Current Writing Plans — 2023

I know I already talked about my writing goals for 2023—over here—but this time I want to talk about my actual planned schedule for 2023. Will I follow this perfectly? Maybe not. But here’s the rough plans I’ve made. Accountability and all of that. I’ll check back in sometime in the summer to see how I’ve been doing.

JANUARY — MARCH

From now until March 1st, I am working on completing my novel, A Sharper, More Lasting Pain. The good news is it’s already halfway done, thereabouts. I’ve already plugged into my calendar when I hope to have each chapter done by, so it’s time to knuckle down.

I will also begin posting the draft to Wattpad to get initial thoughts and impressions. This will be a limited release, as the book will be pulled shortly after its been uploaded in its entirety to the website, but with one update a week I am projected to be finished with posting the novel come the 17th of May, though I may accelerate the timeline. If you’re interested in reading along, you can see the author’s note here. I may also post to Royal Road, just to get more engagement.

In the midst of all of this, I also have NYC Midnight to think about, which starts January 20th. I am hoping to have a fair chunk of my work for ASMLP done before this.

MARCH

March will be for letting ASMLP stew some before I start doing a light revision. I already have some things I would like to fix, so I’m hoping I will have the chance to do so in this time. I also aim to take another stab at my novella, Before the Moon Sets. I have some revisions I would like to make, and then I want to finally finish it. At the end of this, I want to put out a first call for beta readers for ASMLP.

APRIL — JUNE

This stretch of time will be devoted to finish searching for beta readers and to get the work into their hands. Alongside the serial readers on Wattpad and (potentially) Royal Road, I hope to have a beta team put together. While the serial readers and beta team will be reading different drafts, they’ll be reading the same book in principle and any feedback provided either way I hope will be actionable.

JUNE — JULY

By this point I should have enough feedback on my hands to start another round of revisions. This should be faster than the round in March if all goes to plan. During this time, I will also be researching editors to find one suitable for my needs.

AUGUST — SEPTEMBER

Gods willing, I will be using this time to work with an editor and put their feedback to use. I also will be looking into acquiring ARC readers at this time

SEPTEMBER

Provided I can get edits done fast enough, I want to take time in September to finish formatting ASMLP and finalize looking for ARC readers. I also in my spare time would like to look for beta readers for BTMS.

OCTOBER

I’m getting married this month, so anything planned will have to happen after that. I would like to use October, that in mind, to finalize everything for ASMLP and prepare it for a November release. I also would like to finalize a beta reading team for BTMS.

NOVEMBER — DECEMBER

I would like to round out this year with ASMLP being published. Currently, I have a tentative date set in November, but that requires everything to run exactly as planned. I am prepared to delay its release until spring of 2024. That said, no matter what I should be at least close to having ASMLP ready for the world by then. In that case, I will be switching gears to BTMS.

I will take some time looking for a cover designer for BTMS, as well as taking feedback from my betas and applying them to the novella. I would like to have this finished by the end of 2023 so that I may take the steps to publish it in 2024.

I could also reverse things and try to publish BTMS first, but I’m not sold on that yet.

IN CLOSING,

I have plenty planned for 2023 and it’s shaping up to be a very busy year. I wouldn’t have it any other way, honestly. Wish me luck!

Standards Within the Publishing Industry – Why I Will Never Go Trad

Every success story hides an army of failures behind it, though, and that’s the more troubling heart of it all.

For most authors, the ultimate dream is to be recognized by one of the Big Five (now Big Four) publishing houses and to see your name on the cover of a book in a book store. It’s exhilarating to think about, isn’t it? But then, as you get older, this dream loses its sheen somewhat. You see the kinds of books that get released. You learn the real goings-on of the industry. Year by year, this ever-shifting knowledge gnaws at you. It depresses you.

Personally, I grew up hearing the supposedly-motivational speeches. J. K. Rowling and her series that molded a generation. Stephen King and his horror novel empire. Every success story hides an army of failures behind it, though, and that’s the more troubling heart of it all.

I think the first real chip in my writing dreams happened in my youth. In my state, a teenage writer got famous for being published at 16. At least, I think that’s how old she was. All I mostly remember is my mother calling me to watch an interview with her on the news while I got ready for school. And I’ll admit, seeing a woman just a couple of years older than me, doing the thing I already dreamed of doing, was incredibly exciting. If she could do it, surely I could, right?

In our mutual excitement, my mother bought me a copy of her book and I rushed to read it. Afterwards, she would write a review in my stead on the Amazon page.

Unfortunately for all of us, that book was… quite a miss.

I still admired that author after the fact. A tiny part of me still does to this day. To be published young is not something many achieve… but this is a topic for another time, I think.

Over the years, there have been more blows to my faith in traditional publishing. I think anyone who has spent a lot of time in online writing spaces can understand why. From recent phenomenons such as #PublishingPaidMe to the long-winded publishing timelines that have been a staple of going traditional, the lack of diversity at every single level of publishing… it’s all one big headache. And as I’ve grown older and been able to see more of this dream for what it is… the less I’ve wanted it.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be published. At this point, I have two whole publications under my belt! Clearly, it’s still a dream I’m pursuing. However, aside from the above, there are plenty of other reasons why I won’t pursue traditional publishing.

I’m a bit of a control freak, for starters. I like having the final say on the things I produce. The title of my work, how the cover comes out… when I write books, I have a specific vision in mind for them, and it’s frustrating knowing that if I went traditional, I would have to budge plenty on my vision. That’s acceptable for plenty of people–otherwise there wouldn’t be a publishing industry to speak of–but not for me.

Another reason is the sheer difficulty in being accepted in the first place. Most major publishing houses won’t take unagented manuscripts, which means you first need to cross the hurdle of acquiring an agent. There’s plenty of agents to choose from, and that means you have plenty of chances to be taken advantage of. But say you pick a good agent, and you get lucky and they decide to take you on. Now you have to have them take your work–probably after having altered to their wants–and shop around with it. And maybe you get lucky here, too, and end up with a good opportunity. That’s great for you! However, it’s not the reality. All too often, though, it becomes an eternal slog after eternal slog. That’s just not for me.

If this wasn’t enough, there’s been… interesting trends in publishing lately, both in the books and in the general writing meta. For example, the growing push for authors to market themselves online in unusual means (like Xiran Jay Zhao, who experienced astronomical popularity and are now an unwilling example in promotional discussions.) Or how TikTok has brought to life controversies such as Lightlark. The self-censorship from TikTok has even bled into real-world book summaries such as:

[Redacted] is a dark retelling of Peter and Wendy. If you like your enemies to lovers romance with hot, ruthless, morally gray love interests, you’ll enjoy [redacted]. You can expect hate kissing, fighting, bickering, and ‘touch her and I’ll unalive you’ vibes.

Summary of a book published February 2022

This is not meant to be a post of doom and gloom, however. For plenty of people, traditional publishing has been just what they needed. Some even got lucky enough to make a living from it! However, there’s plenty of reasons why it isn’t for me.

But what about you? Is going traditional something you’ll ever consider doing?