Tag Archives: goal setting

Writing is a Muscle—Use it, or Lose it

Moonday Mania

a blog for the readers and writers

It’s the end of the summer. Out here in Colorado, kids are heading back to school, the nights are getting cooler, and we’re on to the last of my summer blogs on The Top Five Things I’ve Learned Writing Romance. Today’s topic may be the most important of all: Writing is a muscle—use it, or lose it.

Here is the list of the other top five things I’ve learned writing romance, and the links to the posts:

  1. As soon as I think I’m on a writing roll, life will intervene.
  2. The plot can be thought out in advance, but the characters are bound to have issues with whatever you’ve decided. So be flexible and roll with it.
  3. There is no such thing as the muse.
  4. There is such a thing as resistance.
  5. Writing is a muscle. Use it, or lose it.

Now on with today’s blog:

Writing is hard!

I have had a lot of ups and downs in my effort to write on a regular basis. Sometimes it seems like I get on a writing roll (writing three days a week and getting 10k done) and then it happens: life laughs at me and says “Sorry! Time for a family emergency. No writing for you!”

GRR!

Why is this so upsetting? Because, just like running, lifting weights, or even walking more than ten minutes, it when you don’t use your writing muscles, they degrade.

I know I can write. I know I can get a good sized rough draft done in about 2 months, but my health, my family’s health, and various other interruptions mean that the last book took four months to write, instead of 2. And that just frustrates me.

In fact, I think I can even do better!

I wrote for 11 days in April, 8 days in July, and four in August for a total of 66,556 words. An average of just under 3,ooo words per day. Now that sounds pretty impressive, but let’s take a better look at that. Some of those days I wrote less than 1,000 words, and some days I wrote nearly 5,000 words. Why were they different?

  • Amount of time is a piece of that: some days I only had an hour to write, some days I had four.
  • Organization is also a piece: sometimes the synopsis and beat sheet were spot on and I could really sit down and just write. Some days I had to throw out the synopsis and figure out what I needed to do.

Getting back to writing is slow writing.

But mostly, it had to do with if I’d written that week at all, or if I was sitting down to a cold and chilly keyboard. The first few days of July, when I hadn’t touched this manuscript since the end of April, my pace was super slow. The first two days: 331 and 433 respectively.

The more I sit down and write, the faster the words roll out. If I want to write a book in two months, they need to be consecutive months, they need to be consecutive weeks, and the best possible scenario? They really need to be consecutive days.

Imagine if on the days when I wrote a few hundred words, I actually wrote my average of 3,000 words. (And this really is my average. If I’m writing 2-3 days per week for 3 hours at a time, I write 3k per sitting.) My word count on those days would be 3 times what I actually wrote. And that would mean I could have written the entire rough draft in less than a month, instead of two months stretched over four months.

Wow! I’d be a superhero writer!

muscle

Photo by Denis Yang, creative commons

 

 How do you get to be your own writing superhero?

Write as much as you can as often as you can. It’s that simple. Okay, it’s not that simple. Writing is just like working out. It takes discipline and focus. And it takes getting to the job day after day, even when you don’t want to.

Notice, I can tell you what you should do, but I struggle with it myself. But when I crunch these numbers, I can see superherodom in my future. And I want it.

How can I write like this?

I won’t lie, it’s hard. But like all good things it comes with it’s own reward. Just like working out, when you write on a consistent schedule, you’ll see your muscles getting stronger.

I’m going to test out my theory. I’m goaling writing my next book in a month. It has a 50k rough draft goal. At 3k per day, that’s 16 writing days. And if I can get my writing speed up because I’m writing faster? I think it’s still 16 3 hour days because the days I wrote 5k I sat at the keyboard for an extra hour per day to make up the time from the days I couldn’t get to the writing.

So that’s the goal for the next project:

16 days writing. Want to see my plans? I’ll be detailing my calendar in my next writing post. Want to see how I do? Check in at the end of September and we’ll see how we’re doing. Thousands of people achieve this very goal in the month of November. The most I’ve ever written in 30 days is 30,000 words.

