The Writing Goeth…

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The last 9 weeks have felt like this writing wise. I pretty much rewrote the entire book for Six Train’s sequel. And now the developmental edits are done! I want to dance and sing and shout. I feel like what I’m sending to my editor today is much, much better.

But for 9 weeks, I doubted it would ever get there. Though with perseverance, I managed to get through the manuscript 4 times in 9 weeks, so I feel like what I am delivering is pretty polished. *Fingers and toes are crossed*

She’ll get me line edits in a few weeks and I will rework things again.

Then we’ve got to figure out the title and cover concept this spring too.

In the interim, I’m working on two short stories to submit in April to two different anthologies. One was a flash fiction piece I’m expanding to a short story. The other was a random bit of writing from 2010 that I’m turning into a short story. It’s really exciting to do these shorter pieces on a tight deadline.

I’m also making some minor proofreading edits to The Six Train to Wisconsin this week because I plan to re-release the paperback and Kindle this summer. I also want to include an excerpt from Book 2’s first chapter in the back of Book 1’s paperback.

I’ve used up my 5 free Kindle days in March for The Six Train to Wisconsin. I got 10k downloads during that time. My last free day was on 3/23/16. So far there have been 5 new Amazon reviews posted and several new ratings on Goodreads.

I also saw a nice bump in sales and Kindle Unlimited downloads in March. I won’t have final numbers for a few weeks, but it was an inexpensive promo opportunity. All I had to do was pay for promo ads on websites and mailing lists and announce it on my social media.

I have some more promo things coming up for TGWIG at RT Convention, Bologna, and ALA. Interested to see how those impact sales this spring.

I’ve started a happiness journal that was inspired by blog buddy Jill Weatherholt’s post One Year Later–Still Happy. All I have to do is write 1 sentence a day about something that made me happy. It’s funny how easy that is to do. And it starts to shift your perspective a bit. Because every day there is something to be happy about. Thanks Jill!

And lastly,  I’m absolutely in love with Birdy.

This song really helped me get into my character’s head for my short story…

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31 Responses to The Writing Goeth…

  1. Aw…thanks for the mention, Kourtney. I’m thrilled that you too have discovered the benefits of taking the time each day to write that one sentence. 🙂
    Congratulations on completing your developmental edits! Doesn’t it feel like a never-ending process? I submitted my line/copy edits last week…now I wait.

    • Thanks for that great post! Really changed my outlook on things. 🙂 They were the hardest I’ve ever done. Nothing seemed to be working right in this book. But I feel like I got it to a good place. Now a breather and then I tear it up again. I know the benefits of multiple rounds of revisions but man it’s hard to get through. Congrats on getting the line edits in. The waiting can be tough too. Hugs.

  2. Phew Kourtney, you’ve been working hard as usual! Looking forward to when all the work pays off and I can read it 🙂

  3. Pete Denton says:

    You mention deadlines. I think that’s something I could do with at the moment. Self-imposed deadlines are working for me.

    10k downloads is a healthy promotion and hopefully it generates more good reviews for you.

    I like the idea of a happiness journal. We should all manage 1 sentence as day surely 🙂

    • Deadlines are really important. I find it’s easier to get things done when I have clear timeframes and expectations. It’s also great training for when you eventually land a book contract. Some give you 30 days to turn around major revisions and 2 weeks to get through line edits. Otherwise, the publisher moves forward with the new version without your input. It’s really important to be able to work under tight deadlines then!

      I am happy with it. Interested to see how it impacts reviews and sales over the next couple months too.

      It’s a really cool idea, right? And one sentence a day, who doesn’t have time for that? 🙂

      • Pete Denton says:

        I need a routine, deadlines or someone with a stick to hit me when I don’t do what I say I’m going to do!

        I’m going to have a go at the one sentence idea. Sounds good to me.

        • For me, it’s about forming habits. Make a to do list and do the top 3-5 things every day. Mind you, I let things slip somewhere in my life. My diet went badly the past 7 weeks. But I met my book deadline. Now I’m working on my exercise and eating again. It’s hard to stay on top of everything all the time. Sometimes something slips. But it has to be temporary. 🙂

          I love the one sentence thing. It’s so easy to do and really alters the way you look at each day.

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Congrats on getting the edits done for Six Train’s sequel! What a huge relief that must be. Just goes to show when it comes to writing, much of it still comes down to hard work and persistence. Talent weighs in, but it won’t finish the book. Hard work will.

    • Thanks. There were moments when I seriously worried that I might have to pull the book. Because I won’t put out a book I don’t believe in. And I was struggling to believe that this could be what it’s become. 🙂 I feel so footloose. I’m catching up on side projects and making friend plans! I love having some time to finally breathe. It’s so true. And talent needs to be tested and honed. Writing muscles need to be flexed constantly or they shrivel up. So true about hard work. I don’t think I’ve worked this hard on a developmental edit before. But it really paid off.

  5. You have been so productive. Whew. It’s bound to pay off – and you feel like it went well. Big YEA.
    (And homes for short stories -hmmm, you’re giving me some hope there. Short stories are genre I like, but what to do with them? Now I’m feeling a bit lazy)
    Great line ” writing muscles need to be flexed constantly…”

    • I try to keep things in motion constantly. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but sometimes it pays off. 🙂 I do now that I finished them. While I was doing them I felt like throwing myself on the floor and having a tantrum most days. There are contests and anthologies that go on all year for short stories. It’s a good way to get your work in front of other people and to get to try other things without committing to another novel. 🙂 Aw thank you.

  6. carlamcgill says:

    My congratulations added to all the others! Many things to add to your thankful/happy list!!!

  7. Whoo-hoo! Way to go! I just got done editing two books back-to-back myself. It feels so good to be done. (And now begins the next project.) Whee!

    • Thanks. Wow, that’s hard. I did a revision in December and then went straight into developmental edits on this one. I’m doing my best to schedule in time off when I can. It really can drain the mind. 🙂 Good luck!

  8. Gwen Stephens says:

    Hi Kourtney, Great to get the newsy update on how it’s all going! Glad to hear your promotional efforts have had good returns, and I enjoyed hearing the progress of Six Train’s sequel. I’ve been wondering where you were in the process. I think a happiness journal is a great idea for anyone. Helps keep things in perspective when we get bogged down with the little things. xo

    • Hey Gwen! I try to mix it up here so it’s a slice of what’s up in my life. 🙂 Me too. I don’t know what next month holds, but it’s nice to have a bump in sales and an uptick in reviews. The sequel went through a good amount of changes after betas and then my editor got it and it was a major rewrite. The key plot points and themes are there but many scenes got deleted and redone. I think it’s better for it, but it was a crazy road to get here. It’s really easy to do and it makes each day feel a little brighter.

  9. I would imagine this is a huge weight that is now lifted.. 🙂 Well done.. 🙂

  10. I love the idea of a happiness journal. I try to thank the Universe out loud for all the good things that come my way, and writing down why I am happy will really show my appreciation! 🙂

    • Many thanks to Jill Weatherholt for that awesome post–she totally inspired me to do it. For some reason writing it down makes it more concrete for me. Also on a bad day when I think things have been bad for a while, I can look back and see the tiny rainbow I had each day.

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