get back to a consistent schedule with my writing/editing, and I still have my Nanowrimo project from 2019 that I want to work on too (but that’s really a side project I might save for next year when I have more free time). I’m hoping to post more on here with updates for you guys, and I’m going to start posting content on Patreon again as well.

As far as events go, the only event I have planned so far for this year is the Imaginarium Book Festival, which is happening this May. If you haven’t already, be sure to grab your FREE ticket(s)! I’ll be attending, so you can grab copies of my books, read a teaser from Clara and Daphne, and get some free goodies from my table –so if you come, be sure to stop by and say hi!

I’ll also be making a guest appearance on a podcast in December, but more about that later.

I’m excited for the new opportunities and challenges this year will bring us, and I hope to share as much of my progress with you guys as possible.

What’s your goals for 2020?

Best of 2019

6519793D-E0DE-4FBF-9486-47612540A067

Merry Christmas Eve, y’all! Before the end of the year I wanted to take the time to reflect on 2019 because a lot happened.

Obviously I couldn’t include every highlight from 2019 in one collage, but I feel like the one above highlights the biggest moments for me this year.

Best of 2019:

  • March: Got a new tattoo on my arm to celebrate all of the books I’ve written so far (and also as a [really] late reward to myself for publishing Clara and Ezra)
  • August 10th: Re-released Thicker Than Blood (original release was back in 2014) with a beautiful new cover (curtesy of Hell Yes Design) and interior design.
  • September 28th: Finished the first draft of Clara and Daphne at 87,538 words total. This book gave me a lot of challenges, but in the end it was so worth it. I love Clara’s story, and I can’t wait to share this new addition to the series with you guys soon.
  • November: Participated in and won Nanowrimo, coming in at 50,021 words total. Nanowrimo project is still untitled, but I stepped outside my comfort zone with this one and wrote nearly every single day –only missed 2 or 3 days.
  • Got accepted into Imaginarium Book Festival as an attending author. I’ll see you there May 2nd, 2020!
  • Bought a Chromebook that serves as a “travel” laptop for me when I’m away from home, or also when I’m at home and don’t feel like using my full sized laptop. This little laptop honestly can do a lot, and it’s perfect for just focusing on my writing (I don’t get as distracted as I do on my MacBook)
  • Video Games: this isn’t something I talk about much here, but video games is a hobby of mine when I’m not writing. So in January of this year my boyfriend bought me Red Dead Redemption 2 –which is an amazing game, by the way– and then sometime after that we purchased a game called Hollow KnightHollow Knight brought back my love for video games 110%. Everything from the exploration to the music to the lore of this game inspired me –so much so that I’m still playing this game now and again. I listen to the music daily, especially when I’m writing. (Note: the game pictured in the collage is actually Stardew Valley because between this game and Hollow Knight it was hard to decide. Stardew is my go-to game when I need to relax and take a break from everything else.)

There’s a lot of other memories from 2019 that were great, but these ones were the main highlights for me.

2020 has a lot to live up to, and I already have some things planned for next year, which I’ll be sharing a little later with you guys.

What were your highlights from 2019? Leave them in the comments below, and feel free to share your goals for 2020.

This might be my last post for the year, so in case it is… Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Let’s hope next year is a great one!

Nanowrimo 2019: Thank God It’s Over

NaNo-2019-Winner-Facebook-Cover

This is 10 days late, but I did want to still take the time to talk about my experience with Nanowrimo this year. First and foremost, I want to congratulate everyone who participated –whether you won or not, it’s still a huge success that you took part in this event and challenged yourself.

For me personally, this was my first time being able to seriously dedicate 100% to Nanowrimo since 2014 (the last time I reached the 50k mark). Last year I did try to participate, but I only made it about 5k, and I think that was because Clara and Ezra had just released and required my full attention.

This year I was reminded how truly challenging Nanowrimo is. I mean, 50k in 30 days is no joke. Now if you’re a speedy writer (especially with first drafts) maybe that’s not the case, but for someone like me who is very slow when it comes to first drafts (and just writing in general) those 30 days felt like half that.

Nanowrimo 2019 Final Thoughts:

