A 12 month adventure in progress…
Filmed by the wonderful Alison Coates, thank you for your time and attention that allowed me to make these discoveries. You can see more of Alison’s work on her website:
Feel free to follow my adventure to become a published author on my YouTube Channel:
And when the novel is ready, subscribers to the blog will get advance notice of release and an early bird gift.
I had a crazy idea to write a book. But did not want to write a self-help book. I want to tell the story of change. And about how whilst we don’t believe it, inside each of us is the ability to be our own hero and then help the others.
It’s jolly good there is the Akimbo Creatives Workshop to keep me on track and I have met some wonderful people who are all on similar missions – to ignite and master their creativity.
Covid-19 is coming, it’s all going crazy all over the world and I must:
Stay at home, Protect the NHS and Save lives.
I will admit, the absence of other distractions is making for some dedicated time to work on the book. I desperately want to get out there and help and I can’t because I have vulnerable people at home. They remain my priority. And now I am the human shield to the outside world.
This is churning up lots of emotions that will have a place in the story.
Things are settling now and many of us are getting into a rhythm and more accustomed to our new way of life in lockdown.
We are feeling a rather odd state of flux and having less distractions it is easier (or more difficult to ignore) these emotions and ups and downs. It feels very unsettling and yet comforting at the same time.
Currently there are limited choices – that’s the easy part. The hard part is coming to terms with the loss that is happening all around. Loss of lives, business, plans and future dreams. The world is collectively grieving, each of us in our own individual way.
I tried to fill the voids with too many zoom calls and this became the distraction from writing. Seeing this, I pulled back and made more intentional plans and online engagements.
It is time to give the book the attention it deserves…
This month was a complete uphill struggle… ALL… THE… WAY!!!
And thankfully I got schooled by a friend in the art of finishing things and his mantra is, the successful people get passed the 75% milestone. If you can make through the last 25% – You are golden.
I kept repeating this to myself and little by little, slowly and surely, one word at a time…
On Sunday 31st May 2020 (2 days after my 39th birthday) the first draft was complete.
Now to rest…
And not before doing my first podcast interview… Tap the image to play and enjoy. And discover more interviews from change-makers, navigating this time of crisis and creativity.
Stephen King advised to give the first draft several weeks before looking at it again. It gives your brain time to reset and you can look at the manuscript with fresh eyes, perspectives and ideas.
So I did just that… and got to four weeks. He recommended six.
I am ready to start editing. Excited and scared come to mind.
Now I want to start tackling an act a week. Going through, editing line by line and then churning the story through the Story Grid and adapting some of the scenes and arcs to the 5Cs structure. I want to try both approaches and see which one works best for me for this particular story.
I decided to take a Voliday (virtual holiday), cancelled all online engagements and took myself away to a Covid-Secure bubble. And it was glorious. I spent most days writing about writing, editing the book at an astonishing rate and reading some great fiction titles:
The Wakeful Wanderers Guide to New New England & Beyond – Jim Infantino, who I found in the Akimbo Writing in Community Workshop and his experience has been an incredible source of support.
Borderless (book 2 of the Analogue Series – Eliot Peper, I found him while completing the Akimbo Creatives Workshop and have book three primed and ready.
As for the editing, I have churned the story and sub story / scenes through the 5C’s and the next experiment is to churn it through the Story Grid and make the necessary updates to the MS.
I am still deciding whether to actually send it to Story Grid Publishing…. I am leaning towards doing it. If only for the experience, even though I fully intend to self-publish on KDP.
Wow!!! What a month!! And for August, it was soggy to say the least, worst on record for the UK so I hear. Which means lots of work indoors and chipping away at the editing. Where I was brave enough to send the manuscript to a friend to read and her feedback has been super helpful and allowed me to see the holes, where I have skipped over tricky scenes and missed a point entirely.
And I am not going to send it to Story Grid Publishing as its just one more thing to do… which also means one more thing to hide behind. I just need to get this thing out there now.
The book cover designer is all booked and I have now migrated to using Scrivener for the writing process. I had heard about it but decided MSWord was good enough. Until I started using it and oh my… do I wish I had been using this months ago to keep track of all the scenes and have a place to make notes. I also got the licence for Vellum which is just glorious and makes the publishing part less of a headache for an amateur who just needs to format words on a page. Even the KPD cover designer was pretty nifty.
