Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The Struggle Bus

 I know we've all heard about pandemic "burnout" and all that jazz, but is pandemic inadequacy a thing? When it comes to my writing, I have felt so inadequate about it since the start of the pandemic. Like I've been trying to edit the second Avery Lawson book for the last year and some change, and I've barely made a dent in it. I've been working on it in starts and fits, and when I am able to get into it, I get maybe three or four pages done. This is why I'm getting bummed out because I know I'm able to write, edit, and publish a book in a decent amount of time. I mean in 2018, I put out two books, one of which was outlined, written, edited, and published with quick turnaround. So quick, I fcking impressed myself, but I'm seriously having a hard time putting the pedal to the metal on this second Avery Lawson book.

This feeling of inadequacy is wreaking havoc on my confidence as a writer, and I've been questioning if I even want to continue with being a writer. Most of the time, I come to the conclusion that I'm going to write regardless if I "quit" or not. It's just in my nature to always be writing something. It's an ingrained habit I can't seem to just let go of. So, since I've decided I'm not going to quit, I've been trying to work on some other projects like outlining the next Detective Miller book or even some of my unfinished fanfiction, but even working on any of those seems like a chore than an exciting escape I can get lost in. So I'm sort of floating in this mindless abyss where I'm highly aware of what I should be doing writing wise, but unable to focus or do anything with it.

At this point, I'm just trying to find something that will not only enthrall me but also excite me enough to where I want to share it with the masses. The Adventures of Swift actually gives me that feeling, but I also need to edit it. Perhaps I'll work on that, see if it gets my writing engines going again, then I'll jump back into Avery Lawson. Who knows lol. I'm just hoping for a miracle or something. 

Anyway just wanted to type out a quick blog post to let everyone know I am alive and kicking, but on this struggle bus. We'll see what the rest of the year brings since I'll be heading back to the office at some point between September and December. 

Everyone stay safe, and remember to rate and/or review the books you read/listen to. Especially those by indie and self-pubbed authors.

Until next time....

-DJ Small

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Oh, dear. It's the end of May....YIKES!

Greetings from the depths of where ever the hell I've been residing. I thought I would fire off a quick May post since I am working on the blog anyway. As you all can tell, I've changed the background on it and fixed some minor cosmetic things that have bugged me since I did the clusterfck I caused in what I want to say February, so that's one less thing that annoys me. But there are more things I want to do with it, and I shall since I'm learning code to beef-up my resume and legitimize my coding knowledge.

All right, I am done talking nerdy to you. Website is still undergoing its transformation which is due to me loading everything to Gumroad and Smashwords. Once I have those books uploaded, the book page will go live and I will be ending my newsletter. Updates, news, and all that jazz will be distributed through my Gumroad page, blog, and website. You can sign up here to get updates from my Gumroad page. With Gumroad I have the option of making posts as well as sending out emails to followers when I do post, so it'll be like killing two birds with one stone. For those who are currently on the subscriber list for my newsletter, you will have to sign up for the Gumroad newsletter if you want to keep receiving updates. I'll send one final newsletter before shutting it down.

At some point, I will be starting a subscription service through Gumroad once all this is said and done. It's going to come in the form of a library, where those who sign up for it will have unlimited access to it. I'm still in the pre-planning phase of that, but that's where I'm headed next once the website is updated and everything is live on Gumroad.

I am editing the hell out of Fate Unseen. That's actually what I'm hopping back into once this post is finished. I'm getting closer to the first exciting incident, so I'm anxious to get there. Still a long book, but well worth it. I'm hoping once I get to the middle of it, I can start carving out some non-essential parts. As one of my beta readers pointed out, I'll cut out some of the banter, but none of the spiciness. Looking forward to getting down this first hill of the editing roller coaster because it has been a long time coming.

Still outlining the next Detective Miller book, but I think once I have finished editing Fate Unseen, I'm going to jump back into Adventures of Swift and get that edited. Looks like a year of editing for me. Fcking yikes! But I've been sitting on some of these project for quite some time as some of you know. My B.

I hope we're all enjoying the gradual descent into a post-covid life. While I am vaccinated, I'm still wearing my mask and staying as far as possible from people, but I'm going to make the most of this hot vaxxed summer. Isn't that what the kids are calling it?

Anyway, hope everyone enjoys the rest of May. Don't forget to sign up for the Gumroad newsletter and remember to review the indie and self-pubbed books you read. 

Until next time...

DJ Small

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Things Are....Going. Yep. They're going.

I started typing this up while I was logged into work since I was left to my own devices, and thought it was a good time to blog. Priorities am I right? I know it has been awhile, but with Spring being sprung, I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. I fcked up the blog. Fricking blogger changed their customizing page and everything looks horrible, especially with all that Arial font. Psh. Moving on....

Other than that, I would like to say in my absence I have actually been productive. I slowly getting a hang of my chord changes (anchor fingers are key), but more importantly, I have been chipping away at Fate Unseen bit by bit, and I've been outlining the second--and angsty as all get out--Detective Miller book. Can I pause for a moment to talk about this second Detective Miller book for a second? Of course I can. It's my blog. All right, so when I first started this series, I planned for it to be a rom-com that was sort of inspired by JD Robb's (Nora Roberts) In Death series. Something I could work on that would give me a break from the Last Pureblood series, but effin' A y'all. Because I am me, this second book has taken a nose dive right into angst town and it's unintentional but at the same time intentional.

