I’ve got a handful of people reading My Last Days right now. Not to tell me that I missed a comma or a closing quote or the like, but to tell me what they think of the story. I read through it twice when I finished the first draft and I’m not fully sure that I love it. I like the idea, I like the message I (think I) conveyed with it. But I’m just not sure that I’m in love with the whole thing.

So I’m hoping for some good feedback from those folks that are reading it now. So far, nothing either way, but hopefully soon I’ll get some feedback.

In the meantime, I feel a lot like I’m spinning my wheels. I feel as though if I’m not writing anything, I’m wasting time. Which is a weird feeling, given that this is not only just a hobby, but it’s not like I have a drove of fans waiting for my next book, or a publisher that’s hounding me to get something written.

I just feel like if I’m not doing something, I’m wasting the day.

Sure, I’m working my day job, I’m working on a website or two for fun. But other than that, every day feels more of the same. I wake up, eat breakfast, sit at my desk for eight hours and then do some chores and tasks, make dinner and watch TV. It feels very repetitive lately and I don’t know why I’m in this rut.

Maybe it’s because subconsciously I wanted A Sour Chord to do better than it has done. Maybe I wanted someone to email me, call me or write a review online telling me how much they loved it. Maybe, on some level, that’s done some damage to my mentality and it’s starting to hit me. Maybe the book’s not as good as I wanted it to be.

When I first started working on A Sour Chord, I didn’t tell anyone. I did that on purpose because I’ve, many times in the past, started things and not finished them. That’s sort of my motus operandi. I’ve started and quit so many things in my lifetime, I didn’t want to get anyone excited about this until I knew I was done.

Then when I finished, lots of people were excited. Friends and family wanted to read it. So I, foolishly maybe, started sending it out. I realize everyone’s busy and have their lives to think of, but some people that were so excited to read it still haven’t. It’s been almost three months since it was entirely done and for sale, and some of those folks still haven’t read it yet. Am I being sensitive about that?

I’m wondering if I should start working on something else while My Last Days is being read. I don’t know how long that whole process will take this time. From the end of the first draft through editing, through artwork, through re-reading, through reader feedback until publishing for A Sour Chord was more than a year.

I’m hoping, based on what I’ve learned from last time, My Last Days will go faster. I’m also hoping that once it’s published, I’ll sell some copies. While it’s not — and never has been — about making money for me, it’s sort of nonsensical to spend thousands of dollars on editors and artists to create the finished product when it’s only going make a couple of dollars.

Maybe I need to hire a marketing person. I’ve learned, quite quickly, that I have no idea how to market anything. I was hoping that I’d publish and people would just find the book, but that appears to be the wrong way to think about things. Maybe it’s time to regroup and rethink my strategy.

That’s all I’ve got for today. I realize this is mostly me rambling the thoughts I’ve been trapping in my head for the last couple of weeks, so I apologize.

It seems like it flew by once I started working on, it really did. Once A Sour Chord was published and for sale, I started hitting My Last Days again. And hit it hard I did.

The total word count is just over 92k, and the story seems to all warrant such a word count. I’ve read through it twice now since I finished writing — to do a rough edit for punctuation, grammar and spelling — and I think I enjoy it. I’ve got it out with a half dozen people to read and give me their feedback, so hopefully they’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

When I first started writing it, I was lost. I didn’t really know where it was going or what I was trying to say, but as I progressed the story sort of unfolded on its own.The characters told their own story and I was just their narrator.

One of the most interesting things about My Last Days, at least to me, is that it’s in first person. I don’t often write in first person, but it was a fun and unique challenge to do so.

From here, we begin the process of gathering feedback from people, incorporate any feedback into the story and then move on to the editing process. Once that’s done, we do artwork and then we publish. It really is pretty simple.

The hardest part, from here, will be the editing. It sucked my will to live last time and I really didn’t enjoy it much. Not even a little bit. But it’s necessary and has to be done, so we all do it, right?

If you’re interested in reading My Last Days to give some pre-edit feedback, I’d love to have you check it out. Just drop me a line either on Twitter, Facebook or via the Contact page and let me know which format you’d prefer (Kindle, PDF, Nook, iOS) and where to send it and I’ll get it over to you.

I look forward to finishing this up and picking what I’m going to write next. I’m thinking, after two of them, maybe it’s time to write something a little less dramatic. Maybe a suspense novel? I’m not sure I can pull that off, but I have an idea and am willing to try.

Perhaps that’s not the best title for a blog post, but it’s true. The end is, in fact, near.