Life? Challenge accepted. Superhero, here I come!

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey, writing organization

Acceptance

Moonday Mania

a blog for the monday in all of us

***

Before I get to the blog: the Rafflecopter contest for a Kindle Fire 6 will be closing soon, so check out last weeks announcement of CINDER: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance release and enter to win.

Now, here’s the blog.

What is an author?

Lately I’ve been struggling with what being an author means. It seems to make a living in this new ebook world of ours you need to be the kind of person who gives up sleep, social life, a clean house, all in order to produce enough work to keep the hungry readers happy and satisfied. But then, just when you think you’re doing that, life happens, and you can’t possibly write enough. So what does this mean to me as an author? If I can’t produce a book a month (and let’s face it, I can’t) can I really expect to survive in this frenzied ebook world?

Write fast? Write clean? Write dirty.

I have choices. I could skip the edits….

No, I can’t.

I’m just not that person. If you know me at all you know I have to go over those books and make sure they’re as clean as I can get them. Even the dirty parts. LOL ! I personally can’t just write a draft and send it out. I need to let it sit and then edit it, and then send it to my editor. Who then helps me figure out all the re-writes it needs. And then it goes to a proofreader. So, no, I can’t just whip out a book and get it out.

So, the question becomes…

Do I write short? Do I change what I write? 

I could write serials. Shorten my books into little sections and dole them out. Or, I could write super short stories: more novellas. Complete romances that take place in 40k or less. Actually, I struggle writing short. I’m working on the edits for SCARLETT: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, right now. And it’s going to be a short novel, not a novella. Why? Because the story demands it and it’s sneaking up over 40k. I’ve given up keeping it to a novella length because I don’t want to cut out anything, especially the hotter scenes (waggles eyebrows).

So, I can’t write short. I can’t not edit. What can I do?

Roll over and take it.

My health demands that I sleep, get exercise, shop for and cook real healthy food. (Go kale!) My heart demands that I spend time with my family, take care of my parents, my kids, and my husband. And Miss Molly, my Lab mix, demands that I take her on walks.

Molly_021416

I’ve tried skipping some of this stuff and what happens? I get sick. My anxiety shoots to high levels. I just can’t do it all and feel good.

So…

I’m going to keep writing the books I love writing. I’m not moving to what’s “hot” or super short books. I love my convoluted fantasy books. I love the machinations of my villains and the snarkiness of a certain puca. And if I made them super short or left out parts or didn’t write them with the depth that they deserve, I think you, my readers, would be disappointed.

While you and me both would love to for me to write and get more books out faster, it’s just going to happen as fast as it happens. And frankly, this is pretty fast. When I think about the three years it took to write The Dark Huntsman, and I look at how fast I can write now, I’m super impressed. I am writing faster, and that’s a good thing.

Now if I can just get Molly to stop begging me for walks, we’ll be in good shape!

***

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE

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January Goals 2016

Moonday Mania

a blog for the determined goal setter

It’s that time again! Goal setting time!

I’ve fallen off of the posting wagon, but rest assured I’ve still been setting and checking off goals. Even when fighting the killer virus I looked at my goals and moaned in despair, but I still looked! So here’s what I posted last January and what I accomplished.

Here are my goals for 2015:

  1. Publish book 2.5, Cassie’s backstory from just before Broken Mirror. done
  2. Publish Broken Mirror, book three in the Tales of the Black Court. done
  3. Re-brand and publish the three novellas in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series done (published 1/2/2016 but all the work was done in 2015)
  4. Write three more novellas for Twisted Tales Series and publish. written and they will be published 2016
  5. Write fourth book in the Tales of the Black Court. (Would love to have this out and published by end of 2015, but realistically it’s looking like 2016. But I’m going to try!) Definitely 2016-not done
  6. Put all 6 Twisted Tales into an anthology. (This is also a bonus goal, but I think it’s doable!) I pushed this one into 2016

Overall it was a good year.

