It's exactly twelve months today since I was made redundant and I thought I would reflect on the year it's been. When I was first made redundant, the one thing I wanted to do was to write for the rest of the year. I'd spent the last nine years working full-time and writing when I could make time, and I decided to give myself three months to focus on my writing, and then I would decide what to do next.
My aim was to write as many first drafts as possible in the time. I'd done NANOWRIMO which is writing 50,000 words in a month, while I was working full time so I figured writing 80,000 words in a month while writing full time couldn't be too hard.
Well I was wrong about that - it was hard, but I did do it. During October I wrote the first draft of Under the Covers (which was out last month) and in November I wrote the first draft of Into The Fire.
In October I was finalising my contract for All that Sparkles so I let Momentum know I had just finished the first draft of book 3 and was planning to write book 4 during November. I asked whether they wanted them as well. I never would have been able to say that if I hadn't been made redundant. Luckily Momentum agreed. 🙂
December and January saw me editing Under the Covers to meet a February 1st deadline and doing my business planning for the year. Now that I had three signed contracts, I decided to use my redundancy payout to continue supporting myself while I wrote those books.
The first half of the year was taken up by either editing, copy-editing or proofreading the last three books in The Texan Quartet, or doing training. Now that I was a full-time author I needed to learn about marketing, business, promotion and graphic design. I devoured several books on the subjects, did some online courses, organised and attended workshops, and asked my author friends a lot of questions.
In June, Momentum asked me whether I had anything new for them for next year. I'm not sure they really expected my response which was a semi-detailed description of the three-book series that I had already started writing. It was enough for them to offer me a three book contract which I immediately signed - therefore ensuring I wasn't going back to 'normal' work for the rest of the year!
So really it has been a full on year, packed full of writing. In summary I:
- wrote and edited three books
- signed seven book contracts
- did training on marketing and promotion, website development, graphic design, and a whole lot more
- helped set up the Rockingham Writers Centre
- Set up this blog and have been consistently posting three times a week
I'm actually quite impressed with myself. I know I've been working way more hours than I did in my day job, but I love it! So what will the rest of the year bring?
- deliver book 1 of The Flanagan Sisters
- first draft and first edit of book 2 of The Flanagan Sisters
- copy-editing of book 1 of The Flanagan Sisters
- a well earned break travelling around Ecuador for a few weeks, including the Galapagos Islands - I can't wait!
Then I'll be focusing on my business plan for 2016. I wonder how many books I'll be able to write next year?