  • pick a story you’re happy with. Don’t worry about other people reading it, don’t worry about if this is something you’ll ever publish, etc… Write what you want to write. Period. This seems obvious, but I’ve had years where I was trying so hard to write the next book I wanted to publish that it actually hindered my performance.
  • Accountability apps are your friends. I’ve talked a lot about “Wordly” on here, so I’ll try not to repeat myself too much with that recommendation, but it’s honestly the only word count tracking app I use these days. For writers with Android (because I found out Wordly is not made for Android users yet *sad face*), my suggestion would be an app called “Word Keeper.”
  • I also discovered a new app called “Forest.” This is another app I really want to do a separate post (or maybe even a video?) about because it’s just such a great app if you’re a writer, but I used this app a lot during Nanowrimo –and am still using it this month while editing Clara and Daphne. It’s great for holding you accountable –especially when you’re on a deadline
  • Don’t let doubt win. I can’t tell you how many times this year and in previous years I doubted myself, I let my insecurities ruin the story I was writing, and hence it also ruined my productivity. You can do this, and even if you didn’t win this year, you still did something outside your comfort zone, and for that you deserve recognition
  • Don’t make Nanowrimo all about winning. This year I went in with one purpose: to write a story I had been wanting to write for a long time. Because if not now, when? I saw so many people talking about how they were finally writing a story, finally making progress on something they were passionate about –and at the end of this challenge that’s what really matters.
  • Be willing to make sacrifices. Nanowrimo is pretty brutal, especially if you’re like me and aim for 500-1000 words on a good day. So suddenly be thrown into the chaos of writing over 1600 every day or catching up to get back on track can be a little daunting. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, and that’s okay (as long as you’re not overworking yourself)
  • Change up when, where, and how you write. Sometimes this makes all the difference. I went from on my laptop, to handwriting, to even typing up a chapter on my phone (something I rarely ever do). If something it’s working for you, or you’re getting frustrated, make a change and see how that works out for you.
  • Nanowrimo is a great way to test out new ideas. For me, it was my chance to write a story I’ve been thinking about for a long time (and just couldn’t find the words for). It doesn’t really matter what you write as long as it’s important to you. Maybe it’s a backstory for that character you love, maybe it’s a genre you’ve never written before, maybe it’s an alternative ending (and aftermath) to a story you’ve already written. Regardless of if you hit 50k or not it gives you a good indication of what you have to work with, and how you feel about the project you’re working on. Is this something you would still want to work on after Nano is over?
  • Nanowrimo isn’t for everyone, and that’s ok. I almost wish they would make it in any month other than November because end of the year is always so busy for me –plus there’s the holidays to factor in as well. I saw so many writers out there this November just writing, regardless of if they were doing it for Nanowrimo or working on their own projects. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to participate in Nano during a release month, shortly after moving, etc just because I was worried about missing out on something. Don’t worry –there’s always next year! And if it’s just not for you either way, that’s ok too –do what works best for you.
  • Definitely plan your writing time. Near the end of Nano I was putting in so many extra hours to reach the 50k mark, and it was stressing me out. This was due to falling behind early at the start of the month and never taking the time earlier to catch up, which really hurt me near the end. It’s definitely not something I want to do again next year if I participate, so plan out your writing time the best you can. Set a goal for each day, and if you miss a day, definitely try to catch up as soon as possible –so it doesn’t come back to bite you at the end

Now if you’ve made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read through this. I still have a lot of thoughts on Nanowrimo, and one of my biggest regrets this year was not being able to update my website with daily or at least weekly updates on my progress. I honestly speak every free minute writing my novel, so unfortunately I never found the time to update you guys on here.

I also want to talk more about my Nanowrimo novel –which is still untitled– but I think I’ll save that for another post (since this one is already going longer than usual).

Overall I’m really happy I participated in Nano this year, but next year I definitely want to have a better plan (with my actual story and with my writing schedule). This year I was so unsure about whether I actually wanted to participate, and then when a story idea came to me I just jumped right in –no outline, no plotting, no characters names… nothing. It was chaotic and super disorganized. Definitely not my usual style.

Again I just want to remind you guys that the work you did in November is truly special. Even if it’s a hot mess, like my Nano project is currently, it’s still amazing that you took on this challenge. The writing community was especially supportive for Nanowrimo, and I saw so many people sharing their progress and cheering others on (from day one until the final hours).

I think we all have a lot to be proud of. We wrote our stories, and at the end of the day, that’s what really matters.

I hope December can be just as a successful and productive month –though, hopefully less hectic.

That’s all for now, guys! Let me know how you did in Nano in the comments, and please tell me about the stories you wrote.

Until next time, happy writing!

NaNoWrimo 2019

So I’m a day late posting this, but happy NaNoWriMo to those of you who are participating this year!

I am happy to report that I am participating this year and thought I’d take a second to talk about my project.

photo-1521676772933-7ff050c1b9dd

My project is currently untitled, but it follows Ava Greene, a psychic, who, after seven years, returns to her hometown. It’s an adult paranormal/mystery, and as of today I’m a little over 3k into the story.

I’m most excited this year because I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. My books usually always end up being fantasy mixed with other genres. But this year I decided to do something different, and I’m excited to see how it turns out, even if it goes horribly.

The idea for Ava’s story was actually inspired by a story my dad was telling me about a real-life psychic. (Can’t remember the guy’s name, so I’ll have to look that up later.) After that the rest of her story kind of just came to me in pieces. I’ve been figuring it out as I go, quite literally winging it –because I’ve done no prepping for this novel whatsoever.

I have to say it feels good to be participating in NaNo this year. Last year I wasn’t able to because it was right around the release of Clara and Ezra, but this year I decided to go for it, even though I’ll admit I rarely ever make it to the 50k mark.

While participating in NaNo, I’m also still editing Clara and Daphne. I’m trying to make time for both projects every day, but obviously I’ve made reaching my word count a priority because I figured if I’m really going to participate this year I should at least give it my all.

