Writing Word Counts:
Weekly Total WC – 7,002 (2431/25% decrease)
Editing Word Counts:
Weekly Total WC – 0
I think my progress breakdown says it all. I missed my targets for writing, and the only goal I managed to hit for last week was not obsessing over my sales numbers and checking them constantly. Last I check Aether Walker Game Changer was ranked around #65,000 for the store. Given the money I’ve sunk into advertising I’m a little disappointed, but I knew that the odds were against me. Once I’ve launched Aether Walker End Game (Book 3) I’ll evaluate if the series is a success or failure. I’m defining success as break even plus $500 per novel over three months. Meaning I should know by July.
I’ve been thinking of what to write next, and I have loads more stories to tell in the Aether Walker universe. However, before I start spin offs/side stories, I’m going to try my hand at another series. I’m also giving series thought of serialized stories. Mostly to build momentum and increase my publish schedule. I think if I were to set up several deadlines for myself where I have to put something out every two weeks, the fear of Amazon’s wrath would push me to produce more words, and at higher quality. However, that’s still a few months away. I only think about three to six months out at a time, and I only plan 30-60 days at time. I find anything more than a weekly schedule is a waste of time, because I’m always adapting and shifting my process.
For instance next week I’m going to ignore word counts and try long stretches of writing time. This will be new for me. I’ve never sat down and wrote for more than two hours. Creating a four-hour window where all I’ll do is write, with no phone, internet, or distractions will be new. My hope is after a day or two I’ll be able to hit flow state and stay in it for longer stretches of time, instead of 15-30 minutes. If I’m able to stay in flow for an hour or two, my daily word count will be astronomical compared to where it has been lately.
The little one is with her grandmother this weekend, which might be why I’ve been so unproductive. The spouse and I used the time to hang out. We had some great meals and spent long stretches of time reading together, and talking. Being a parent is rewarding, but when the child goes away for a weekend, you realize just how demanding it is. I feel like I’m back in college without a care in the world. I think taking a mini break is important for my personal health and overall life satisfaction. There’s no point achieving success, if by doing so I sacrifice happiness and fulfillment.
While I write genre fiction, I have to keep reminding myself I make art, and it’s the process that matters, not the end product. Art is about personal satisfaction. As long as I’m happy with what I’m doing that’s enough. It’ll be nice if I earn a living off my art, but if I don’t I have plenty of skills and can make a living easily enough.
Tell me what you think about the struggle between art and the market in the comments. Do you think it’s more important to focus on being able to make money from your art to allow you to make more art, or to focus on making the purest form of art possible and trust it will resonate with the right people?
Goals From This Week: (Score: 1/5)
1. Write at least 10,847 words, a 15% increase from last week.
Not even close.
2. Only check my sales rank twice a day.
I might have checked more than twice once, but yesterday I only checked once so I’m counting this.
3. Make a blog post in addition to my week recap.
I didn’t get nearly enough writing done this week, including this.
4. Find 10 new ARC readers for Aether Walker Queen’s Gambit
I didn’t do this, but I did gain two more reviews, bringing my total up to four.
5. Make a Kboards post of my marketing results.
After discussing this with my girl friend I decided it would be better to keep the data and post after the third book launches. We’d planned for success around the third book launch, so anything that happens before then is just serendipitous.
I’ve been trying to look at my short comings as learning opportunities rather than failure. However, this week was a failure.
Goals For Next Week:
1. Wake up at 9 AM.
2. Go to bed before 2 AM.
3. Write from 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
4. Write on this Week Recap daily. Log my daily mood and success.
5. Find 10 new ARC readers for Aether Walker Queen’s Gambit
As you can see, most of my goals for next week about creating schedules. I’m going to try creating rigorous restraints in my freedom of choices, to stress myself in the right way to produce great art. Just how the tree that’s blown hardest by the wind grows the tallest and strongest. My hope is that by creating strong limits on myself, I’ll be able to focus on my writing more and produce more words, and at a better quality.
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Nicholi A. K. Baldron
@NAKBaldron on twitter