I had to give Eliza and Dax some drama, and man did I bring it. I'm hoping by the time I get to actually writing this part of the story, I'll have figured out a way to make it a little more lighthearted, but it doesn't look like it. Eliza's past isn't the stuff rom-coms are made of, and neither is Dax's, so the best I can do is make sure it doesn't drag on too long. But goodness gracious. Sometimes, when I get an idea in my head, how I execute is so far on the other end of what I was going for that it aggravates me.

Anyways, back to where I was going. I've been putting in some work even though I've been radio silent. I try to post often on Twitter, but I know some of y'all are wondering where I'm at with projects and what my plans are for 2021 since they're always in a state of flux. Fate Unseen, like I said, I'm slowly chipping away at it and I've gotten past a pivotal conversation that happens in chapter 3. Can't say much about the length of it. It's still going to be a long book. I also could be wrong, but we're going to have to wait and see.

I've also been creating PDF, Mobi, and ePub files for the books I don't have these files for. This is part of my effort to use Smashwords and Gumroad as my primary distribution sites. Everything is still going to be on Amazon, but I think I'm going to have delayed releases for my future relases. I'm still trying to figure out how that's all going to flow.

While I've been creating these files, some minor updates happen because if I see something that irks me, I'm going to correct it. Once all those files are created, I'll update them across all platforms, so you might have an update coming to your current copy.

As soon as everything is said and done, the website will be back in action then I can restart my giveaways. For those who have participated in my prior giveaways, they were done through BookFunnel, which I might still use, but I'm thinking about stepping away from them and doing giveaways strictly through my Gumroad page. With BookFunnel it gives me a wider audience to draw in, but I feel some way about it. I'm still ruminating on it, so nothing is set in stone, but I do have to consider my newsletter, which we all know I struggle to put out. If I do come to the decision to end my newsletter, I'll make the strong suggestion for those who do receive it to sign up for updates through my Gumroad page. There's definitely a lot of thinking going on the author-y side of things, but it's nothing I can't handle.

Other than that, I'm just going to continue to eat away at Fate Unseen and we'll see what I can pull off.

In my opinion, I think this was a solid update. If you want to get a jump on everything, hop on over to my Gumroad page and sign up so you can receive updates. You don't have to buy anything to follow me. Now I just need to remember to make posts over there, but that for another day.

As always support your indie and self-pubbed authors by leaving a review, and everyone have a good.

- DJ Small

Monday, February 1, 2021

I Know. It's February.

January came and went. It was pretty wild. The Capitol was bumrushed by terrorist. We got a new president that doesn't look like a bottle of Sunkist gone wrong, and some other things happened, but I cannot recall them. We had some losses too. Larry King, who I didn't know voiced the bar wench in Shrek (thanks for that Tumblr). Cloris Leachman who was always a delight onscreen, and lastly, but certainly not least, the iconic Cicely Tyson. Her most memorable role for me, at least recently, is when she was on How To Get Away With Murder, but that woman was an icon who had bigger and more memorable roles than that.

I know I've been MIA for the last couple of months. I just didn't have it in me to do anything author related. Blogging, the newsletter, writing, editing....none of it appealed to me. Blame it on the holidays, or what, but I just wasn't feeling it, so my holiday break turned into something much longer. However, I did move into my own place at the end of December/beginning of January, so that took up a lot of my time and energy. Seriously the only things I had the drive for was Grey's Anatomy and Sims 4.

With me getting back on the high horse, I've done some author-like things. Website is down because I changed hosting services, but I should have it back up soon-ish. Depends on how much tweaking I need to do to the code. Newsletter is still once a month, but it's going to be used more for announcements and giveaways. My blog and website are going to be the main places to get information this year. It saves me from having to split my focus on a newsletter that usually doesn't have anything in it.

This now brings me to book distribution. Oh, how I would love to not be on Amazon, but it's the larger retailer so it's a necessary evil. I'm going to be doing more sales, giveaways, and name your own price events on my Smashwords and Gumroad pages. Sometimes they'll run concurrently, sometimes one will have something and the other won't. Either way, I would like them to be my primary distribution pages. Might have to come up with something bigger to gain some interest. These events probably won't start until March. I've still got to upload the electronic versions of my books on Gumroad.

I'm guessing it is time to address the elephant in them releases. This year, is going to be the year of Fate Unseen, the second book in the Last Pureblood series. I've started editing again, right from the beginning, and I've decided it's going to be long book. There is no way I can cut out some of the details. If I can tweak something or remove it and put in a later book, then I will, but as for right now, we're looking at a long book. I hope you all enjoy that.

Once that is off my plate, I'm going to be focusing on The Adventures of Swift, which I started editing in December before I fell into a listless state. I know in prior posts I was saying it would be out the first quarter of this year, but since I've flipped my schedule around and decided to bring Fate Unseen to the first half of this year, Swift will be moving to the second half of the year for projected release.

Outside of that, let's just hope I continue on with this train of motivation and get something published this year.

I hope everyone had a safe and healthy start to the new year, and let's cross our fingers and hope we all get some semblance of a social life back this summer.

Remember to review the books you read. Until next time...

-DJ Small