NEW release: Clara and Claire

new-release

Clara and Claire is now available! You can purchase the ebook on Amazon today for just $2.99. Just a quick reminder that if you’re waiting for the paperback that will be releasing soon. It’s still being formatted currently, but I’ll announce a date as soon as I have one.

Remember there’s a release party today on FB if you’d like to join in. It’s public, and there’s a great list of authors showing up to celebrate with me. Just this morning fantasy author Michael Sullivan stopped by to say hello! The last time I saw him was at my first book signing for Cursed With Power. He is always a huge inspiration!

I started writing Clara and Claire in September of 2015. I’ll admit writing this novel was never easy. After finishing the Magicians series in 2015 I had a hard time letting go of the characters I had spent so many years with. But along the way I realized it was kind of a relief to have a break from a series.

This book is now so close to my heart. I fell in love with the characters just like I did with beloved ones from the Magicians series. It’s something I’m releasing out into the world today, knowing how proud I am to have written it. I spent a lot of time writing, rewriting, editing, and then re-editing this book. It’s why it’s been a long time coming for the release. I wanted to make sure the best version of this book would be releasing out into the public.

I have a busy day ahead of me with the FB event. But without further ado, please share with your friends and family. If you’re in need of a new book this one is now available! And I hope you’ll consider stopping by the FB event to say hello, pick up a book, and maybe even walk away with some free stuff!

Lindsey Richardson.

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5k Words in One Day

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Today I set a goal for myself: 5k words. All in one day. And just now I completed that goal. It’s a small goal in the grand scheme of things. But after reading a post about writing 10k in a day yesterday I felt inspired. I pursued my goal, and I’m ending my writing session today feeling satisfied. There was a time, about half way through, where I thought about stopping. That I wasn’t going to make it to 5k today, and I could always get to it tomorrow.

But that’s not how goals are reached! Don’t put it off for tomorrow. Do it today.

As promised, I wanted to talk about my writing today. Because for those of you who follow along with my writing, my usual goal is 1k a day. It’s a reasonable goal, and it’s usually one on a good day (without writer’s block) I can reach. But today I reached for 5k, and here’s why.

I started a new book today. I’m not going to reveal the title until December, but this new book has me excited. A lot of new ideas are stirring around in my head, and there’s still a lot more that I’m working out. But with the first draft it’s okay to not focus on everything at once. At least for me, sometimes I just figure out things as I go.

Someone on Instagram had mentioned they listened to The Crown soundtrack while writing. The Crown as in the Netflix show that if you’re not watching yet, go watch it! It’s an amazing show. But in all seriousness, I had forgotten what an impact soundtracks can have. I decided to listen to the soundtrack for the first time today, and I found one song (“Duck shoot”) that I placed on repeat for the entire time I wrote today. Maybe it was because I had seen the scene with this particular song in the show, but this song was so powerful today. It was just what I needed, and it honestly worked perfectly with everything I was writing today.

In total today I wrote for 4 hours and reached 5,105 words. Mind you the four hours were split up into smaller sections. The first hour or so I did this morning, and then the remainder of the time I did this evening (since hubby is at work).

So let’s talk about how you can reach 5k. Whether that be today, tomorrow, or next month. Set a date that you have free time to just focus solely on your writing. Make a small retreat out of it if you have to. Have a writing buddy join you. But here’s the most important things you’ll need to succeed:

  • Announce your intended goal –This is why social media is so great to have. Announce your goal is 5k today, and then have your friends and family hold you responsible for reaching it. Maybe check in now and then to update your progress. But just one simple announcement does the trick. It holds you responsible for reaching that goal.
  • Coffee –Or some other beverage to help you stay energized. Unless you’re one of those writers who gets 5k done fast, you might need a few hours to do this. Or you might need the whole day. But don’t lose hope! Drink your coffee, make another cup of tea, and keep on writing.
  • Break your goal into smaller sections –Hit 1k? Great, take a break! And continue this when you feel yourself getting distracted or feeling at a loss of words. 5k in a day can feel like a lot, and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself. Staying focused doesn’t mean driving yourself insane. Take some time to cuddle with your cat, eat a snack, and then get back to work.
  • Keep track of your time and word count –Again, I’m going to suggest the app “Wordly” if you don’t already have it. There’s other apps similar to it, but this is the only app I’ve ever used for my word count. I’ve been using it since the first draft of Clara and Claire and haven’t stopped since. It helps you stay accountable for the time you’re spending on your writing and who much you get done after each writing session. This also really helps with breaking up your sessions when you need to take a break. Just jot down when you stop and how many words you’re at, and then pick back up when you start again.
  • Music –music isn’t for everyone. The majority of the time I write in complete silence. But sometimes music (or some kind of inspiration) can really help you get into the mood. For me today it was The Crown soundtrack. Other times I’ve listened to rain and thunder soundtracks (because I’m weird like that). Find what works for you. Maybe listen to music during your breaks to get re-energized.
  • Other preparations –Notebooks, pen, post-its… Whatever you need for those moments when you have a “aha!” moment and need to write it down fast for later. Characters, dialog ideas, plot twists… anything relating to your book that you can’t write into it right now, write it down and save it for later
  • Write like you mean it! –This seems obvious, but seriously just write your heart out. Whether you’re writing on paper or typing, try not to think about grammar or sentence structure or plot holes. Just get the ideas out of your head and onto paper.

