Writing Week a Success...& Something Else New & Fun!

Hey There! Though it’s just been a week, it feels like it’s been ages! Ages since I’ve sent a blog out into Blogland.

Last week I embarked on an intense Writing Week—a “vaca” from pretty much everything that wasn’t writing. (Blogging here, included.) And the result? Great! Actually, even better.

I had, as I typically do when writing books, made a words-per-week-goal for this new book. Before I embarked on this writing week whim I had already found myself much farther along in the writing process than I had originally anticipated. Writing Bumped to Berlin was a much slower process than this book and since that was the only published-work experience I had to go off of, I set the similar words-per-week bar for this second book. Figured it was a decent template with which to work.

Now before last week I was a good ten or fifteen thousand or words ahead of schedule. I surprised myself! So I decided to scrap that original plan that I used for Bumped and go into writing week with a freshened, yet still realistic, words-per-week approach. I upped the ante to have at least 60,000 words complete before the end of writing week.

I wasn’t sure, initially, how many words this new book would be. I don’t like to strap myself to any one way or set amount, since I think a writer should be open to whatever muse may come (all muses save for those that beckon you to the TV or to your “currently reading” book). I decided to set the book to a cap of 90,000 words, give a take some thousand, just as I did with Bumped to Berlin. Bumped turned out to be 93,500+ (more than I had expected; and I had cut a few thousand on top of that) so I thought setting another 90,000 max word count for this book was a good idea, too. Of course, staying subject to the muse.

Well the muse came and resulted in a 67,000+ work…and a finished work! Yup, writing week paid off my friends. I surpassed the 60,000 word goal and found myself writing “THE END” to the book. Keep in mind this is the rough (and I mean rough) draft of my next book, but I actually wrote and wrote until I arrived at the ending.

The ending did come about 10,000 words shy of what I really thought it would be, but hey, that’s what the muse dictated. I struggle with wanting to write and write and eventually, sometimes, end up droning on and on…while at the same time I struggle with wanting to make the book to “just get to the point.” I think this 67,000 rough draft mark is a happy medium. And I hope the second round of edits that I’ll be beginning come this Tuesday will be a breeze. (A writer can hope, right?)

So writing week was pretty awesome, if I may say so myself. And I decided to join in a Kindleboards.com’s February writing challenge of completing 60,000 words by good ‘ol Leap Year Day. Well by George when I signed up (yeah, like a little late— around the 14th I think it was), I realized I was already at 59,500! So I decided not to be that resident toot-your-own-horn indie author on the forum and figured I’d participate in the challenge somewhat quietly. I guess I can post my results tomorrow or so… It’s a fun community for fellow indie authors and a great encouraging group of peeps. It’s so neat to see that the wide world of ebooks has allowed so many aspiring writers to come out of the woodworks. And great writers with a future or not, it’s just so awesome. I love that we can get out there and just offer the world whatever gibberish or perfectly polished piece we have (of course I strive for the latter all the time).

Writing week turned out awesome for a lot of reasons, as you can see.

Recap: Surpassed my words-per-week goal. Accomplished the challenge Kindleboards.com had. Actually survived writing week (I had to push grocery shopping to yesterday and cleaning to today, which are usually dedicated Wednesday chores). I had to put down Baby Proof (a re-read I felt like doing) many times, and I had to limit my city outings or random neighborhood walks, even though fresh air is healthy. (In my defense I stuck my head out the balcony door for a chilly fresh breeze a few times in between writing scenes.) I plugged away and gave in to the muse, which sometimes was at odds with me, but nothing due diligence and rounds of espresso couldn’t cure. And the final recap point: the rough draft of the whole book is done! I think it’s safe to say that the 67,000 rough draft No. 1 of this new book is mighty fine. I am so excited to start pushing it towards completion.

That takes me to exciting news Part 2 today. So yeah, the next book’s now going through my next round of personal editing and then it will soon head off to my beta readers (a new editing process I’m implementing for this book). But some other cool news?

Bumped to Berlin’s paperback proof arrived in the mail!!

Yup, it recently arrived and I have never been so overjoyed. Okay, anything positive that’s related to my indie author career has been overjoying, but this was like the hilt. It’s awesome to see your work live and actually sold as an ebook, but the physical paperback, however oldskool papyrus may be, is pretty frickin’ awesome! The cover (thanks, husband!) is like 99% flawless. He’s going to shift some of the text on the front a bit, and I’m going to implement my mighty round of red-penned physical edits that I’ve done over writing week and this weekend. Then it’ll be live! The paperback for sale! When? I think I can firmly say next week! (Stay tuned on the Blog because I'll be sure to share when it's live!)

I decided, since the book had come in the mail, that writing week would be spent writing my brains out, as well as editing what I had already written for Bumped. Work is, work, right? I just now, this early evening, finished reading Bumped all over again…yet again…and have made some basic edits to make it even more polished. It doesn’t have a pro editor, but it’s my first indie pubbed work and I’m really proud of it. It’s 100% me…with the cover work from my hubs, of course.

Alright, this is a long blog post and it’s time I close the successful week by baking a homemade pizza! We got all very fresh ingredients as we did our grocery shopping yesterday. Toppings tonight are fresh champignons! Or Pilze. Funghi, anyone? I love a good mushroom pizza, and so does the husband, so I need to hop off this computer and bake away! Homemade crust and all! (Alright, I cheated a little by using a leftover dough batch that I managed to squeeze into the narrow confines of our poor excuse for a freezer. But I home-made it, nonetheless.)

Thank you for your support, everyone. And thanks for going along for the ride with me. Writing week was a quiet break from Facebook and my new Twitter account, and my blogging, and general indie author forum participation, not to mention my wedding blogging and marketing business, but it was well worth it. My next book is coming soon (this early summer / late Spring!) and now I’m happy to be back to normal writing, reading, working, and social media-ing as usual…and grocery shopping on Wednesdays, of course. :)

Happy Reading!