Monthly Recap: July, August & September 2016

The title of this post speaks for itself – I’ve been flat-out over the last few months, and it’s resulted in me going a tad off-grid when it comes to keeping you fine folk up-to-date. So without any further adieu, let’s get stuck into this combined recap…

My Books

Red Hands

Red Hands is the book that just keeps on giving, in terms of edits. In June I gave my manuscript back to my publisher after the first major structural edit, and was given a new round of edits to work on.

This is a completely normal process, and (according to my publishing bestie, Ben) it’s one that all authors go through when taking their work from manuscript to finished product. However, what you rarely hear is how hard it is – how much it affects you in terms of your confidence and your motivation, as well as the impact it has on your other projects.

While I know that these edits are entirely essential, I just wish it wasn’t such a drawn out process. I find myself frustrated, wanting to move onto my other projects and work.

I’m handing my next version in at the end of October, so hopefully things move along after that. I can’t wait until we get stuck into the actual production of this book.

Finding Oremere

For the last few months, I felt that this book had taken a backseat thanks to my focus on Red Hands. However, I’ve realised that Finding Oremere was actually going through a really important, beneficial stage…

Remember how I sent it off to my beta readers? Well, recently I’ve had the chance to go over their feedback in detail (something I’m still working on) and it’s been incredible.

Kyra Thomsen (nee. Bandte) and Claire Bradshaw (my Writer’s Edit gals), as well as Aleesha Paz and Kelly Blake (my publishing pals) were so so generous with their time, and the feedback they provided me with.

Despite knowing how valuable feedback is to writers, I’ve never used the beta reader process before on a manuscript. In hindsight, this would have helped a lot with Red Hands in the early stages.

With Finding Oremere, it has done wonders for my confidence, my enthusiasm for the characters and the story, as well as helped narrow my focus to various aspects of the narrative that need additional work and attention.

I read through the feedback at a time where my confidence as a writer was at a particularly low point. But the careful and constructive insights my beta readers provided me with has left me with nothing but passion and energy to get back to this story.

Fantasy Book II

As you can imagine, my hands have been kind of full with the two previous books, so this hasn’t exactly progressed how I would have liked.

However, reworking Finding Oremere with my beta readers has meant that I’ve been addressing issues that would have become a problem later on in the series. So while I haven’t increased the word count as such, it’s still been productive in other ways.

Editor’s Life

Writer’s Edit

Writer’s Edit has evolved so much since its inception, but in the last few months in particular, I’m really proud of the direction myself and the team have taken it in.

For nearly three years, Writer’s Edit has been run under my personal ABN (that’s Australian Business Number for the folks abroad), but we’ve grown a lot since then, and so within the next few months, Dave and I will be setting WE up as a trading business, with a proper business model, structure and financials.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for us, as it means we’re another step closer to being able to pay our wonderful staff, and eventually run Writer’s Edit as both our full time jobs.

I’ve also already written more courses for our membership platform…

  • General Social Media For Authors
  • Facebook For Authors
  • Twitter For Authors
  • Instagram For Authors

You can find out more about them and all the other Writer’s Edit courses here.

I’m currently working on ‘How To Build An Author Platform’ and ‘Blogging Essentials For Authors’…

Kindling Volume III

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but K3 has gone to press, and I currently have the launch stock stored under my staircase.

It’s a really strange milestone for me as the editor and publisher of this anthology – we’ve published three books in this collection, with this being the last. It’s sad and exciting at the same time – the last Kindling book, but also the beginning of new projects on the horizon.

I’m in the middle of organising the launch party for November, which is always a blast – booking the venue this week, and then it’s onto designing and sending invites, and taking pre-orders.

I’m also keen to work out how to sell all three in a cute little bundle pack, so there’s plenty of things for me to do!

Freelancing

The past few months I’ve also been pretty busy with freelance work, and I’ve had some great clients with really interesting projects. I’ve done some manuscript assessments, and have also worked on a screenplay.

I’ve also been doing some more technical writing and SEO work, which actually helps balance out the creative workload.

What I’ve Read

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns by Mindy Kaling

My reading time has suffered immensely these past few months. I’ve really struggled to get into anything new, and so have done a lot of re-reading.

I’ve also been re-familiarising myself with Finding Oremere by reading it on my Kindle, which has been a great experience in terms of looking at your work from a ‘reader’s’ perspective.

Anyway, hoping to get back into reading for pleasure as soon as possible!

Until next time,

Helen

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