The month was off to a sad start. A classic tale of the waggy variety that involves a beloved family hound, a journey to the veterinarian and ends with an empty bed in the corner of the living room. Bless her, Lily had 15 brilliant years with us and she made our lives so much more rich and meaningful. It’s tough to lose such a precious part of the family and we took some time to remember how much joy she brought to our lives and we miss her so much. And she will have a special place soon enough…
In need of a distraction, I was able to get to The Work and the publishing of the Pre-book Book as a little experiment and practice with KPD. Available in Paperback and Ebook. The editing of the fiction novel continues…
201 Days of Writing: Unedited. imperfect. Uncomfortable.
Oh what a messy, messy middle this month has been… the editing has been progressing, at a snail’s pace. Somewhat due to the other endeavours I have been pursuing – from my Gather & Share Digital Campfires to being more proactive in the other communities I am a part of. But mainly because I have been dragging my heels. I know I am about 75% of the way there, and this also happened during the writing phase. So part of me wants to indulge this habit of procrastination, and the rest of me wants to change the narrative. Ok, so I have been hiding. Right, now it’s time to emerge from under the duvet and get a wriggle on… this book is not going to edit itself. That is all on you, Miss P.
Now I will start November with renewed enthusiasm and grit. Because people are waiting, and I will not disappoint them.
Truck, truck, trucking along, slow and steady. Leaning into the bends, twists and turns.
The plan was to release the novel in Jan 2021, when I had the headspace for promoting it and managing my impostor syndrome. Then WiC had the final call with Seth, and I was asked to show “I shipped” my other book and tell others about how I got there. Seth also implored us not to delay. Get them damn book out there and move on to the next. So, I had to think a little and decided to publish in December, finish with the other folks and not wait any longer. Like an overdue pregnancy, you get to a point when you just want the baby out. I started in 2020 and I want to finish in 2020. Cover done and word is spreading. All that is left is: blurb, acknowledgements, the sneak peek at book #2 and formatting. And that is it. I can make more of a meal of it, but whats the point? When I am already full and satisfied, eager to leave room for dessert.
I have already learned that delay only leads to more pain and suffering on my part. The agony of “I should really get around to that… that thing, over there, staring at me, begging for attention”. Because once I have this book done, it means I have the creative bandwidth for the next and I can put into practice all I have learned from this one and see where that leads me.
Plus I have other work I want to start in 2021 and get motoring. If I let this book drag on, other excuses will ensure it remains hidden on my laptop: altMBA, BYOBook Club, more Gather & Share, building my community of writers and a workshop I want to deliver – Know your Past. Navigate your Future (it’s a working title ;-D). Plus my own personal development and learning.
And my Author Central page is up and running I found this marvellous piece of information. Which before, would have caused great sadness and despondency. Now, I didn’t get hung up on the number… because I simply felt grateful and proud to be a part of the collective.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Christmas Jim, but not as we know it…
Not quite the end of the month, but so much has already happened and I am wrapping things up to take a break over the festive season and start 2021 with renewed courage and grit.
The past couple of days have set things in motion and shown me how all the dots connect. And after some rather nail biting, damp brow moments… I got the notification this morning that my book had passed the checks and was now live. There’s still a few days of bedding in and linking of things together, but in essence…
I shipped!!! Wahoo!! I am thrilled to be able to write this update. It’s has been 14 months in the making and I never imagined I would make it to here. I have a tendency to give up when things get too real. But thanks to the support of my creative allies and my new desire to change my old narrative to one that is much more serving… I have shifted my mindset and accomplished something remarkable for me.
What’s even better, there is more to come. I have the bug now and want to keep going, stretching myself, helping others and creating a legacy of my own to be proud of. Please, enjoy 🙂
Book promotion efforts…
Chat and Spin was a lovely experience with Ron and Ian. They operate as a non-profit with donations and support writers in their book promotions. Check them out – my bit starts around minute 12. Good tunes too 😉
More book promotion efforts. That said, I’m not going hell for leather because I have other priorities. And it has been good to have a blend of different activities. Gotta love a podcast interview though. Much fun 😃
More from Jennifer and The TufFish Show here: https://www.jennifermilius.com/
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