Wednesday, September 30, 2015

End of September

Even though it's 12:45 while I'm writing this post, I still wanted to get in my end of the month post. September has been a great month for me, and especially has been great for my writing. I just can't believe how quickly it ended.
With October starting I have a lot of work ahead of me, but also so huge moments in my life to be excited for. First off, let's talk about everything in terms of writing. As far as my work with Clara and Claire I am currently 24k into the novel. This puts me at 28% done in terms of reaching my end goal. I still have a lot of work to do with the novel, and if anything I've learned to take it slow and not try to jump to far ahead of myself. I have so many ideas for this book, but don't worry I've been noting them down as I go. As I mentioned in a previous post, September was my breakthrough month. I've gotten more accomplished in this month than July or August. This month had truthfully been my start on the novel. No more obsessive planning to the point where I'm not excited anymore. No more excuses to not write. Every night at 9pm it's writing time --unless plans intervene. Scheduling time to write has proven to be very rewarding.
Already I am looking at this novel and thinking, "I can't wait to shop for covers. I can't wait to see this book in print." There is so much in the future that I am excited for. But right now everything is focused on finishing the book. The writing group I am a part of has a goal to have their books finished by October 31st. I would love if I could also reach this goal. That way at least my first draft would be complete, but I'm also not rushing myself. Almost every night I try to write at least 1k, and while that's not a lot, some nights it surprises me how much it feels like. Especially on nights when I'm not in the mood to write at first.

As for the Magicians series, I am planning to do something special for Christmas and just winter in general. There's so many holidays coming up, and I will share more about it when I have the details. In the meantime thank you so much to everyone who has supported and continues to support the series. Don't forget we're so close to reaching the 350 like goal on the Facebook page.

Finally, I have something related to my personal life that is very close to happening now. My wedding will be on November 13th. So now that October is beginning it is only a month away, and I am beyond thrilled for the big day. I'll be posting a countdown on the sidebar for you to keep track with me if you'd like. November will definitely be a big life-changing month, and sadly I don't know if I can realistically compete in NaNoWriMo. I might still register my novel and say I am, but I wouldn't expect to reach the 50k goal. With the wedding and honeymoon, there will simply be too much time away from home for me to focus on my writing. And by the end of November is Thanksgiving, so who knows how much I'll really get done during that month. That's why October is a huge month for my writing. To me October might as well be Nano because I need to get as much writing done as possible.
Ideally I want to reach 30k by the end of this weekend, and by the end of October I hope to be nearing 60k or more. That would make me more than halfway done with my novel. So keep your fingers crossed that all goes well and stays to the plan. If not, no worries I know I can catch up in December. But how awesome would it be to make it that far in October? There's no limits except for time and my mental state. So I'll keep writing away as much as I can!
Now that you have an idea of what the next three months will look like, comment below with your plans. What do you plan to accomplish before the end of the year? (And man is it coming up quick too!)
Good night,
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Clara and Claire: Announcement

After almost a two month wait, I want to finally share the details about my new novel. As I mentioned in my last post, I've purposely kept the details of it very vague. A lot of work has already gone into this novel, and there is a very long road ahead of me. This novel will either be a stand alone or have a sequel. For right now I'm viewing it as a stand alone. (Though you know I can't resist the urge to write a sequel... so we'll see how it ends.)
The unofficial summary
Clara Nasso witnesses an illegal act of magic the night of her 20th birthday.
The following morning two lives are changed forever. Claire Kanelos, the daughter of the head councilor, disappears. That same day Clara is kidnapped by a Council member and taken to the island of Ninmay. The island rumored to be filled with rich and powerful mages proves to consist of liars and mysteries.
Disturbing facts are brought to light, and Clara realizes the resemblance she shares with the missing woman. She hesitantly agrees to stay for one night, playing the role of Claire.
She meets Ezra, the only person who seems true to his word. He promises to be held responsible for her return home. However, can Clara ever leave when secrets are unraveled with each passing day? Might a killer walk freely and she be the key to Claire's survival?
That's the working summary for now, though I am certain it will change come closer to publication. My initial thoughts with this novel was that I wanted it to focus more on the story and mystery aspects. Everyone on the islands have magic, and the world itself is entirely fictional. (That's what I've been having the most fun with.) This time around, though, the magic is being kept subtle and is simply a part of these people's lives.
In terms of word count for the end of this novel, my goal is at least 85k (currently). Tonight I reached 14k, so I'm only 17% of the way there. If you want to see my daily progress I've been updating Instagram frequently, so be sure to stop by and check out my photos. While I definitely have a lot of work cut out for me, it's slowly coming together (and much faster than when I tried to start last month). As for a release timeline, I have since 2012 been releasing a book each year. This book, if all goes according to plan, will be releasing sometime in 2016. 
What do you think about Clara and Claire? You can follow along the discussion on social media using #ClaraAndClaire. Leave a comment below and tell me your thoughts on this new novel? I can't wait to hear your opinion. 
Enjoy your night, and happy reading!