Of course I had a few bumps in the fall that made me fall behind, but I got nearly everything done on the list and I learned a lot. One of the things I learned is how I like to arrange my writing schedule, so I’m looking forward to putting that into place in the new year.

And in addition to these goals I actually completed my very first Nanowrimo goal during the July camp. WOOT! Someday I’ll actually write the 50k and hit the November goal, but in the meantime I’m celebrating my Camp Nano success.

Now on to 2016!

  1. Publish CINDER, SCARLETT & SILVER, the next three books in Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance
  2. Write 2 books in the Tales of the Black Court
  3. Publish 2 books in the Tales of the Black Court
  4. Write an additional novella TBD
  5. blog a little more consistently
  6. keep up with my newsletter and new street team
  7. Put the Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romances into boxed sets
  8. Write more!

I like my KISS philosophy of last year for the blog post. I have a super detailed goals list for myself where I chart and put things on the calendar, but this is the basics. If I get all of this done I will consider my year a success!

How are your goals for 2015? Did you get any of them done? A few? All of them? Leave a comment in the box below and let me know how you did. And let me know what you’re looking forward to accomplishing in the New Year!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance with wolves, elves and magic. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies.

You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

 

 

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What’s In A Badge?

Moonday Mania

a blog for the goal setter in all of us

Do you hit your goals?

As you all know I’m a super goal setter. I don’t always hit all of my goals, but I feel that without setting them, I wouldn’t get nearly as much done. And, another thing you likely know about me, I’m a big fan of National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo, as it’s affectionately called. So I really like when my goals and Nanowrimo coincide. And this year, I’ve been planning writing my next fantasy romance around Nano, so they dovetail nicely.

I try to do this every year, but some years fate intervenes. Like October 2013, when my parents were flooded out of their home in Boulder, Colorado. My November got entirely derailed because my October got derailed. But I reset and that year I skipped Nano altogether. Oh, I think I tried, but I didn’t even sign up on the page. Life was just too upside down.

And that’s okay.

But I think I should get a badge for thinking about it. 🙂

“Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges!”

Badges are a Nano perk. They are silly computer images that keep you going from goal to goal. I love when I hit a goal and a badge pops up! It’s like being a Girl Scout all over again. Every time you hit a goal, you can get a badge. They even start you off with a few, just for fun!

Pantser Badge Planner Badge Tell the world!

Participent Pep Next Generation

I’m a planner now, so I’ve earned the planner badge. Not that I’ve started outlining yet, but I will!

And I’ve told the world that I’m participating in Nanowrimo and writing another fast paced fantasy romance in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT.

Donate to NaNoWriMo and earn a Badge!

You also can earn a badge when you donate to Nanowrimo and I’m planning this year to donate 10% of my gross income from books I sell in November. Nanowrimo is a fabulous free place to start writing, and they have an amazing out-reach program to get kids writing in the classroom. My kids had fun writing at night in the library at their school write-ins. Literacy for all!

Do you love badges? What about stickers and other non-intrinsic rewards?

Leave a comment below and let me know if you love to reward yourself with stickers, smiley faces, or Nano badges. I love that kind of thing. Do you?

I’m donating 10% of my gross book sales from the month of November to Nanowrimo! WOOT!

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Camp NaNoWrimo 2015, in July!

Moonday Mania

a blog for writing

It’s Nano time again!

Camp-Participant-2015-Twitter-ProfileHello all you writers and readers out there. It’s NaNoWrimo time again, and this time we’re heading to camp! I tried to do this in April at the last Camp Nano, but I had a vacation at the end, so I missed my goal. The good news is I did write 8k+ on my latest Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, SCARLETT, so I’m thrilled with that.

The bad news is I only hit 8k+ on my latest Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, so I’m a little bummed.

I will be finishing SCARLETT in July for the second round of camp. I’ve worked a tiny bit on it in the last month or so, but mostly I’ve been busy getting my fantasy romance series in line for my release of BROKEN MIRROR. I’ve also been working on the edits for RED, the first Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance.

So what makes Nano work for you?

