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What's to Come in 2024

What are your new year's resolutions? Read more? Write more? Edit more?

Besides some personal resolutions, I'm focusing on my current writing process and hoping to optimize it. That's easier said than done. So I'm changing a few things in 2024 for a few reasons:

  • A backlog of stories needing to be edited

  • A ghostwriting position

  • A focus on querying

While I'm hoping to self-publish two books in 2024 (the second book in the Lake Superior Mermaid series in May and an untitled MW1 book in November 2024), I'm not sure it's a good start if I've yet to figure out a name for MW1. Thaw the Heart, the second book in the Lake Superior mermaid series, has been finalized for months, so at least that is complete. There are nine months between now (January 2024) and when MW1 is planned to be published, but it feels like there isn't enough. I'm currently on draft 5 and have gone through beta reading.

Besides MW1, I have a large backlog of stories that need to be edited: 29 in total. Writing is my first passion, but to be published, it's a lot of editing. Most of my stories go through 10+ drafts. I can normally write a 100,000-word book in less than three months, but editing will take three times longer (if not more).

There are some authors who can write, edit a few drafts, and then send off to publish. I have yet been able to perfect that. Normally, that kind of writing process comes with a very good plot, a hardcore style of writing, and professional payment and help. Some authors may tell you otherwise, but since it is not my style, I don't have the exact details. Since I am a self-published author who could be considered very frugal, I do everything by myself that I can. Some people will tell that is a horrible plan. However, I am only getting so many reads per year, made $41.00 in 2024 on my self-published books, and have only gained a tiny following on my stories.

Let's be honest, money is an interictal part of our lives. We need it. Isn't it terrible? I have my day job that pays for my writing and editing life style. While it is my dream to be full-time traditionally published author (more to come down below), I need to also get serious about making money. Now, I don't know if this next venture will be bountiful with money, but honestly, if you're writing to make money, you probably chose the wrong hobby-turned-lifestyle. I'm fortunate that I have a stable day job to help me pay for my long-term goals. For now, I will be dipping my toes into ghostwriting.

Don't ask about specifics when it comes to ghostwriting. There are some people who do it very seriously as their jobs, including they can't speak about their clients and narrow down on key writing styles. I'm doing it (for some extra cash) to try a new genre and genre norms. Specifically, this is dark romance.

Oh, boy. If you've read anything of mine, you've probably realized I'm not into alphaholes. Usually, they are the first ones to die in my books after I torture them mercilessly. I respect what people like to read and write, but dark romance has never been my preferred genre. Have I dabbled in writing books with dark romance elements? Yes. Have I dabbled in reading books with dark romance elements? Yes. Did I fall in love with one of the biggest alphaholes of 2008? Yes.

What can I say? I was 11 when the first Twilight movie came out, and I was hooked. No Team Jacob for me. Team Edward all the way. Years later, I realized I was actually Team Bella. (Hey, Kristen Stewart!) But I've digressed. Let's talk about dark romance.

Besides the alphaholes, I've had to be focused on motorcycle club romance and BDSM. I've had to focus on the type of writing-slash-style and tone. This is key for me as an author because I ramble and dark romance scenes tend to be short and punchy. The tone of the characters are usually chipped. And ultimately, I'm having to figure out how to write like a brute force man: short sentences, lots of the "fuck" and "cock twitching." (Ha ha ha.)

It's overall been a wild experience already, one that I need to continue to learn. Writing is one thing, editing is another. It'll all be fixed in the editing stages. These are some of the books I have read recently and am currently reading in the genre:

  • Wilde by Anja Barrons

  • Celt by Anja Barrons

  • Angel by Anja Barrons (received ARC copy)

  • The Dark Garden by Eden Bradley

  • Outlaw's Kiss by Nicole Snow

  • Ruin & Rule by Pepper Winters

On the other side of my writing, I am currently working on a sapphic gothic horror and toying around with two different sapphic contemporary romances. What a shift. Another reason why I'm working on ghostwriting is because I have so much to edit and a lot of ideas to write. I need my editing to catch up with my writing. I have 100+ ideas about to write (and my list is always growing). Writing is my first love. (I cannot say this enough.) To have enough time to write, something has to give. I won't stop writing, but I'll be putting my own ideas on the shelf for a little while.

Along with ghostwriting and editing, I'll be focusing against on querying literary agents to be traditionally published. I am currently an indie- and self-published author, and there's nothing wrong with that. Let's say that for the people in the back: "I am proud to be an indie- and/or self-published author. I'm actual author!"

Traditionally publishing versus indie- and self-publishing is a bigger question to be had. There are a lot of problems with becoming a best seller as an indie- and/or self-published author. There is more freedom in indie and/or self publishing. There are positives and negatives to both.

Ultimately, I want to focus on not everything else that comes as an indie/ self-published author: editing, marketing, events, beta reading, ARC reading, and more. These are things self- and indie-published authors pay for with time, money, and patience. (Traditionally published authors only have to pay for some of this.) You can call me cheap (many people would), impatient, etc., but traditionally published allows for some of those key objectives to be taken off your plate, allowing me to get back to my true love: writing.

Like money, I didn't get into being an author and storytelling because I wanted to do the business side of things. It just happens. With that being said, I need to take inventory of what I can do and have done. Being a full-time author is a life-time goal. This year is the next step in making that goal a reality.

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