Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Something's Gotta Give

Gorgeous apple soap by Be Greatful!

2014 Experimental Updates:

1. January No Book-Buying Moratorium: I almost made it to the very last day of the month without buying a book. Almost. I bought one, because it was a sequel and I just HAD to read it. But that's pretty darned good.

And I just got my credit card bill and it's FABULOUS (as in fabulously small)! Woo hoo!

2. Finishing a novella: I finished my geriatric love story WIP in about two weeks. After letting it languish for a year. How? I decided that my new 2014 goal was 2-3 hours a day of ONLY WRITING THE BOOK. No blogging. No reading. No surfing the internet and looking at dumb pics of the Kardashians.

No wasting time on Twitter, which is the biggest time-suck in the history of mankind. I toyed with the idea of deleting my Twitter account, but ultimately found that wasn't necessary. What was necessary was just some good old-fashioned discipline. Work first, play a bit later. Huh! THAT WORKS!


3. Because I have a wee little problem saying "NO" I am usually over-extended. I give talks, I beta read for folks, I help other authors with promo strategies, I read and review. And at the very bottom of the totem pole was MY WRITING.

I made a big decision for 2014.



My book comes first. My 2-3 hours of writing a day. After that, I can read, review, edit, email, tweet, etc. This new selfish approach is something different for me. It does not feel natural, but I'm working on it. This means I'll have less blog posts this year, but more books published. That's the pay-off.

Something has to give.

And hopefully it's not my sanity. (Oops! Too late!)

Crazy eyes.

4. The $1000 Cocktail Party: When I was a newb, "professional" conferences were super-duper helpful. I got to take workshops about POV and conflict, I got to meet other authors and soak up their knowledge, I got to query my books to editors/agents.

(I have the word "professional" in quotes because some of these conferences--which shall remain nameless--include male strippers and bingo games, and although fun and entertaining, those are probably outside the realm of what constitutes a professional conference).

Anyhoo, now that I'm old and haggard and co-hosting my own symposiums, the appeal for these events has come down to more or less one major benefit: the cocktails. I go to conferences with my buds and we drink, laugh, and have a merry old time. The problem? We have to pay for registration, travel, and hotel, and it becomes an expensive proposition with little professional pay-off. I don't query anymore, I self-pub. The majority of workshops I've attended in the last year have been less than stellar. At my last RWA conference, the keynote speakers were horrible, the workshop grid was incomplete, and the food sucked.

And I paid for that.

Since I am trying to focus on THE WRITING, I decided to just cut this stuff right out of my schedule this year. No more conferences, organizations, or workshops. Just...THE WRITING.

If I want to get together with my buds and drink and laugh and critique, we'll rent a house in Vermont--which we are doing....yipppppeeeeeee!

5. Stay tuned for release information about APPLES SHOULD BE RED. I'm expecting a March launch date. And the adorable Etsy shop Be Greatful is designing super cool promo items for me, including apple lip balms and gorgeous apple soaps (see photo at top of post).

Happy Week to all!

Feeling streamlined,


Unknown said...

You go girl.

Unknown said...

Gorg cover and congrats on the new plan for focusing on your writing. Can't wait to read your new stuff! :)

Unknown said...

You are an inspiration! Write on, write on, write on.

Julia Barrett said...

I'm in love with that cover! Gorgeous! Yeah, you're right about time sucks. I plan to follow your example as soon as I can type reasonably well.

Tales of Whimsy said...

That sounds like a really good plan. (The your book first plan).

OMG OMG OMG I'm SO running over to BG now. We're addicted to her stuff in this house.

Apples? YUM!

Heidenkind said...

What is this discipline you speak of? ;)

Jessi said...

Good luck focusing on the writing, Penny! And good for you for shaking things up to try and increase your output.

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

Awww...even NEC? Bummer. But I understand. I signed up, but I also see it as a time to get away from my home life for a few days.

I had to make a new rule: word count for the day MUST be completed before social media playing.

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, Penny Jr!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Lindsay! I love that cover, too.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Heather! I just got an idea for a Stephen King-ish story today. UH OH!

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, Julia! Sending get well wishes to your poor finger!

Penny Watson said...

Juju....so glad to hear you love BG stuff. Isn't it the best?

Penny Watson said...

Tasha...I can only do "discipline" in very small serving sizes. :^)

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, Jessi. The good thing is that this plan is not overwhelming. Only 2-3 hours a day is enough to get quite a lot accomplished. I usually write about 1000 words an hour, so I'm doing 2000-2500 words a day plus edits. That's enough for me!

Penny Watson said...

HMCW--I'm taking a little breaky-breaky from the national and local organizations this year. But you know you can always find me on FB, email, etc. I'm still around!

Anonymous said...

Go you!! I'm finding that social media is taking up way too much of my time too. And I don't do anywhere near what others do. My Tweeting has nearly stopped though I do still indulge in Facebook, though only for my pen name. But I've found that when I have a new blog post, I get way more traffic through FB and hardly any through Twitter.

I'm excited that you have a new book out. Can't wait to get it. So now I can bug you to get the Klaus brothers back on track, right??

Penny Watson said...

Hi Kari! Yes, you can bug me. That is DEFINITELY in the schedule for this year!