Okay, I had to think about this. The time I was most successful at Nano I wrote GOLDI, then titled GOLDI AND THE BEAR. It wasn’t the 50k that Nano usually goals, but I hit close to 30k, and that’s my biggest writing month ever! So what worked then? And how can I put those lessons into use this time?

I left the house.

I’ve found that working at home works for me, but only if everyone is out of the house. When I wrote Goldi I was most successful at the coffee shop, because no one bothered me there. A key component of that is that I went to the coffee shop solo. I didn’t go to a Nano write in. I didn’t arrange to meet friends. I also work well at the library, but it’s a little further away.

I had an outline

I had a very solid outline for GOLDI. That meant that I knew what I was going to write that day, and even if I skipped a scene that was causing me issues, I knew where my next step was.

I stayed on track

I have a big issue. I let everyone and everything else in my life derail me from writing. That month I stayed focused and wrote. Saying no is one of the hardest things for me, especially to my family. But I need to get this story finished. Not just because I have two more to write in this series, but also because I want to move on to the next TALES OF THE BLACK COURT, and HAUNTED HOLIDAYS.

Yes, I have too many projects that I want to do. But they are all doable, if I focus, focus, focus.

Can I do it? Yes I can!

Staying positive is a key piece of being successful at NaNoWrimo. I have a very doable goal this time. I want to write 20k to add to the 8k I already have written for SCARLETT. 30 days, 20k. And I usually only am able to write about five days a week. That works out to 22 writing days for me. (I only write on the weekdays because the family obligations take up the weekends). That’s about 909 words per day.

When I’m on a roll, 1k per hour is an easy thing to do. So that’s only one hour per day. Can I find an hour per weekday to write? Yes I can!

Okay, let’s face it. I don’t usually make Nano. What can I do differently?

Well, I don’t ever make it to 50k. So I believe by setting my Camp Nano goal to 20k, that’s a doable number for me. Sure it’s still a challenge. I have a day job, kids, a husband. And Molly the Labrador needs to be walked every day. I also need to keep up with my exercise routine and to cook healthy food. Oh, and shop for the healthy food. But I’ve set myself up for as much success as possible and I think I can do it this time! I’ve definitely written 20k in a month before.

RED was written in three weeks. GOLDI in four. I wrote SNOW  in about a month too. All of those are 30k books, so I know I can do it. I just have to…stay focused!

What are your goals for July?

Are you doing anything special for the month of July? Are you setting goals? Nanoing? Let me know if you have a particular goal for July, or just for the summer.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under channeling success, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, Writer's Journey

Toggl, My Brand New Tool

Moonday Mania

a time stretching blog

I’m now treasurer of my local RWA chapter, Colorado Romance Writers. It’s a crazy thing to do with all the other things I want to do, but someone needs to do it and I’ve avoided board membership for five years now. I’ll put in my time and then be back to normal. Right?

Sure, if you believe that then we have lots of things to sell you!

So, the treasurers job turned out to be much bigger than I thought. I think, like everything, it’s been made much bigger than it has to be by the addition of email. With email, people think you should be able to work non-stop, all the time, for them. They email you and think you should respond. RIGHT AWAY! Because they know you are online and just waiting for them to call. And there is a lot to learn and set up. Accounting programs, Paypal, paying bills. And board duties. It’s not just keeping track of the money, I ended up helping with our retreat too.

timer and laptopI found myself spending way too much time on this and I felt overwhelmed. I need to be taking care of my family, my treasurer’s duties, my health. I need to be writing new words and editing old ones and getting covers ready. And I have a job too. Oh, yeah, I have to work.

The first part of January I estimated I spent 20 hours a week on getting the hang of all this new treasurer stuff. That’s crazy!

But did I really spend that much time doing that? And what else did I spend my time doing? How much time am I devoting to my writing? And will I continue to spend this much time on this job, or will it get better as I settle in and learn all the ins and outs.

I really had no idea. So I’ve adopted a new tool: Toggl.