The worst thing you can do when you set a goal like this for yourself is get stuck in your head. And I’m guilty of doing this all the time. What if this is complete crap? Why isn’t this chapter longer? How can I make this scene more interesting? What if this book never sells? Why did I start writing in the first place? No, no, no. Get out of your head, and just go with your gut. I honestly feel like that works the best, especially when you’re just trying to get something written.

When you’re trying to get a book written, don’t worry about everything at the end for it to be ready for publication. Just focus on the here and now. You’d be surprised by how much you can accomplish.

I realize this has been a longer than usual post, so if you’ve made it this far I hope this post can help you with your future writing adventures. I was so overwhelmed with hitting that 5k marker tonight I’m eager to see what I can get done tomorrow. For now that’s all, and by the way…

4 more days until Clara and Claire release!!!!

Lindsey Richardson

 

 

NaNoWriMo: Day 12

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First before I go any further, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who participated in the cover reveal yesterday. I had a great time connecting with all of you, and it has me even more excited for the release. (Who knew that was possible?!)

As for NaNoWriMo… it’s day 12. This month is flying by, and I’ve been somewhat counter productive. I’m going to admit it hasn’t been my strongest month, and definitely not my strongest NaNoWriMo. The past 2 that I participated in I had been writing the final two books in the Magicians series. Then I at least had more comfort with the setting, characters, etc. That’s not to excuse how poorly I feel like I’m doing this year, but it’s a big difference.

I was almost at 10k the other day when I decided to (for the third time) “start over.” Now I’m at 5k. Here’s how it happened. The first story idea I threw out entirely. Then the second story idea lead me into what is now the third story idea (and hopefully the last!). As much as I’ve been trying to follow my own advice, and the advice of others, you can’t write for 30 days a story you don’t have passion for. So this third idea I’m not working into I started yesterday. I wrote 5k since yesterday afternoon to this morning, so it seems to be working out so far. I have a lot more as far as the world and magic system written down to help me know where to go next.

12 days in doesn’t seem like too much. It seems like maybe if you’re behind you can still catch up, and for those of you, like me, who are I still believe that. I believe you can catch up; sometimes you just need to make it past the beginning. I’m going to hold onto that hope solely because I’d love to have at least a 50k novel at the end of this month. But regardless at this point even if I don’t win NaNoWriMo with 50k, I’m determined to win by walking away with a story idea I’ll stick with long after November.

This book I’m working on right now is meant to set me up for my next several releases. So it carries a lot of weight in terms of where I want to move forward with my books and for my readers.

So we’ll see… maybe I can do it, and maybe not. At this point I’m looking more at what’s in front of me than at the stats on NaNoWriMo that tell me I’m not going to finish until January if I continue on at this pace.

So tell me, are you behind, ahead or on track? Leave a comment below with what’s been working for you this month.

Lindsey Richardson

NaNoWriMo 2016

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With October almost being at an end, it’s time to talk about NaNoWriMo. I’m going to do my best job making this post friendly and useful to people who are new to this challenge and those who are familiar with it.

For those of you who have never heard of the challenge, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. And of course if you have the energy and sanity to write more, you don’t have to stop at the 50k mark. It’s not a challenge that’s for everyone, and that’s okay. NaNoWriMo requires a lot of hard work in a short amount of work. Some authors hate it, others love it. It’s a challenge that I myself debate about every year. So if you’re debating and you can’t make up your mind, probably the best suggestion I can give you is it never hurts to try. The great thing about NaNoWriMo is you can write anything. Write fan fiction if you want to. If it’s your first time just write for the fun of it because that’s going to help you move closer and closer to your goal.

But most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t make it about winning.

I’ve been a member of NaNoWriMo for 8 years –and 6 of those 8 years I participated. Only once did I officially win (though technically in 2013 I would have wrong but uploaded a few minutes after the deadline). I never do this challenge because I want to win, though that’s a great motivator to keep in your mind. I do this because I love to write, and NaNoWriMo is the time to bust out the novel you’ve been neglecting or the story you were afraid to write. It’s just one month, and then if you absolutely hate what you wrote you can move on with your life. Sounds like a good enough deal to me.

Reasons to not do NaNoWriMo this year? It differs for everyone, but only you know your time management and schedule. Last year I didn’t do it because of my wedding and honeymoon all happening in November. This year I’m going to try to do it, despite the fact that by November I’ll be in a whole new state. It never hurts to try the challenge and then take it one day at a time. With this challenge that’s all you really can do because if you start analyzing it too much you’ll lose your mind.