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Writing Breakthrough

September has been the month that has saved my writing and me (from myself). About a week ago my cover designer (for Thicker Than Blood), Alivia Anders, invited me into a writing group. I do want to credit the group because I believe they have also given me the proper motivation and determination I needed. Before I was relying solely on myself, but in the writing group we share our word counts and our accomplishments. We even share on the days when we don't do our best... and I've learned that's okay.
In July Bloodline Inheritance released, so it's been about two months since the release day --it will be as of this Thursday. As soon as I completed the Magicians series I wanted to dive into something new. I spent years working on my series, and with it complete I knew it was my time to move onto something new. I still to this day miss my characters from the series... At first it was definitely something that blocked me from feeling motivated for my new novel. I've said that word a lot over the past two months... "New novel." It has been intentional because I have not directly shared the specifics with anyone about Clara and Claire. (I've dropped some hints on Instagram if you've been following along.)
This month I finally decided to do something about my lack of writing --or poor job of it for that matter. Since Cursed With Power's release in 2012 I have managed to release a book every year. It's not as much as some authors do --and the ones who do, more power to you. But for me a yearly release is what works for me. Sometime in the future it might change, and I'm sure it will, but for now that is what I'm comfortable with. 
For me, I think what started it was seeking out motivation on my own. You can read more about motivation techniques on my previous post, but I think that was the beginning to it. I started finding quotes and pictures to remind myself "you can do it." And once I joined the writing group I'm in it pushed me to my full potential. 
If you follow along on my Instagram, you have probably heard about the "Writing Journal" app I use. I want to post separately about it later this week, but that app has done wonders for me. I use it daily and any time I write. Even if it's a 20-30 minute session... log it. I'm no longer ashamed of sharing my word count because I have been pushing myself to new limits.
Every day I come up with a manageable word count. It's different for every writer, but for me it's usually anywhere from 2-3k, depending on what kind of day I'm having. Tonight, for instance, I started out slow, but then reached over 1k words. That's not a huge amount of words for one night, but for an hour long session I'll take it. It's better to set the goal small that way you can reach it and achieve even more --if you want to. 
My point of this post is that this month I had a breakthrough with my novel. I realized several nights ago after a long writing session that this is novel is the one. It's the one I want to release to my readers in 2016. It's one I can be proud of and want to pour the time and effort into. The story and characters have been following me everywhere, and I love having that feeling again. (Sorry, Leal. I know you were hoping to keep my full attention.) It's amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it... even if you have a kitten who wants to jump on your keyboard.
Regardless of where you are now in your writing adventures, I wanted to share this with you to remind you that anything is possible. And if you're writing a novel that is meant to be you'll feel it. I'm glad I can share the good and the bad with my writing in a more positive light now.

More on Clara and Claire
Tomorrow on the blog I'll be sharing official details about Clara and Claire. I have purposely withheld them because I wanted to be certain this novel would make it out of the "planning stage." And it definitely has. I'm at 13k as of tonight and still working on hard. Tomorrow I'll be sharing more details on what the book is about. I'll even include some mock cover work I made for the book. And in case you're worried you'll miss it, the links will be posted on my other social media sites.
Thank you to everyone who has been supportive of this new book. It's a new adventure for you and me, and I can't wait to see where it takes us. In the meantime I plan on sharing a lot about the journey to publication (for the fifth time!). 
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Staying Motivated