The end of the first draft of My Last Days, that is. If all goes according to plan, I should finish this week and start my first round of edits either this weekend or early next week.

I’m really excited about it and think that it came together quite nicely, though I fear it’s going to need quite a bit of editing. When I write, I tend to just go and go and go without thinking too much. Sometimes that works in my favor, sometimes it means I have a lot of word chopping and scene re-arranging to do.

The story, as a whole, really works. I think I can say that honestly without any bias. But I think there’s some reworking that needs to happen and some more emotions that need to be put into the story near the beginning and middle (the bits I wrote in late 2013.) When I picked it back up again this year, I had a really good sense of where I was going, so I think that helped me stay on the right track.

I’m really stoked to finish this up and get on to the second draft. I hope you’ll check it out when I’m done! In the meantime, grab a copy of A Sour Chord if you haven’t already. It’s on sale everywhere for just .99 cents and that’s a bargain you can’t beat!

Now that A Sour Chord is fully done and for sale in the various market places, I’ve decided to put off all of the other real-world tasks that I have to complete and get back to work on My Last Days.

Last week I started re-reading everything I’d written so far, so I can be familiar with my characters again, as well as the story lines I’d written. I probably could have skipped this process, but it’s actually pretty beneficial for a few reasons. Primarily because I’ve already found mistakes and inconsistencies in the first draft, but also because I’m getting back into the head of my main character, which is important for this particular work.

My goal is to finish reading the last 40 pages by Wednesday and get back to writing later in the week or early next.

This is such a fun journey and one that I’m glad that I’m able to do without very much effort or money. (Though, let’s be honest, I spent more than I thought I would on A Sour Chord, but that was worth it.)

I’m shooting to finish the first draft, first round of edits and a second draft by the end of the summer before turning it over to an editor. Then, this time, I’ll do a bigger group of beta readers than I did with A Sour Chord. Hopefully that’ll spark more interest.

I’m also hopeful that a second book will inherently draw more attention than the first anyway, now that I’m not an “unknown” anymore.

If you grabbed a copy of A Sour Chord, thank you! If not, it’s still on sale for 99 cents through the end of June across all platforms. Grab a copy before the sale ends and read it whenever you’d like. Once it’s yours, it’s yours! Also, if you have grabbed a copy, thank you so much. I hope you enjoy it enough to leave a review on the site you purchased from. I’d love that very much!

I didn’t realize it had been so long since I’d updated the progress blog here.  Over the last three weeks, a bit has changed with things.

My new (wonderful) editor, Lauren, sent me her initial feedback earlier in this month, which I’ve read at least half a dozen times by now.  I agreed on most of what she said and will work a lot of her feedback into the story as we go through the (hopefully) final rewrite in the next month or two.

In order to get back into the mindset of A Sour Chord, I’ve ceased working on My Last Days.  Not for good, just so that I can get my mind back into that of my characters from A Sour Chord.  I don’t know of many (if any) authors that write two books at the same time and it’s probably because it’s so difficult to jump back and forth between sets of characters, stories, locations, etc.

As of now, I’m waiting on Lauren to start sending me detailed feedback on a chapter-by-chapter basis.  That’ll allow me to go through and either edit or flat-out rewrite parts of the book to get to the goal that we’re setting out for the ending.  The overall ending won’t change (I stood my ground on that, despite her recommendation to change it), but the story that gets us there will change a little bit.

What I’ve learned during the editing process

  • It’s difficult to find an editor — I didn’t factor cost into this at all, I’d gladly have spent whatever it took to find someone that I felt would take this seriously — despite just being something I’m doing on a whim.  I counted my emails and I emailed back and forth with 15 editors before finding something that I felt took me seriously enough to want to do the project. Many of them were either outrageous in their pricing, didn’t want to offer me a sample edit (why would you pay someone when you don’t know what their style of editing is?), or said they’d get back to me and never did.  A very frustrating process.
  • Go with your gut — if an editor comes across as pushy or difficult during this process, they’re probably going to be pushy or difficult to work with too.  I’m glad I didn’t go with a handful of them that were really unpleasant via their emails.
  • It takes a long time — I finished writing the book nearly six months ago, hoping to have it published by now.  It’s left me feeling somewhat defeated that I missed my own (admittedly completely arbitrary) goal.  Having friends read it and give me their input as well as the actual editing process has been mentally draining, but hopefully worth it in the long run.

From here, the final edit/draft will be completed. The cover will be designed. The book will be on sale.         And hopefully, just hopefully, at least a couple of people will buy it.

Then I’ll finish My Last Days and start this whole horrible process all over again.