Cracking on with the Writing

I’ve been participating in 100 days of Writing, and in the first month of writing I managed to add 20,647 words to my Dragon’s Lore manuscript. Whether it is any good or not is a different story. But there are words down, and done on a regular basis.

There have been days when I haven’t felt like writing, but I have done it anyway. I have actually been getting up early – 5:30am, fed the cat, let her out, then sit down and write, and its been good to get it done then. Then at 6am when the alarm goes off, I start my day, and it feels great knowing that I have written something.

And on the days when I don’t feel like doing much, I’ll write for ten minutes, and I’ll achieve at least 250 words, which, while it doesn’t seem like a lot, those little amounts add up, and as I said earlier, 31 days is over 20,000 words.

It just goes to show that even when you don’t feel like doing something, just a little bit helps to add to the total count.

What little thing can you do today to help you add towards your goals?

Take care

Catherine

Every Word Counts

We are a week away from the end of January. I have been participating in a wonderful challenge called 100 days of Writing Challenge. It’s basically encouraging you to spend the first 100 days of the year writing. It could be plotting, writing, character development, brainstorming, anything as long as you write something down while you’re doing it.

There is a facebook group that this is connected with too, and I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s progress. Some are achieving 1000+ words a day, some as little as 100 words. But no matter how many words they write, I like to support them. I congratulate those who have had great writing days, and I encourage those who haven’t achieved as much as they would like, by telling them, every word counts. Because it does.

At the end of a ten day block, we have a check in, and we report how many we wrote in that ten day block. My first ten days, I got 9112 words written in 4 hours and 15 minutes of writing. This week, I wrote 5856 words in 3 hours and 3 minutes. It might seem like a lot, and some days I exceeded over 1000+ words, but some days I only got 400 words written down. But it doesn’t matter, because every word counts towards the final product which at this stage is nearly 15,000 words towards my latest novel in my Dragon’s Lore series. I plan on this being a big story, so 80,000 words. so I’m nearly a quarter of the way through that novel. (I actually am over that, I am working on something I started some time ago, so nearly half way at 35,000).

Sometimes it can be a struggle to find time to sit down and write, but when I do, I know that every little bit helps. Every word reduces the amount I need to get to the end product, and it means a day or two closer to the finish.

It helps to break things down into smaller pieces so that it can be easier to achieve your goals. Have you got some goals you could break down into smaller pieces to make them more achievable?

Kia Kaha

Catherine

Winning All Around

I’m on a winning streak. My mental health is improving, work was great, and I’m writing AND editing!

Work was so incredible this week. I did so much more than just weeding, and it was so stinking hot, that we were finishing work early. We were busting a gut to get jobs done, but it was a great week.

Then, my Doctor contacted me to say the referral had been declined, but that they suggested putting me back on my original medication. So, I said great, and as I had some here already, I’ve been taking it all week. I actually feel like I am climbing out of the hole and coming up to 100% again. It makes such a difference; I’m not bursting into tears for no reason now. I’m tired from physical work rather than mental exhaustion, and yes, they are different. Mental exhaustion I get weepy, my body gets heavy and it’s like my brain and body aren’t co-operating. Totally different from being physically tired.

I started with a group called 100 days of Writing, and it’s been so positive and fun. It’s broken down into chunks of ten-day blocks, so I finished my first block this week just been, and I’d written about eight thousand words in my current work in progress, which is my Dragon’s Lore story. And I have been editing Secondhand Daughter, averaging about a chapter and a half each day. So happy with progress. And we get to encourage each other with our writing on a Facebook group.

What did you do this week that made you a winner?

Kia Kaha

Catherine

Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2024 when you read this blog, but its still 2023 when I’m writing it.

It’s been a hectic week with Christmas, travel, more Christmas, then more travelling, so I’m now looking forward to a week at home, relaxing and doing, well, fun stuff. Like visiting the Brook Sanctuary (a bird Sanctuary over in Nelsun), and perhaps a game of golf, if my arms allow me.

And it’s that time of year, where I start setting some goals for my writing. And last year, I nearly accomplished all my goals. I wanted to write 3 new books last year (2023) and I wrote two (Finding Sam Healey and Carol’s Christmas). I also wanted to start on my dragon series, but ran out of year.

