Every writer is different and each one has a unique process that works for them. This post is about my process. I’ve completed three novels over the past six years and with each one, I naturally fell into a routine that worked well for me. I usually start working on a novel at the beginning of the year in January and I have the bulk of it completed by late August. From September to November, I edit and polish it. By Thanksgiving, the manuscript is in the hands of my close circle of friends/family who give me their impressions. From Thanksgiving until New Year’s, I take a much needed break from writing/editing and devote my time to preparing for the holidays, holiday shopping, my kids’ birthdays and all of the 1001 things I tend to put off during the year while I’m immersed in writing.
But this year was different: I spent the first half of the year preparing my novel, Luminous for publication and editing it over and over, countless times. I was also working with my graphic designer on the cover, going through the self-publishing process for the first time, establishing an online presence in the form of my website and social media sites, promoting the book at a local convention and a myriad of other tasks to establish my marketing platform. My head is still spinning! Since the Luminous ebook was released in mid-August, I’ve been feverishly researching promotion avenues as well as preparing the paperback for release. Still, the best thing an author can do to promote their first novel is to write another one and publish the polished, edited, shining example of your work as quickly as possible. With that in mind, I’m feeling pretty comfortable since I have the sequel, Prism, completed and waiting for the final polish for ebook publication. The book that has me a little nervous is the third novel in the series because I refuse to publish the sequel until I have a decent, completed draft of the third book waiting in the wings.
With that said, National Novel Writing Month is November. How fortuitous! By accepting the challenge of NaNoWriMo to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I’ll be giving myself the best Christmas gift this year–peace of mind knowing that my third novel in the Psyne series is completed and that I can proceed with publishing the sequel on schedule for release in May 2014. Since I’ve been spoiled with writing my novels over a 10 month period of time in the past, this will be quite the challenge for me but I thrive under structure and I’m hoping this is just the boost I need to focus so I can complete my third novel. It’s time to leave my past behind. I’m not merely a writer aspiring to publish anymore. Now I’m a published author with fans to think of and I need to supply them with what I know best–my Psyne! I’ll keep you posted on my progress come November and I wish all the best to my fellow WriMos! May the Muse be with you!