For those of you also participating in NaNo, I wish you the best of luck! This sort of challenge is never easy, but remember, try your best and don’t give up. Really the only way you can lose is if you give up altogether. Set little goals for yourself and work toward those. Reward yourself as often as possible because, trust me, every bit of encouragement helps. Tell your friends and family about your book and get excited about it. 50k is a great start to your first draft, even if it’s sh*t.

And for those of you not participating this year, I see you. We’ve all been there, and I understand this type of challenge isn’t for everyone. If you’re still doing your own writing/editing/revisions/planning this month, be proud in the work that you’re doing. If you needed a break from writing for a month, I applaud you even more. Self care is so important, and we as writers can easily forget and neglect this aspect. Take care of yourself. And remember, there’s always next year!

That’s all for now! I’m still trying to catch up today, since I slacked a little yesterday, so I should get back to my novel. I’ll be posting tips, frustrations, and more as the month continues for anyone who’s interested.

Happy writing!

Clara and Daphne: 1st Draft Complete

So I’m super late on posting about this, but on Saturday I finished the first draft of my WIP, Clara and Daphne.

For those of you who may be catching up, or somehow didn’t hear about this book I’ve been talking about nonstop, Clara and Daphne is my next upcoming release. It’s scheduled to release sometime in 2020.

That being said, now that I have the first draft done I wanted to talk about what’s next. And let me tell ya, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

So my first draft finished roughly around 87k. This is a little lower than the 90k goal I set for myself, and ideally I’d like to add more to this book, as the whole series thus far has gone over 90k per book. I’ve already got some ideas of what I want to add in.

Basically my to-do list is looking something like this right now:

  1. Edit/read over 1st draft. Make an Excel sheet to get organized and have a better understanding of the overall plot, developments, key events, etc
  2. Start on 2nd draft. Aim to add more words, rewrite scenes that need more work, strengthen plot/characters/development. Sometimes my 2nd draft becomes the revise/rewriting draft (where a lot changes from 1st draft vs 2nd)
  3. Beta Readers/3rd draft. With Clara and Ezra I did three drafts with one being a major rewrite because the 1st draft had a lot of issues and was way too short. This book doesn’t have the shortness factor, so depending on how edits and 2nd draft goes we’ll see if I do a third draft then send to beta readers or vice versa.

Now keep in mind this list is just a rough idea of the work I have a head of me. I won’t know more until I work through editing this 1st draft and see how much needs fixing. Now that I have the skeleton of the story, which is the most crucial part of this process, I at least know the structure is there –I just need to fill in some things here and there.

As of right now this book is still on track to release in 2020, and I hope to keep it that way. I’ve admittedly taken a small break from writing since Saturday, but I plan on starting edits/read over this weekend.

Also, I plan on finally writing up a synopsis for this book. When I started this book I honestly only had a vague idea of where it was going. I had some ideas but wasn’t sure how they’d turn out. Now that I know the full story I’m going to write up a synopsis that I’ll share first on Patreon and then later this year or the start of next year everywhere else. So if you want to read it first before anyone else, be sure to stop by my Patreon page and sign up.

All in all, I’m very happy to be done with this 1st draft of the book. I know it seems like there’s a lot of work to be done before release, and there is, but I’m also confident I can manage it now that I’ve tackled what I think is one of the hardest parts of this whole process.

Thank you guys so much for your overwhelming and ongoing support for this book as I get it ready for release. I can’t wait to share more details with you soon!

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more updates, I promise!

Happy writing!

 

September Goals

Happy September guys! Hard to believe August came and went so quickly, but we’re that much closer to Halloween, so I’m pretty happy.

August was not a good writing month for me. Even though I came up with a new daily goal for my writing I still had a hard time getting in those daily words, mainly because I found it hard to make time for my writing.

But today I’m focusing on September goals because it’s a new month and that means change, and hopefully the good kind.

September Goals:

  • Reach 80k in Clara and Daphne
  • IGTV episode talking about Vellum (interior formatting program I use for my books now)
  • Reach 500 daily word count goal at least 5 times a week
  • Update Patreon rewards –more on this later, but I’m going to be updating the rewards to focus more on helping/benefiting writers (as right now that’s where I want to focus most)

So obviously there’s a lot of work ahead of me this month. I’m eager to reach 80k in my WIP because remember my end goal is to hit 90k, and usually I tend to struggle when I’m this close to the end. This first draft has really been knocking me on the ground more times than I’d like to admit, but I think once I’m actually finished and can start the editing/re-writing process that will help make draft 2 easier on me. Right now I’m just trying to get the words down on the paper.

As far as releases go, I don’t have any others planned for the rest of this year. I’m working hard on finishing Clara and Daphne so that can hopefully release sometime next year (hopefully).

That’s all for right now. I know this was a quick and brief update, but that’s kind of all I have happening right now.

I’m eager to hear what your September goals are for yourself –whether they’re writing related or not. Be sure to share your goals in the comments below so we can cheer each other on.

Wishing everyone a successful month! I’ll be back again soon!

Happy writing!