Toggl is a time keeper. You put in all your projects and clients and it keeps track of your time for you. Now I can divide everything into clients, like CRW, Abracadabra Pubilishing, and ME! I can see where I spend my time and exactly what I was doing. Was I wasting time searching for new YouTube videos? Or was I working non-stop on my latest romance project?

Without knowing exactly where I was putting my time I didn’t know. But now I do! I’ll be able to see how my time is allocated. And once I do, then I can fix the issues. I can start saying no to projects that I just don’t have time for, and make sure I have time for those that really need me. Like getting Broken Mirror edits done. Or making sure I have a great cover.

I plan to keep track of my time for the next month, and then look at it and see where I need to tweak things. By the end of the year I should have a very good idea of whether or not I should continue to be treasurer. I’ll be able to see my exercise time, my personal time, and how much time I spend on social media, blogging, and exactly how much time it takes me to really write a book.

I hope to report back and let you know if this is effective. So far I love it! But then again, I love clear plastic boxes and organizing my books too. Not sure if either of those things is a good way to spend my time. But I’ll find out!

How do you keep track of your time? Do you know how much time each book took you to write? Or how much time you spend cooking healthy food? Is it important to you? Do you exaggerate how you spend your time, or do you underestimate how long everything really took?

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, writing organization

Writing Romance Goals 2015

Moonday Mania

it’s all about the goals, baby!

Hellooo! And Happy 2015!

It’s a new year, finally, and that means I get to start over. WOOT! I love starting over with new romance writing goals for the new year and 2015 is going to be simplified, clarified, and amplified.

Okay, I just threw in that last one because I liked the way it sounded.

Seriously though. My life has gotten super busy with increase responsibilities. Between helping out my parents, the kids, the husband, the day job and my new post as treasurer for my local RWA group, I’m going to be working hard to find the time to do what I love to do, and that’s WRITE ROMANCE.

But I’m determined to set my goals high, so here goes.

Here are my new goals for 2015!

  1. Publish book 2.5, Cassie’s backstory from just before Broken Mirror.
  2. Publish Broken Mirror, book three in the Tales of the Black Court.
  3. Re-brand and publish the three novellas in the Twisted Tales: Come Into the Woods series
  4. Write three more novellas for Twisted Tales Series and publish.
  5. Write fourth book in the Tales of the Black Court. (Would love to have this out and published by end of 2015, but realistically it’s looking like 2016. But I’m going to try!)
  6. Put all 6 Twisted Tales into an anthology. (This is also a bonus goal, but I think it’s doable!)

See? My theme this year is KISS (Keep It Simple Silly!)

Previous years I’ve had huge lists of goals. Romance writer and reader conferences I wanted to attend and writing classes I wanted to take. But I’ve had to really re-focus and streamline and this year I’m really focused on what I’m writing and getting my words out to you, the readers. This year it’s all about the romance, baby!

Twisted Tales is a huge focus for me because I have the rights back from my publisher and I want to get them back out into the world, but they need new covers and frankly new titles. While I love Little Red Riding Wolf, it ends up in the children’s section of the search engine, and that is not a good thing for a spicy romance novella!

I know that readers really enjoy those sexy shifter stories, so I’m planning on writing three more and putting them all into an anthology as well as make them available for sale individually.

If all goes as planned I’ll have NINE books out by the end of 2015. AMAZING!

The Tales of the Black Court are another huge focus and I can’t wait until the next one is out. Broken Mirror my biggest priority for 2015 and it is getting closer to publication every day!

That’s it!

KISS! That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. Get the goals done one at a time and when that one’s done, move on to the next!

What are your goals for 2015? Are you using the KISS method of goal setting? Leave a comment and let me know. 🙂

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE. 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under About the Author, Goal Setting, Jessica Aspen's Books, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

Cyber Monday: Last Day for #99cent #Romance & Last Nano Update

Moonday Mania

the last nano check in

So I’m a nano failure. Maybe. If you count writing 50,000 words in 30 days as the only way to count success. But I don’t. I count my successes differently. And my success is that I wrote more words in November than I’ve written in any month so far this year. I re-established some great writing habits. And, I re-discovered my commitment to writing.