If you’re eager to learn more and join, go ahead and stop by NaNoWriMo‘s official site. Feel free to stop on by my profile and add me as a buddy. I’ve uploaded my NaNoWriMo novel for this year, and I’ll be sharing more details about it later this month, but for now I’ll leave you with the mock cover I designed.

only-parts-of-me

Only Parts of Me will be my 2016 NaNoWriMo novel. I don’t have any more details to share at the moment because I’m still prepping, but I’ll let you know more before the start of November. And keep in mind this isn’t the novel I’m planning to release next after Clara and Claire (but it may possibly be for a future release).

What about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year, and what’s your novel? Leave links in the comments, and I’ll go check out your novels. I’ll be sharing more tips and details about the challenge later on.

Lindsey Richardson

Preparing for Publication

preparing-for-publication

This is the part I both love and hate at the same time as far as self publishing goes. You would think after doing it three times I would have it memorized, but I’m terrible at remembering. (I think this time I’ll save what I have as a template for my next book that way it’ll be all ready and I won’t have to do as much.)

I am going to do one final read through of Clara and Claire. But as of right now I’m working on getting it ready for publication. I’m doing the interior design (in terms of the formatting) myself, since my original plan fell through. And so far it’s not as difficult as I thought it would be, but once I put it into Createspace that’ll be the real test (because nothing is easy there).

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To give you an idea of what I’m working with so far, this is what I have so far, though this picture was taken before I actually edited it slightly. But you get the idea. I’m moving on to headers and footers and inserting page numbers on all the pages. And I’m also speaking with people in the Createspace community to make sure any of my last minute questions are answered.

The thing with self publishing, not matter how many times I do it, is that it always reminds me how much I’m actually capable of. It’s a lot to take on, but knowing I’ve done it in the past and it can only get better, I’m feeling better about the whole experience. Later tonight I’m also going to start planning a cover reveal date, so I’ll let you know when that is and have a sign up sheet for anyone who’s interested. The cover reveal will also include a release date, so I have to plan both of those together (and around my schedule with moving and all…).

I also need to set up the ebook and format that, so either tonight or tomorrow I’ll start working on that conversion as well.

But finally being at this point with Clara and Claire has me excited. I’ve seen my author friends releasing their books, and now I’m eager to release mine. And since I’m now working with just my schedule alone I’m aiming for a 2015 release. I’ll be able to determine for sure the date and everything once I have a proof of the book. I’ve been so eager to see the book cover physically in my hands!

Keep an eye out on my social media, as I’ll be sharing as I go through the different processes. And if you have any tips for formatting please leave them below in the comments –I’ll use anything I can get!

Lindsey Richardson

October 2016

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October is here! I feel like September flew by. Maybe it was because of just how much happened in September with finishing edits and sending my book off to my editor and with the news of the move. But nonetheless, fall is upon us. And as always, with a new month I like to lay out the new goals I have.

First thing’s first. Perhaps the most important item on the list to talk about. Clara and Claire is in the hands of my editor. She’s on her second read through of the book, and then she’ll be sending me everything that I need to fix in terms of relating to the content editing. Then after that I’ll send it back to her. This process can’t be rushed. I’m working around her schedule, and she’s working with mine. But I promise you that we both are working very hard to ensure this book can release as soon as possible. Again, I sadly don’t have a release date for Clara and Claire, but I didn’t want you to think I had forgotten about the book. There will be more teasers, though I lot of them I’m saving for closer to release. We have the cover reveal, blog tour, and more to look forward to. Every time I get anything back from my editor I’m going to work hard and efficiently to get things done.

So can I guarantee that Clara and Claire will release in 2016? Not anymore unfortunately. I didn’t want to take away from the process of how my editor does her work. So when I had the choice between taking away from edits and releasing maybe in January at the earliest, or letting my editor do as she normally does and releasing sometime after January 2017, I chose the ladder. I want this book to be my best book yet. I don’t want to release it until it’s perfect and ready for you to read. So while I hate the idea that it probably can’t release in 2016, this year is coming to an end very soon and then we won’t have much longer of a wait. Obviously as the months continue I’m going to be able to give you a better idea of how close we’re looking at a release.

Again I can’t stress enough how much I appreciate everyone’s patience and support during all of this. I promise the wait is going to be worth it!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about what I’m doing this month. There’s actually a lot going on this month, and some of it I’ll talk about later on. I’ll most likely be received the edits back from my editor this month so I’ll be working on that as soon as I get it. In the meantime I’ve been debating on what story I want to write next. While the break from writing is nice, I really miss writing and need to get back into it. Since November is coming up I’ve decided I’m going to pick out my NaNo novel and get to work on that. I’m aiming for my book to be well over 50k, so don’t worry I’ll edit the word count appropriately for NaNo and talk more about that once we’re closer to November.

I can’t wait to write something new, and the great part about NaNoWriMo novels is that I can share the title and the summary with you up front. Something I can’t do with what’s actually my next book that I plan on releasing (after Clara and Claire). If you follow me on Pinterest I’ve been making new boards for new books, and I’m actually deciding between two right now, so if you have any input feel free to comment below with your suggestions!

Now that October has officially begun I’m going to make it my mission to decide on my NaNo novel before the end of next week. I’ll keep you updated! If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo this year let me know what you’re writing or if, like me, you’re still undecided. Thank you again so much for all the support!

Lindsey Richardson