The holidays are so damned confusing, I’ll tell you what.
I’m at 84,000 words on THE FLAME OF BATTLE. I keep taking out stuff (it’s dumb stuff) and then fill out a scene and add in stuff, then I find another bunch of words to take out, then another scene to fix up.
I want to get started working on story #2, A BLAZE OF VALKYRIES, but it’s kind of important that I get this story squared away first. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to look over my own shoulder while I’m writing lately — “Is my main character likable enough? Is this action interesting enough? Why can’t this story be as good as this other story I was reading?” That kind of self-talk isn’t helpful — well, it kind of is, but only up to a point. Actionable points are helpful, things like “I could make Dyrfinna a more sympathetic character if I dig into this scene with her grandmama.” But not so much the other stuff.
I’m also wanting to find a job that pays more than my current one. I’ve been there for 15 years and still don’t make diddly. I could make more at freaking Target, according to my cousin who works there, but then I wouldn’t get as much writing time. (When things at work are quiet, I get to write my stories and read books.)
I’d like to sell enough books to make my writing my full-time career. I certainly have enough books out there to do so, but right now I’m trying to stockpile enough money to start a decent advertising campaign. Amazon ads used to work pretty well but over the last year they just seem to have gone downhill. Facebook ads are like throwing money down a well. To be honest, I’m really not crazy about giving my money to these SOBs at all.
So my ads have mostly been shut off except for some of my gardening book ads. Edible Landscaping, Don’t Throw in the Trowel, and Rose to the Occasion are still my most popular books. It’s kind of crazy that I don’t talk about my gardening books as much as I do my dragon books. But I haven’t done much gardening lately, and this might sound funny, but I feel like a fraud if I’m talking about gardening when my actual garden is a snarl of raspberry canes with weeds. I’d just rather write books, tbh.
I’m going to use paid newsletters to advertise, but I want to squirrel away a decent chunk of change before I get started. I’ve had success with stacking a series of ads over a week and was able to get books sold that way — I had one book pop to the top of the Historical Fantasy charts, which was very satisfying, and I was getting nice read-through for the rest of the series. But sustaining a run like that is a little trickier, and takes some money, which alas I have somewhat deficient in. However, I will be getting some freelance work next week from Ball Horticulture, though (I love those guys), so that should set me up at last. I wish I could talk them into hiring me on as a part-time remote freelance worker with health insurance. That would fix up my family very handily.
… Well maybe I should talk to these guys about that!! In fact I will!!
My goodness this was a ramble and a half lol.