Wednesday, 3 January 2018

IWSG January 2018 - Happy New Year!

It's a brand new year, and being the first Wednesday of it, that also means it's time for the first meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I hope everyone had a great festive period - not too hectic - and you had a chance to refresh to meet 2018 head on. If you don't know what the ISWG is, it's a safe place where writers can discuss their fears and insecurities without worrying about being judged. With Ninja Cap'n Alex J. Cavanaugh at the helm, this month's co-hosts are Tyrean MartinsonEllen @ The Cynical SailorMegan MorganJennifer Lane, and Rachna Chhabria.


Before we get to this month's question, I have two very exciting news items for you!

First, the winners have been announced for the next IWSG anthology, which is shaping up to be a superb read:

A Stich in Crime – Gwen Gardner http://gwengardner.blogspot.com  
Three O’Clock Execution - S. R. Betler https://twitter.com/srbetler
Cypress, Like the Tree - Yolanda RenĂ©e http://yolandarenee.blogspot.com/
The Tide Waits – Rebecca M. Douglas http://www.ninjalibrarian.com
Until Release  - Jemi Fraiser http://jemifraser.blogspot.ca
Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed - C.D. Gallant-King http://www.cdgallantking.ca/
The Little Girl in the Bayou - J. R. Ferguson https://twitter.com/jessyferguson
One More Minute – Mary Aalgaard https://playoffthepage.com/
Center Lane - Christine Clemetson https://cclemetson.wordpress.com/
Special Mention:
Heartless – C. Lee McKenzie http://writegame.blogspot.com/

There is a superb variety of stories and talent on offer, and you're not going to want to miss this one.

Next, you only have a couple of weeks to hone your pitches for the next #IWSGPit Twitter Pitch event on Thursday, January 18!


Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 18, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query. 
Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.

After about 2300 Tweets being sent in the last event, and trending on Twitter, this year's is set to be even bigger. Don't miss out! Full rules can be found here.

Finally, let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is quite appropriate for the New Year, when we often look to go back to the drawing board to come up with a plan for the next 12 months:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing? 

This is an excellent question and one we should definitely all think about, as schedules can help us achieve a lot through a series of small steps over the long term. As for the writing, my schedule has been the same for a little while, making use of those early morning hours for either new words or editing (I now start my day job at a defined time of 6am, so writing takes place between 4 and 6). Publishing is a different kettle of fish, because along with that must come marketing, which I see as an ongoing process of experimentation. I've set rough release dates for the next books in my series, and I want to try different marketing endeavours with each one as well as repeating anything that may have had favourable results (I will always do a blog tour, for example). I keep a Word document for each book that I can add to, annotate, and check things off of. Hopefully I can have something going on at any given time, and this helps me keep on top of everything. For now, book 2 is my focus, so I will definitely start drawing up a marketing plan soon as I work to finalise edits.

What does scheduling look like for you? To see how others have answered, check out the list of other IWSG participants here

44 comments:

Sarah Foster said...

I work at 6 am, too, but I don't think I could make myself write that early! I like sleep too much. I should schedule a time right after work to do some writing, though.
Congrats to all the anthology winners!

JeffO said...

In response to Sarah above, I say, "Try it, you might like it!" I get up extra early in the morning just so I can ease into the day, but I have found I can write productively in the morning (after the first cup of coffee!).

Happy New Year, Nick. Sounds like 2018 will be a busy one. My agent and I had a conference in mid-December about this subject. She's working on subbing the last manuscript, I'm working on the next one, and we'll keep going. Best wishes for you and your family for the new year!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I admire you for getting up so early to write. A long time ago I did that, but then I started reading blogs then. You're probably making the better choice. I am writing more, just later in the day after I finish my work. Happy New Year! Hope you have a productive year.

The Cynical Sailor said...

You're so focused with your writing, especially getting up so early :-) I like the way you think about marketing experiments. Seems like a good approach. That way you're not disappointed when one avenue doesn't work out, you just chalk it up to an experiment gone wrong and repeat those experiments that worked.

Happy New Year - Ellen

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I find I'm most creative in the morning, and I plan to get back to making the most of that more often during the week. I've kind of let that slide since NaNo.

Good luck in 2018, Nick!

Jan Morrison said...

Good for you for getting at your writing so early. That's when I used to do my meditation practice but I can't do it this time of year - too dark. I think the reason so many writers say write in the morning is that you are making it a priority. Excellent! My discipline is in a good place now and I write daily. Querying - that's a bit tougher to get at but I'm working on it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You definitely have a solid plan. Control what you can control and try something new.

Susanne Matthews said...

I wish I had your drive. Good luck!

Hart Johnson said...

OH! Thanks for the heads up on the Twitter Pitch! I have 2 books I think are ready, so this is a good chance! And WOW. That's early! I don't think I could commit to that. It would have to be later in the day, but great for you!

Megan Morgan said...

Marketing is definitely the tricky part of publishing. Sometimes I think it comes down to just blind luck. Good luck to you this year! Happy New Year!

IWSG post: Taking Chances

Ella said...

You are an early bird-that is great! Happy New Year, Nick! I'll be back to read more of your posts.

Misha Gericke said...

I don't actively schedule yet, since I literally don't have time to fit everything I have to do into a day.

So I set priorities, and then do what I can and hope for the best.

I really would like to block out non-negotiable writing/editing time, but I'm struggling to find an interruption free time.

All the best for 2018!

Jennifer Hawes said...

Marketing is a whole 'nother story, isn't it? Writing and editing take time, but the whole promoting your book can be intimidating. Good luck!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Try new things and stick with what worked before. I still think a blog tour is viable. But we also have so many more options now.

emaginette said...

