It's time for What's Up Wednesday, a weekly meme run by Erin L Funk and Jaime Morrow. Here's what I've been up to this past week!
What I'm reading
I read Silver Shadows, the latest in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series. It's as addictive and intense as all her books, and didn't disappoint!
I also read The Falconer by Elizabeth May, which I loved! A book about a faerie-killing girl in a steampunk version of 19th century Edinburgh...yes please! And it more than met my expectations. *waits impatiently for sequel*
Then I read The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I see what the fuss is about now! I actually bought the sequels immediately after finishing.
And I read The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, and wow. I like epic fantasy, but I'm super-picky about it (purple prose turns me off!). This, however, is awesome - I couldn't put it down!
What I'm writing
Carrying on with my artsy WIP. :) Had a few really good writing days last week! I've also been plotting my Shiny New Series (which doesn't have a name yet). This is going to be a long process, but I've decided not to stress about when I'll actually start writing it. It normally takes me several months to plan a series and this one's particularly complicated, so I'm working on it in stages. But I think I've put in enough time so far to say that it's definitely going to be an Actual Thing (at some point!).
What inspires me
The Harry Potter books. Just 'cause. And J. K. Rowling, of course.
What else I've been up to
My book re-released! :D Yep - Darkness Watching is back on sale! I'm doing KDP Select for the next three months, so the ebook's only available on Amazon (it made sense, seeing as Amazon accounts for about 95% of my sales!). I also signed the contracts for Darkworld Books 4 and 5, so the rest of my series is definitely on track to be published by Curiosity Quills! *bounces*
And I'm...officially back in the query trenches with The Clockmaker's Key. o.O
It's also time for IWSG! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.
I've been thinking a lot about goals lately. For instance, word count goals just aren't helpful to me anymore. I do like to use the progress counter in Scrivener as a motivator, but in terms of daily writing goals, not so much. Sometimes the best thing to do is stop and re-outline or rethink before plunging ahead. This is the main reason NaNoWriMo doesn't work for me (though my record is 66,000 words in a month...but with three different projects!) - I can't guarantee consistent progress on one project without ending up typing nonsense for the sake of meeting the word count and then having to backtrack. Most issues can be fixed in revisions, true, but I find knowing that I'll have to rewrite from scratch can be off-putting enough to stop me writing altogether!
Also, my first drafts are short. I'm not the kind of writer who has to axe 40K in a second draft - my first drafts come out at around 55-70K (the highest so far has been 72K, the lowest my MG fantasy at 46K) and then I add 10-15K in revisions. So I finish my drafts quite quickly (2-3 months), but the actual word count is much lower than a lot of writers I know. It also means that if something goes wrong, it can't just be cut out - it means a total rewrite. Often, taking some time away actually saves time later down the line. So...I guess I'm saying that I'm not going to be insecure about low word counts anymore!
As for overall writing career goals, I'm in a good place, I think. The first half of this year was a minefield of self-doubt triggers which left me doubting everything and it's such a relief to have some idea where I'm going...though specific goals depend on how I fare in the query trenches this time around! Yep - I'm querying my MG fantasy this month. And it's nerve-wracking, to say the least. But I'm also working on a backup plan in case things don't work out, and it's amazing how much it helps to quieten those evil voices of Self-Doubt. Mostly, those voices tend to stem from not feeling in control of my own career (a curse of having OCD/anxiety), so having that plan in place is really helping me move forward with my writing projects. :)
Now all I need is a way to reassure Future Emma when she inevitably falls into a pit of insecurity again. I guess it's all part of this crazy rollercoaster of a writing life!