New Year, New Writing Goals: January 2023 Writing Update

I can’t believe January is over already! I didn’t get a whole lot of writing done, but that’s exactly what I expected. This month was all about getting back into self publishing. I set up budgets, reached out to freelancers, had brainstorming/plotting sessions, did final self-edits, and more! There may not have been a whole lot of writing, but I got a lot done.

The first publishing win of the month was my purchase of a cover for Coping Mechanism and Other Disturbing Stories. This time around, I wanted to try using a pre-made cover. During my long and unplanned hiatus of 2022, I spent some of my spare time combing through website after website of pre-made covers. I was pining after what I couldn’t have. Browsing page after page of cover art, I got a feel for market expectations and fueled my fantasies of what Coping Mechanism could look like once it gets published. And then I found THE ONE.

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ve already seen the cover art I purchased from BookCoverZone. It was an absolute must have. It’s dark, creepy, and relates to the titular story of the collection. If you didn’t subscribe to my newsletter in time, you’ll just have to wait to see it. Keep an eye out for updates in February!

I lucked out mere days later when I hired Brett Savory to be my copy editor and proofreader. I reached out to a number of editors – one even declined thanks to the trigger warning I provided – and Brett’s response to my proposal hit all the right notes. He was the obvious choice for this project, and I am so honoured and grateful to have such an experienced editor on my side. Since then, I have been impatiently waiting for his deadline to come around so that I can start the next phase of publication.

After doing more self-edits on Coping Mechanism before sending everything off to Brett, I did actually manage to find time to write other things. And once the collection was out of my hands, I was finally able to tackle some new and abandoned projects. My new work schedule at my day job has allowed me just enough extra writing time each week to make a significant difference, and I no longer feel like I’m falling behind in my writing goals.

Thanks to another AutoCrit writing challenge, I’ve started another short story called “Domino Effect”. It’s a quirky little post-apocalyptic tale with a gruesome ending, and I’ve enjoyed playing around with the writing prompts that were thrown my way as part of the challenge. I’m not entirely sure if this is one that I would like to publish, so at this point it’s likely that “Domino Effect” will become the 2023 Holiday Gift. But I have plenty of time to make that decision.

Other writing projects this month have included further edits on “Cold Cuts and Cigarettes” – as that is something I would like to publish this year – and lots of brainstorming/plotting for other projects. I’ve come up with new story ideas, and I’ve figured out solutions to some of the problems I’ve encountered in ongoing projects. I even started writing a traumatic little novella about goats.

So how do I keep track of all of these projects? I have my old file clerk job to thank for that one. I created a spreadsheet! For each ongoing project, I log where I am in terms of writing, editing, and all the other steps involved in publication. Colour coding helps me mark which projects are on hold, which ones are in the hands of other readers/editors, and which ones I am actively working on.

Maybe I’m being a little bit extra.

But with so many writing and publishing goals, and so much progress for the first month of the year, it feels good to have a system like that set up. It reminds me not to get too far ahead of myself, and try not to have too many ongoing projects at the same time (I do not want to burn out again). But it also helps keep me motivated because it shows just how much I have accomplished so far.

I am so happy with how January has gone, and I’m really proud of the writing and editing I’ve done. Keep an eye out on social media and my website – I guarantee, there will be plenty of updates for all you readers this year, and lots of spooky stories for me to share with you.

Happy Reading!

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