This year – I’m starting it with writing the dragon story – and continuing to edit Secondhand Daughter, because I write in the mornings, and edit in the afternoons. I think this will be the most efficient use of my time, until apple season starts anyway.

I also have a goal of achieving my first $1000 in sales this year. I haven’t had any money from my books yet, but I am focusing on advertising this year, and if you feel inclined, do purchase one of my books.

I plan on writing three books this year, and editing three, and publishing at least two – Secondhand Daughter being the first, then Compromising Positions. So here it is people, my goals for 2024

😊 Write Dragon’s Lore, first story (approx 75k words)

😊 Write Faith Hart’s story in my Racing Harts series (approx 60k words)

😊 Write another story, either in my dragon series, or another story. (Approx 60k words)

😊 Edit Secondhand Daughter, and get ready to publish before June 2024

😊 Edit Compromising Positions and get it ready to publish before December 2024

😊 Do first draft edits on Finding Sam Healey

😊 Do first draft edits on Carol’s Christmas

Wow, looking forward to this year already! I’m planning on doing the apple packing in the evenings again this year, to pay for my plate, my gums are healing nicely, and its surprising just how much pain I was in prior to having the teeth removed. Looking forward to being able to smile confidently again.

I also plan on taking the Friday’s off over Winter again, in order to get some writing done while it is quieter at work.

That’s my plan for the year, what’s yours?

Take care everyone, and happy new year!

Catherine

The Week Covid Hit

Went out to a friend’s 50th Birthday last Saturday night, it was fabulous, got to catch up with some other friends I hadn’t seen in a while.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling sick, and it wasn’t alcohol – I’d had 1 cider the entire night. I battled through the day, sore throat, slight cough, nose blocking up.

Woke up Monday morning, not feeling much better. I was going to go to work, but then I thought, perhaps, just maybe, I should do a covid test. (I work at lifestyle villages – you know, retirement homes).

And I did, and it was positive!

It’s a year since I last had covid, so it was quite funny really, that one year later I had it again. And I got it from my son, who had been off work since the Friday feeling sick.

OK, so I let my boss know, let my big boss know, then filled in a leave form for sick leave for 5 days (we have 5 days isolation here in NZ – but it’s no longer subsidised by Government, so I had to take sick leave.)

Ok, so a free week at home… what to do.

Last time I had covid, I could get out of bed and do stuff, but by lunchtime I was back in bed regretting getting up. My partner couldn’t lift his head off the couch, and my son was just coughing every now and again, and still going about his daily routine.

This time, my partner – who was conveniently away on Sunday night – was covid free, so he stayed with his son for the week, and it was only me and Bill.

So, I was surprised when on Tuesday, I felt okay. It was like a head cold, nothing in my chest, just all nasal. Nasal irrigations helped, and I didn’t feel too bad at all. I got some writing done, some editing done, and I finished editing one story, and started on another!

I also got out in my garden, planted some potatoes, some more seeds for the vegetable garden, I did a little bit of weeding, cleaned a couple of little bits of the house, and read. And read and read and read. Man, I was sick of looking at books and screens by Thursday afternoon. But there wasn’t much else I could do. I wanted to conserve my energy, because I didn’t know if Covid was going to bite me in the butt after a couple of days, or not.

But it turns out not. I tested negative on Saturday – which is the shortest period for me. Last time, I was testing positive 9 days later, 6 days this time.

So, I got stuff done, and I rested, and read some books. What else is there to do when you have covid?

I officially finished writing Carol’s Christmas, finished editing Whiskey Rose on Wednesday, and started second round of editing on Secondhand Daughter, all on Wednesday. And I did some plotting on Dragon’s Lore. I hope to crack on and get some editing done on Secondhand Daughter finished by the end of the month, because November is NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – and while I’m not sure I’ll write an entire novel in that time, because I don’t write a lot in any one day, I want to get some writing done on Dragon’s Lore.

I hope you had a better week than I did.

Kia kaha

Catherine.

And Onto Something New

I’ve finished writing Carol’s Christmas, well, almost, there isn’t a lot more to write. So, what am I up to next?

I have editing to do on a project, a super-secret project that will be revealed in December, and I have three books that need editing, and a third that needs writing. Decisions, decisions.

