This a summary of the highs and lows of my writing this month.
My goals were:
- Finish Sky Heart
- Read two books
You are about to discover neither of those goals were met. I failed Camp NaNo but hopefully you’ll agree my month was still a success when you see how much I did achieve off plan.
Ocean Heart Cover
This has been one of the most exciting developments this month.
I had to complete a very in-depth questionnaire about my novel that challenged me to think about things I hadn’t thought about. I even did an Ingram Spark course and measured books from my bookshelf to figure out what trim size I needed.
The questionnaire also got me excited about the future of the series as it helped me visualise it becoming a reality and not just an idea in my head.
My cover designer sent me the first draft. I shared it with some close author friends to get their feedback. They loved it and didn’t want me to change a thing.
But, I’ve waited such a long time for this moment, I wanted the cover to be perfect. The cover was stunning but there were tiny details I wanted tweaked. I felt awkward asking for changes to such a gorgeous cover but my designer was so nice about it – actually she was excited to make it even better.
My cover designer sent me the second draft and it’s the one. I am now trying to work out how to do a cover reveal – eek!
Ocean Heart Blurb
I loved the blurb I wrote for Ocean Heart. Over the years I’ve tweaked it and used it on sites like WeBook to Wattpad.
I’m going to share a blog post on the “making of the blurb” but the new version is so much better. I’m glad I asked for help.
Finish Sky Heart
I wanted to finish the first draft of Sky Heart but when I opened the manuscript I was lost as to what was going on!
I went back to the start and began making notes on the chapters. I thought it was a good first draft. But, in my read through, I found so many mistakes. So many!
I’ll confess I am intimidated by the amount of work needed here. Although I haven’t been physically working on it, I have been thinking about how to develop and improve what I’ve got.
Expanding my Social Network
I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole in trying to find out the truth the mainstream news won’t report on. It started with the Coronavirus, then a few conspiracy theories… and recently anything about Jeffrey Epstein & Ghislaine Maxwell, and the full details of Johnny Depp vs Sun (Amber Heard’s accusations).
Before, I drag you off on a tangent, the reason I mentioned this is my search for the truth opened my eyes to more social media.
Parler is similar to Twitter but without political biases. They allow content to be from both sides of an argument as long as you don’t breech their community guidelines.
The benefits are that the ‘tweets’ look nicer on Parler and there is more engagement (interaction).
The negatives are the link to my profile doesn’t seem to work, so I can’t share it. Also, I’m not into USA politics and Parler is heavily saturated with Trump supporters that have been silenced on Twitter.
YouTube (Ally Aldridge)
Thanks to learning about making videos for Noah’s channel, it’s made me think more about daring to make my own content.
This month I made and edited two videos and plan to launch my channel next month. Eek!
This is kind of like an RSS feed for social media. My page is linked to my Instagram and YouTube. Whenever I post to those sites it appears in my SuperFanz feed. I’m still navigating the site but it looks good.
I was very briefly on here to see what all the fuss is about. Then, I heard the site is mining data. I deleted the app but couldn’t see how to delete my account.
I’m still figuring this out but it seems to be a networking site for authors newsletters. They feature each other in their newsletters to boost each other.
I need to dare to get involved but I’m currently sitting on the sidelines trying to figure it out.
I joined this site but not figured out how to use it. It seems to be similar to Good Reads where you can review & recommend books and follow authors.
I think there are tools for authors to promote their books and give fans offers.
Ocean Heart Copy Edit
Ocean Heart has gone back to my editor for a final copy edit. We had a meeting to discuss some parts of my novel. It was great getting to speak to my editor, she’s really insightful and encouraging – whilst highlighting my mistakes.
My editor doesn’t think it’ll take me too long to go through the changes but… I worry I’m slower than most people.
Once it comes back to me, I’ll work on it for a month then send to my formatter.
So, my goal this month was to do the Storyseller Academy course. When I got midway through the month and realised I’d still not had time, I was very cross with myself. I vowed to make it a priority. I’m not sure what happened but I still haven’t made any progress on this.
I honestly want to do this course and it frustrates me that it’s not happened. Why? Because it’s full of important content, I want to give it my full attention.
During the day, I’m very distracted. It can take me a whole morning to post on Instagram because the kids keep interrupting me. In the evenings, I’m often tired from the day and have to squeeze everything in from self care & time with my husband through to urgent actions for Ocean Heart.
This course is specifically about how to successfully sell your books which is what I need to learn very soon! I may just do it without taking notes – it’s not like I can’t re-watch the videos.
Ingram Sparks course
I did one of the free Ingram Sparks course to get a better understanding of the different book formats, sizes and trims etc.
I started a course on how to start a YouTube channel. I want to create an authortube/booktube channel with a little vlogging. It’s all bitesize learning.
Google Digital Garage in collaboration with Open University
I almost finished their digital marketing course. For a free course it was pretty good. It covers a lot of the basics about creating an online presence and when I finish it I’ll get a certificate – Yay!
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
I read my physical books when Aria is asleep. She is the destroyer of books and it really upsets me when she destroys them. After a month of heavy editing, I am trying to spend more evenings with my husband. As a result, I’m now only up to chapter 26 – I estimate this as 75% if the way through .
When I should be reading, I’ve been watching the entire season of Warrior Nun and Cursed, both on Netflix.
Agent Undone by Cassidy Reyne
I usually read eBooks during the day but recently life has been full of day time distractions and this has taken a knock. I’m up to chapter 10 which my kindle says is roughly 30% through.
I’ve written three blog posts for World Indie Warriors. They are scheduled for August and all about how you can get involved in the WIW Brochure!
It hasn’t all been work, work, work. I literally took time off from my day job and spent a long weekend with my hubby and kids just chilling out together. We ate cheesecake and shushi.
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