Recently with working on my newest novel I've been focusing a lot on motivation and inspiration. I think especially with the start of a new novel is when the author needs motivation the most. It's easy to fall behind, and writing is something you can easily be distracted from. Everyday I have been seeking out motivation of some kind, and some days I fall a bit short.
Over the past few months I've learned more about motivation. Motivation comes in different forms for everyone. For some it might be listening to music, looking at artwork, finding that perfect image that matches your story. For others it might simply be someone saying "don't give up." At any point in writing a novel I believe all forms of motivation are acceptable. I have been searching quotes and images on Instagram and Tumblr for this very cause. Writing can often times (a majority of the time --if we're being honest) be a lonely job, but when motivation is everywhere around us. All you have to do is find it, and I'm share this with you because both you and I need to hear it.
On days when I've been doubting myself or my work, I find making my own motivation works as well. Life can get in the way of writing, but there is always some time in the day to write. Lately I've been telling myself if I can write for at least 30 minutes to an hour that is good enough. I would prefer to write longer than that, or if writing during that hour to actually write more, but we're talking quality over quantity here. It's not November yet; we're not racing to the finish line. But that doesn't mean that we should be slowing down either. 
Here are a few of the tricks I've been using to stay motivated:
  • Quotes -several times a week I find a quote usually on Instagram or Tumblr that has a positive meaning to it. It has to be something motivational/inspirational, but it does not necessarily need to relate to writing. Just something to remind me that I need to keep going. I've posted several of these quotes on Instagram over the past few weeks.
  • Pictures -I use Pexels for a majority of stock photos I use on social media. I try to visit the site every day to look at their new photos. But more importantly, I like taking a closer look at the pictures. Every now and then I find ones that really speak to me and my new novel specifically. That kind of thing isn't rare, but it's satisfying to find those images and stare at them while working.
  • Pinterest -this isn't including in the "pictures" category because Pinterest is something entirely separate --at least to me. For each of my books in the past I've created a board to pin pictures that relate to the book. With my new novel it's nothing different. Once again I'm constantly searching for images that go along with my story. When I'm feeling lost on where to go next I look to my board for motivation. There's a whole story there waiting to be written.
  • Goal and Reward -this isn't something I've talked about in great detail on the blog, but this year especially I've used it. Setting up a goal and reward system while writing a book is great and exciting. I haven't set up anything major for myself yet, but definitely as I go past 5k and in the two digits for word count I want to set up more rewards --that are bigger. I'll share more about this in a later post when I have more of my own examples.
While that doesn't cover everything that keeps me motivated those are the major ones. It really does help me get through the week by finding motivation --no matter how small. 
So tell me, what are ways you stay motivated while writing? I would love to hear what works for you,  and there's no such thing as too much motivation. Who knows, maybe we can all help each other stay on track.
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Monday, September 7, 2015

Free Ebook -3 yr Celebration

Three years ago Cursed With Power released officially, being published by Old Line Publishing. This was a huge day for me -and still is- as it reminds me of every struggle I endured to make it to that moment. Celestria Hale started this adventure with me, and she's been with me since the beginning. 
Back in 2010 when I started writing Cursed With Power I spent years rewriting, editing, and etc. I never would have imagined the book would finally be picked up by a publisher. By the time CWP was published I also couldn't imagine that one day I'd be sitting here with the entire Magicians series complete. How fast time has flown!
I know today is Labor Day, and a lot of people are celebrating the holiday. To celebrate the holiday and also this three year anniversary, I wanted to do something special for the readers. You're my support, you help me through the days when I doubt myself.
For today only Bloodline Inheritance is free via ebook on Amazon. Please head on over and grab your copy, and be sure to tell your friends and family too. It might be free, but each download is still supporting the series. This offer will only last until tonight by 11:59. Don't miss out on your opportunity!
I would have made CWP free via ebook, but I do not have control over the pricing of the book -my publisher does. Nonetheless, I thought Bloodline Inheritance was the second best chance because it's the newest one to release.
It's been a crazy start of the month so far. We've recently added a kitten, Ahri, to our family, so she's kept us preoccupied. This month a lot is happening, and I need to spend a day or two catching up on writing. Can't wait to share more with you, but in the meantime enjoy the free ebook!
Lindsey R. Sablowski

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hello, September

Hello September, and my have you arrived early this year. Unfortunately I missed out on my end of August post last night, but I assure you it was for good reason. I stayed up until about 1am completing chapter one of my new novel. I'm waiting for my "aha" moment where I go into full on writing mode. 
September is an exciting month for me, and I have a lot of expectations for it. For one thing there's several important dates coming up that hold value. September 7th is the 3 year anniversary since Cursed With Power's publication. I'm hoping to do something special on that day or possible the day before, but I will let you know. As of now I haven't decided on something, so I can't reveal anything. And September 26th is the 3 year anniversary since Eric and I first started dating. It's exciting to know we're reaching 3 years in our relationship, and come November we'll be getting married. I will be sharing more about that on the blog once November starts.
As for my goals in September... I want to set them high but manageable. I've definitely been busy these past few months, and it's been about a month and a few days since the release of Bloodline Inheritance. My goal with September is to finally settle down into writing this new novel I'm working on. With using the Novel Planner I bought and thinking a lot at night about this new adventure, I really want it to be the one. I'll be sharing more about it on Instagram, but I'm also hoping to finally feel at home with it. Or at least get a better standing on where I want to go with it.
Ideally if I have something complete by the end of September that I'm happy with I want to share a little bit of it on Wattpad. This is something that I can easily share with friends, family, and readers of course. It's something I'm working toward because it would make me happy, and I just love the Wattpad community in general. The entire novel, however, would not go up on the website. Only one full chapter -at the most- and the remainder you would wait for like with the Magicians series.
I've been looking to a lot of books for guidance, motivation, inspiration... and I've been looking to my own series as well. Thank you to everyone whose believed in my work since the beginning -or supported it as long as you've known about it. I'm working hard every night to make the most out of the next adventure we'll be taking together. And quite possibly it will be one with Clara and Claire... 
But for now we will wait and see... Until then enjoy the beginning to your September. I can't wait for pumpkin spice flavoring to be back and for some refreshing fall weather.
Lindsey R. Sablowski