Now that’s success!

I also am committed to trying something I’ve never been able to pull off successfully and that is: writing new words every week, even while editing. You see, I’ve usually been the type of writer to be immersed in one book. I write that book, then let it sit and maybe edit or work on something else, and then when I’m ready to edit the book I leave the other projects and dive into the edits. No writing new words because I’m all about the one book.

But, I want to be a more prolific writer. When I’m writing, and I’m in the flow, I can produce a decent amount of words per week. But then I stop writing, and getting back into that flow takes too long. What I want to have happen is I want to be able to keep that ability to write in the zone even while editing.

So that’s one of my new goals as I head into December.

Now, December is typically my month to review my goals, so I’ll be doing that very soon on the blog. This last year was a very different year for me. I went from a really difficult Fall 2013 into Winter 2014- sick and run down. I slept for the first few months, totally re-vamped my diet and lifestyle and got myself healthy over the spring. Just when I should have been writing I started a new job, that threw a wrench into my Diva writing style. And I’ve ended up here. Fed up with the Diva and ready to write.

So, top of my list of goals will be to write new words every week. Even when I’m editing the heck out of Broken Mirror, which is my other top goal. My health slid a little over November, another reason I didn’t hit my word goal. The killer cold lasted two weeks and sapped my energy. But that’s just another excuse. I’m looking forward to being healthy in December and writing as if it’s Nano again, but adding the editing in. Will I hit 50k in December?

No. I’m not planning on it. But I am planning on  increasing my word count from November. And who knows? If I do this all year I may head into next November with 50k being a possibility. Hey, I’m an optimist. It could happen!

How was your November? Did the fall weather, snow, or being sick knock you from achieving your goals? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to be the Diva and whine, whine, whine? Or are you going to pull up the big girl boots (mine are tall and black) and get moving on your goals?

Today is the last day to purchase those 8 amazing romance authors at 99 cents!

your next favorite book sale

 

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

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Filed under facing failure, Moonday mania, Nanowrimo

NaNo-ing Along

Moonday Mania

a blog for anyone struggling to write

It’s Camp Nano time and I’m writing! Or I’m trying to write. I got a great start last week.

camp nanowrimo participant 2014Mary Guida (ML Guida) and I went up to her cabin and did some plot work and writing and by the end of July 2nd I had over four thousand words. And then I had come back down off of the mountain and pick up all the things I’d let fall by the wayside so I could go away. Like, the day-job, my kids, and my parents. That took all of July 3rd. And of course I took July 4th off. It was a holiday and the house was full of people and we went to my friend K2’s house for fabulous homemade ice cream (she had dinner there too, but the ice cream was phenomenal!) and fireworks.

Long story short I found myself way behind by July 6th.

Grr.

So, why didn’t I sit down in the mornings I had free and write?

I’ll tell you why.

I didn’t have enough of this story pre-planned.

I’ve been busy getting my blogs written, getting THE GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST ready for publication, and busy with the day job and life. Plotting has taken a backseat because, let’s face it, it’s hard. It’s tough to know where I want this story to go. I know the beginning. I have my fairy tale. I know my hero and heroine. I even have the ending down (and boy do I have a whopping surprise for the ending of this book!) But I’m missing the big fat pieces that go in the middle. And that is tricky when you are sitting down with the goal of pounding out 1400 words a day.

No, it’s actually 2400 words a day because I’m heading to RWA and I know I won’t write there.

No, it’s really 3,000 words per day because now I’m so far behind I have to race to catch up!

Zounds!

So how do you get over falling behind?

I’ll tell you what I did. I spent Sunday morning plotting and working on my Snowflake. Now I have the next four chapters outlined and I have some other pieces put into place. I’ll need more if I’m to succeed at this. I’ll need to spend an afternoon next week working on the next section, and then another day working on the end, but I have enough to get writing. And the more I write, the more this story comes together, the more I get excited about it.

