March 2015 in Review

Starting in January, I decided it would be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

While February was a transitional month as I switched from working on The Winter Garden to book three of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices, March was nearly wholly devoted to my latest project.  Beginning to work on book three has been a refreshing change even if it did take nearly half a month.  I feel much better about March than I did about February, and I hope that April will be even better.

What I did accomplish:

  1. The Winter Garden is published in ebook and paperback
  2. The final draft of my thesis proposal has been turned in
  3. Wrote two chapters of book three
  4. The Winter Garden received 4 reviews on Amazon and 5 on Goodreads thus far
  5. Bought the rest of my books for my thesis
  6. Began to read up on marketing and bought one of Joanna Penn’s books
  7. Wrote consistently on my blog

Goals for April:

  1. Continue to research marketing
  2. Plot and write more of book three
  3. Have between 5 and 10 reviews of The Winter Garden
  4. Manage stress better
  5. Finish reading my books for class
  6. Get cracking on my final paper for my Women and Autonomy class
  7. Keep writing, blogging, and updating

It’s out! It’s out! The Winter Garden is out!  It’s been mentioned numerous times already, but it is my biggest accomplishment this month. It’s been out for about two weeks now, and already has a few very favorable reviews. Part of me is impatient for reviews. I want to know what others think of my characters, but I know it’s three hundred pages and will take time to get through.  I don’t know what else could top releasing a second book in terms of accomplishments or hype.

The only thing that could nearly top that is finishing my thesis proposal.  At a whopping seven pages and eighteen sources, it is done and turned in to my advisor for any final comments before it’s handed over to the thesis committee *cue dramatic music*.  By handing in my thesis proposal and (hopefully) getting it approved, I will only have one more year left until I receive my MFA in creative writing.  As soon as it is approved, I can sign up for my thesis class and really get cracking on book three.

Ah, yes, book three. My problem child and current project.  For the first few weeks of writing it, it was ridiculously hard and slow. As I mentioned in last month’s review post, I don’t find it easy to transition between projects, especially when I am put under the gun to do them.  At the beginning of the month, I made a spreadsheet and tried to hold myself accountable for how much I wrote.  In the end, it was too hard to stick to a specific word count due to school and work, but I pushed myself to write or edit every day to keep myself working.  When I first begin a project, I’m either a hundred percent into it or not into it at all.  This project has been the latter, but suddenly, it seems to have clicked into place in the middle of chapter two.  Part of my problem I think lies in my thesis proposal. I had to come up with tons of ideas for book three, and while it’s great for me to have a plan, it feels a bit confining even if I don’t need to stick with my ideas.  This is why I included manage stress better on my list for April.

My main goals for April are simple: write more of book three, work on my essay for my literature class, and read my book on marketing. I invested in Joanna Penn’s How to Market Your Book, and I am hoping it will give me some insight on what more I can do to promote the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series.  On or around April 15th, I will make an announcement about book three, so stay tuned!

I also fixed my newsletter sign-up, which I didn’t realize wasn’t working. If you would like updates on my latest projects, previews, or deals, sign-up here.  I will only send it out once in a while (probably every few months), so you won’t have to worry about spam.

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