As I have already started editing, I will finish that, it’s a short Historical romance based in 1920s United States. It is a present for my newsletter subscribers, and I’m excited to get it finished, because its been rattling around in my laptop for about ten years.

I also have a super-secret project; I’m getting together with some other authors to do a Christmas giveaway. I’ll give you more details nearer the time but suffice to say that I have a small bit of writing to do for this. It wasn’t hard to choose which book to promote, but its proving to be a little harder to come up with the secret project. It will come together though, I hope.

Two books that need editing – Secondhand Daughter, Compromising Positions and Finding Sam Healey (aka Finding Sams Family) all need a round of edits. But, I hear you say, you’ve already editing Secondhand Daughter and Compromising Positions. Yes, I have, but I often self-edit a few times before I pass it onto an actual editor, because I want to send the most polished version I can. And I like to take a break from each book before editing / drafting, because I can look at it with fresh eyes.

And I also have Dragon’s Lore, which is shaping up to be rather…Epic. I have at least five stories for the series all rolling around inside my head, and on my laptop and notebooks in various places, so I am happy to start with writing that. But I think I’ll do some editing first.

So, I’ll dive into Secondhand Daughter again, and I have my editor booked for the end of January, so I have a deadline to work to, although I hope to have it finished well before then.

What plans do you have for this week?

Kia kaha everyone.

Catherine.

A Dilemma or Two

I didn’t blog last week, because we had been in Wineborough, and it was a late trip home. I didn’t feel like blogging when I got home. So, I’m doing it now.

And I have a problem. I was going to start writing Carols christmas this week, but I kind of haven’t. Not because I don’t want to, its because I have been reading and editing what I started writing a few years ago on my Dragon shifter story. And I kind of got caught up in the story, so now I want to write both stories, at the same time. Which isn’t a bad thing…except they are both dark kind of stories. The dragon shifter has a storyline about fighting factions, and a deteriorating situation in which all of the factions need to come together to actually succeed in protecting humanity. Carols Christmas is about a battle with cancer, all told within the Christmas Carol storyline. I really need a light and fluffy story to write while writing either of them, but I don’t have one in planning, and I really don’t want to overcommit myself.

My partner was really lovely and helpful, and stated the obvious to me. Just start writing the dragon story. Which I want to do, but I also want to write Carols Christmas. I know that I have 4 more months to write in, and I don’t have anything written in stone, just that I want to have two novels written this year. Would you be terribly disappointed if I focused on writing the first dragon story?

I have got Carols Christmas all set up in my writing program (Scrivener), I guess I just have to go with the flow and see what happens.

Hope everyone has a great week, and don’t have too many dilemmas in your week ahead.

Kia kaha

Catherine

Down the Rabbit Hole of Research

It’s amazing what a difference a week makes. I struggled last week, but this week has been much more positive. And I can’t really explain why. I still plodded along. I guess, just being excited about a project helps.

So, I’m doing research for two projects at the moment. Research for Dragons Lore, and for Carol’s Christmas, a modern take on the Christmas Carol. As part of the story, my character is going to discover she has breast cancer.

And I jumped onto the Breast Cancer New Zealand Website – wow, what a resource. I have learnt a lot about breast cancer, and there isn’t actually just one type of breast cancer. It all depends on if it is hormone receptiveness, invasiveness as to whether it is Stage I or Stage IV, stage IV being the worst type.

I also have two very lovely ladies who have been sharing their breast cancer journey with me, so I have a more personal feel for what the character will be going through. To call these two women brave, really is an understatement. The mental and emotional stress, not to mention the physical pain they went through makes them superheroes in my eyes. I am so proud to be friends with them as they share how important it is to examine your breasts regularly and to get any irregularities checked immediately.

As for Dragons Lore, I have been slowly building up some character profiles and a brief outline of the stories that I want to write. At this stage there are five stories, with an overarching story of the battle that is building and needs to be resolved. However, I am flexible, especially is another character pops up and insists on having their story told. I already have one character who has had a wife who was murdered, but he still communes with his dead wife…not sure if he does this through his mind, or if he actually can communicate with the dead. That could add a totally new spin on the story. Hmmm…

The weather is more settled around the country, and hopefully the remainder of winter will be dry, so we can actually do some work out there. Hopefully the weather is being kind in your part of the world too.

Kia Kaha everyone.