And I am excited about it. 🙂

While I dreaded sitting down and working on the parts I had no clue what to do with, those first four thousand words flowed like melted butter on popcorn. MMM. Nothing better. And now that I have the next section? It’s on to snacking time!

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? You don’t have to work on a novel or even set your goal at 50,000 words. You can work on anything writing related and set whatever goal you want to. It’s camp!

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Filed under Moonday mania, Nanowrimo, Writer's Journey, writing craft

Recognizing Resistance

Moonday Mania

a blog for those of us who get off track

Hello! Last Moonday Mania I told you how badly I needed to reorganize my writing life. How I’d life and work had pushed me off track. And I promised this week to tell you how I’ve gotten back on the writing track. If you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

the war of art by steven pressfieldIt hasn’t been easy. Like everyone else I let things distract me. Work. Kids. Life. But the worst distraction is resistance. If you’ve read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, you know what I’m talking about. (I did a post on The War of Art a few years ago, HERE) Resistance is that thing you do to yourself whenever you come up with excuses why you shouldn’t be working.

Here are some of my latest:

  1. My family, house, parents need me.
  2. I don’t have enough time to do a good job.
  3. I need to be by myself, at my special spot, with my particular cup of deliciousness…and the sun needs to be just right.

Some of that is true. Okay, it’s all true some of the time, but some of these things are just roadblocks I put up so that I don’t sit down at the computer and work. And the way I normally get around these roadblocks is that I have a schedule. Here’s my typical week-day schedule before the new job and when the kids are in school.

  • 5am -Get up, make coffee, sit at computer and try to wake up while dealing with emails and social media
  • 7am-Get dressed, make husband lunch, eat breakfast
  • 8am-10 walk dog, take shower, get small things done around house.
  • 10am-3pm write (This includes my 45 minutes on computer and 15 minute breaks to move around, as well as a break for lunch)

After that, kids get home and I change gears. This has been a terrific schedule for me. I get a lot of writing done and I am able to exercise, pay attention to my kids and the dog, and I have the afternoon for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, or whatever I need to do.

But now I’m working in the mornings. And the kids are home for the summer. And it’s all gone to hell.

Do I have reasonable excuses for not getting the writing done? Yes, I do. I’m a smart person and I want to write. But writing is hard. It’s full of self-doubt and editing and those moments where I stare at the screen and think “What in the world comes next?”

Writing, for me, is best done between 10 and 3, by myself, at my tiny portable TV table in front of my back window where I can see nature and the sky and no one bothers me because the house is empty.

But that’s not my reality this summer.

Reality is two crabby teen-agers who get moving right around the time I want to get to work. Who ask me questions and make noise and want me to drive them places. Reality is the job that I’ve taken on that gets me home most days around noon, so I have to have lunch and time to recover. Right? And at that point it’s nearly 1pm and I’m tired and don’t want to start working at the book. Besides, the dog missed her walk and I have things to do.

You get the point.

My job isn’t that hard, and it’s not full-time. I have plenty of time and energy when I get home.

My kids are big, they can fend for themselves.

My things to do can all be reshuffled. Including the dog.

So, the first thing you need to do to resist resistance is to recognize it. Recognize that my objections are not insurmountable. I have time. I have hours in the afternoon. I have a way to get the dog walked, the house cleaned, and the teen-agers entertained. It’s called: get them to do the work. Get them out of the house, or get me out of the house. That only leaves me with one excuse.

Me.

After I come home from work I don’t want to start writing so I come up with all kinds of reasons not to. But they are all just excuses. So how do I get around my resistance once I’ve recognized it?

Next week I’ll let you in on my resistance secret. The way that I have encouraged myself to stop sandbagging and to get back to writing.

Oh, and Camp NaNoWriMo starts July 1st! I’ll be majorly writing then and you can join me! I’ll have some details on Camp NaNo next week as well.

Do you have resistance? Have you read The War of Art? What about Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro? Want to listen to Steven talk about resistance…check out Joanna Penn’s interview HERE

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Filed under channeling success, Goal Setting, Moonday mania, Writer's Journey