I also write first thing. It is amazing how much can happen before the world wakes up.

Anna from elements of emaginette

I.B. Nosey said...

Writing that early? Whoa, fella, glad it works for you but, like, this hunk of a reporter's gotta have his nosiness Nosey sleep, heh heh, so he can be the funkiest journalist on the net!

Carrie-Anne said...

I could never see myself writing so early, since I'm not a morning person at all! You're tougher than I am. Though I suppose I'd have no choice but to suck it up and do it if that were the only time I had available.

Patricia Lynne said...

Good luck with your writing. I could never get my butt out of bed that early to write. If I tried, I'd just fall back asleep without my feet even hitting the floor. Mornings are not my forte.

Chrys Fey said...

Publishing is definitely a different story. It takes a lot more planning than writing a book does.

Congrats to all the winners!

Julie Flanders said...

Wow I'm a morning person but I don't know if I could keep your schedule! I'm impressed with your discipline. Good luck with your plans for the year. :)

cleemckenzie said...

Like you, I'm an early morning writer. Nobody phones or texts. Nobody shouts up the stairwell, "Where's the butter?" It's quiet. It's my time. Good luck with your schedule and may 2018 see many more stories from your imagination.

Loni Townsend said...

Scheduling certainly does help us conquer in small steps. Best of luck with this year and grats to the winners!

Liza said...

Wow! Writing from 4:00 am? More power too you! I start mid-day for your, 6:30 am. Sometimes I see the sun come up. Happy New Year, Nick.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nick - good luck to you this year and your writing ... you are certainly putting your stories out there. 4.00 am in winter isn't much fun!! But good for you ... I know Elizabeth Spann Craig does some crazy hours ... discipline - and now have a very good 2018 = all the best - Hilary

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nick, you've read my post so you know what I'm up to. You're right. I didn't add marketing to my list. I'm learning so much about that through the 20booksto50K FB group I linked to on my post. I'm learning a ton.
HNY to you and yours!

Liz A. said...

4 AM. Eeek. 4 AM is for sleeping. I only see 4 AM if I'm coming at it from the other direction. I never get up at 4 AM voluntarily. (Kudos to you.)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I could never be creative that early in the morning. I'm the opposite and do my writing in the evenings. Guess we each have our own ways. Marketing is such a crap shoot.

Lynda R Young said...

You sound so organized. Brilliant!!
Best wishes for the new year.

Stephen Tremp said...

Nick, it really helps when you have a structure like a time to write. This works for me too. Best wishes moving forward into 2018.

dolorah said...

I can't imagine being awake enough at 4am to write. Morning people!!!

Chemist Ken said...

My most productive writing time is early in the morning, but 4am? I'd never be able to do that. Heck, getting up for a 6am day job would be tough enough. I admire your dedication to writing.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Great post, Nick. I appreciate how supportive you are. Your goals sound good, too, manageable.
I'm honored and thrilled to be part of the next IWSG anthology.
Happy reading and writing in 2018!
Mary at Play off the Page

Cherie Reich said...

It sounds like you've found a good schedule that works for you, but dang, 4 AM comes too early in the morning for me. LOL!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Best of luck with your scheduling plan, and Happy New Year!

Rebecca Douglass said...

Wow! I could not get up at 4 to write (or for much of anything else, except an occasional flight or to photograph a sunrise). But I also admire your consistency. My kids having left home, my schedule has gotten pretty loose, and the result is not more writing, but less. It's too easy to think "I have lots of time, I'll just take a look at FB first..."

Rebecca Douglass said...

P.S. Can you fix my name in the list above? They've fixed it on the IWSG page, but I'm trying to catch it other places. Just toss another "s" on Douglass...thanks!

Anne Doucette said...

Happy new Year Nick! Best wishes for your goals this year. Sounds like you have a great plan in process.
Anne from annehiga.com

Nicki Elson said...

Good for you getting up early to write. I'm afraid if I did that I'd only end up with the pattern of my keyboard indented on my forehead after falling asleep at my laptop, hehe.

Publishing certainly is another kettle of fish. You're smart to outline a schedule for that well in advance.

Happy new year!

Lynda Dietz said...

Happy new year! Rather than a writing schedule, mine is a blog-writing and editing schedule. This year, I need to get more of a routine to it, since the past few years have been a mishmash of last-minute pantsing and fit-it-in-when-it-fits scheduling around my day job. I don't like the feeling of never being able to choose the time I have free, so this is the year I'm trying a few new things, planning for growth and consistency, and allowing myself to breathe in between.

Darla M Sands said...

I'm so afraid to try and get published, not wanting to subject my 'love children' to the world, and am just happy to be writing daily and polishing my series. ~shakes head~ Best wishes!

Michelle Wallace said...

I like the new look of your blog, Nick!
At the moment, I'm "writing up a storm"... so I need to just ride this wave for as long as I can...
Happy Writing!

Crystal Collier said...

Sounds like you've got a plan. I do not. Actually, I do: survive. :) It's going to be a while before I have enough sanity to get back to things, but I suppose there's value in acknowledging where we're at and what's realistic, eh? Here's to an epic 2018!

Heather R. Holden said...

Wow, that's impressive how you'll start writing as early as 4AM! And I agree with how experimental marketing often feels. I can never predict how well any of my own attempts at that will be. Good luck with all the writing/publishing/marketing you hope to do this year!

Arlee Bird said...

Scheduling? What scheduling?

Back from my holiday travels I feel kind of spent. I desperately need to get back on a productive schedule.

All the best to you in 2018.

Lee
Tossing It Out