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Solo Writing Retreat Day 2

Sunday was my planning and recovery day – plus a new start (later post).

After being up until 2 AM the night before, I slept in later than I intended. Had my brunch and still took my nature meditation time out on the deck. The friends I saw this time were a lizard that scurried across the floor and a big buzzing bee that hovered overhead in the beams. They both left me alone for the most part, but another large fly or wasp kept buzzing around my head, which cut my time outside shorter than I planned.

I came back inside and pulled out some of my notebooks and fancy pens that I brought to begin a planning session.

Magical bag of notebooks and pens

First, I did a retrospective for Monstrous Heat. The same “pick up and put down again” issue hit me for this book. I underestimated how hard the edits were going to be, and I had no choice but to put the book down so I could get Evil Eyed completed. Losing momentum is tough. Changing POVs from third person to first is tough. Adding more monster sex scenes (literally) is… you know it. Monstrously hard. Laughs.

But this was a really fun book. It continually surprises me how much I’m growing as a writer. The original draft was written in 2016. I was not a new writer then. I’ve been published since 2009 by small presses with good editors. But man, did that original draft need some overhauling!

I guess Shara has really taught me a thing or two.

Then I moved into my calendar for planning the rest of the year. I have a love/hate relationship with my calendar. I want to do so much. I have so many ideas. So many plans. Figuring out how to get it all done in the limited time I have with the Evil Day Job and all the interruptions of real life is the difficult part.

I joke that if I write it down and make a plan, that I basically have to throw the whole thing out after day one. It’s sure to change immediately. But I have to plan and keep trying to get a better system down. Continuous improvements! Learning those lessons from retrospectives. Or why do them, right?

So again, keeping in mind the number one thing that messes with my momentum is shifting gears from one book to another, I’m really going to buckle down and focus on the other Monstrous books. The complication is Blizzard Bound set for Dec. 1st and a surprise prequel freebie I need to finish by mid October. In a perfect world, I will get all this done on time and I won’t have to bump any dates.

We’ll see about that.

I WANT to get back to Their Vampire Queen ASAP. I have half of Helayna’s third book written. Shara is ready. Karmen’s hovering in the background. Even Xochitl and Belladonna are ready to join the party. But if I put down what I’m currently working on to start… and then try to pick up something else to finish… and then try and go BACK to our vampire queens… it’ll take me forever.

I won’t get anything done if I’m switching from world to world and spreading books out too far.

If I can get these tasks done by the end of the year, then 2023 will be the year of Their Vampire Queens.

I know I always set impossible goals. I am an overachiever at heart. But if I set more “reasonable” goals, then I just don’t get things done. I need that constant crazy pressure hanging over my head to function at full capacity. So I’ve penciled in my due dates and sketched out a sprint schedule that will allow me to do all the things I want to do by the end of the year.

I just have to stay off TikTok! And actually sit down at my open file to write. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

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