Welcome to The Rebel Author Podcast episode nine where Sacha goes solo for the first time and confesses her quarterly goals in an attempt to be more productive! There’s also a surprise guest and some shout outs from listeners. Oh, and we discover Sacha can’t count!
Welcome to The Rebel Author Podcast episode nine and happy fucking New Year guys. It is a new year. And ladies and gentlemen, a new decade too. Can you believe that we’re in a new decade? Does anybody else feel as old as I do right now? Because you know… wow they the Millennium does not feel like it was 20 years ago. I mean, what? That is outrageous. Anyway, I hope you are listening amongst your hangovers and sleep deprived brains and maybe vomiting and if you are make sure you reached the bowl. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful new year.
Today I have something special… This is a surprise episode. Well it’s not a surprise episode because we all knew episode nine was coming. But it’s a surprise because it’s not an interview episode. Today is a solo show from me. And hopefully you’re not all going to turn it off. However, next week normal service will return and I will be interviewing YouTube sensation Jenna Moreci. So if I’m not interviewing anyone today, what the hell is this show? Well, in a bid to be more accountable and transparent and also let’s be real give me a bit of a kick up the ass, I’m going to try a new thing. I’m going to run a quarterly solo show. It’s going to be a shortsshow oooh I nearly said shit show! Anyway, it’s going to be a short show because mostly it’s just me talking, but also because it’s going to be highly specific. I am going to be confessing my quarterly projects, and goals if you want to call them goals, and then come the end of the quarter, I’m going to confess the progress (or not) that I’ve made towards them.
I’m sorry about the windy, hoovery, hairdryer, sounds in the background. Hopefully those will have stopped now. My wife was drying her hair. And I’m amazed that my mic picked it up because it was definitely downstairs. So go mic. Anyway, where was I? Right? Yes. So last time, I asked listeners about their reading goals for 2019 and it was an inadvertent question I didn’t entirely mean to ask it. I obviously meant to ask it. But anyway, lots of you have tweeted or commented, and that made my day. So thanks, guys. I am going to make a thing out of this every single episode, I’m going to frame a question, probably around the episode, or perhaps maybe something thoughtful that I have thought about during the episode, or whatever. And if I get responses, then I will give some of them some shout outs. So last time, we had loads and I’m going to go through some of them now. So a couple actually weren’t about the question. So I’ll start with those.
Ida Duque Writes on Twitter says I’ve been binge listening. Is that a thing? (It’s totally a thing) to Sacha Black’s podcast on YouTube. She has a great voice — oh stop. Thank you, darling. Thank you — She’s so freaking cool and relatable and has great advice as She’s literally going through Growing Pains as so many of us are in this writing thing. You know what? I really am and I hope that I am honest and transparent enough that you guys can see both the highs and the lows, as I do go through this whole writing thing and hopefully you can learn from my fuck ups. So thank you Ida. That was really great. Also, yes, if you didn’t know I do post all of my podcast episodes on to YouTube, I did have a bit of a duplicate posting issue that’s now been sorted out because I have a new podcast provider. I’m now with Podbean shout out for Podbean and but hopefully those will all be fine now. So if you would like to listen to the podcast on YouTube, you can just type in Sacha Black and you should be able to find me here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmGEeUxCRW5ZVxwJ_mEunw?
Next in Val Neil says your rant about December at the beginning of the last episode had me laughing my ass off. And thank you, glad that my pain and misery around Christmas makes you laugh. And she also continued to say she doesn’t have Goodreads and she can’t remember how many books she’s read. And as she starts and stops so many. I think as I get older, I start and stop a lot more books than I used to. I have been trying, to finish books, but the older I get the more conscious of my mortality I am and the less time I have to read before I die. So don’t read shit books.
Moving on. Aime Sund says I think I have a Goodreads goal of 25 and I’m done with 23 with two more in progress so I should meet my goal. Wicked. I don’t think I started the Goodreads app until April or something though. Okay, yeah. So it’s not going to track them all. And Goodreads doesn’t count beta reads or arcs either. So I know I’m actually over 25 I love how Goodreads keeps track and so that I can see what I’ve shelved for later which is no small list! Mine neither. And also, I really hate that Goodreads won’t allow you to upload unpublished manuscripts because I’ve read a whole load of those and they don’t count towards my goal, which is painful.
Next one. Tim Seabrook says I had my huge goal of 100—which is insane—and I’ve only hit 84 only—like that’s a small number—plus two unpublished. A lot more of my time this year has been on writing instead of just reading and at the end of the day. That is super, super important. Yes, we should be reading but we also have to write the damn book. Otherwise, we have nothing to publish. Writing and reading should always be in some kind of a balance. Okay, Ritu says… wait for this guy’s… drumroll… 140 read. What? I need is some kind of sound effect for my mind imploding “plus a few unpublished reads as a beta reader” I just… I, there’s nothing I can say to that it’s insane. Well done. Well done that man.
Okay, Edwin Downward, tweeted me and said you asked about reading goals for the end. I use Goodreads to track my reading and unfortunately will once again foreshorten my 30 books target. However, he did read several books that he recommended, and I have put those on my TBR or I definitely put one of them on my TBR anyway. Thank you to everyone who tweeted.
Okay, on to my first quarter 2020 projects. I… am nervous to admit to these goals. This is a public forum and if I don’t hit them, well, shame on me. However, I have 19 goals. Yes, I’m fully aware that sounds like an awful lot but not all of them are enormous. So look, fuck it, I’m just gonna have a go and see how accountable this makes me feel and whether or not it works as a forum. So okay here we go right number one I need to finish and publish The Anatomy of Prose. The Anatomy of Prose is my next nonfiction book at the time of recording this which is the 22nd of December, I am 47,000 words into what I think will be a 67,000 word manuscript so I’m pretty close to the end. And that also means number two, project is finishing and by finish I mean start and edit and finish The Anatomy of Prose Workbook. I always publish those two together. So those are my first two goals. The third goal which goes hand in hand… not goal, I’m not calling them goals. I’m calling them projects when their goals I like to rebel against them. So these are my projects
So project three is to record, edit, master and publish The Anatomy of Prose audiobook. So essentially before Christmas, I thought I was going to record the villains book but I’ve decided actually it makes more sense to go with the books that I’m writing now and then work backwards. So I’ll be doing prose and then I’ll go back and do the audiobook for villains.
Number four is to finish and publish Trey, which is the third book in my young adult fantasy series. Now I’m 75,000 words through this manuscript and I suspect it will probably be another 15 or so thousand. So You know, in the first three months thus far, we’re probably only looking at a total of 15…35… me trying to do math that probably about 45-50,000 months, so I don’t think that’s excessive.
Next in number five, this is so embarrassing this shows *mumbles*. Right, right, number five. Okay, I want to write an exclusive epilogue that goes after the end of Keepers for my readers and as a reader magnet for my fiction readers, so I need to do that.
Number six will be to get a cover to go with that.
And number seven is publish it. So that will be all of the re-editing, the auto responders and everything that goes along that so those are…
Umm seven? I think it was seven. So yes, Okay, number eight. I do some freelance work and I am the conference and blog manager for the lines of independent authors. And every spring and fall, I run their self-publishing advice conference. So that will come into this quarter. So yeah, do the spring self-publishing advice conference. Number nine. I need to put numbers next to these number nine. I have a terrible habit of wasting an hour in the morning so I dropped my son at school and usually, like I’m up early enough, but okay, like maybe 50% of the time I’m home by 8am. Christ, God, I’m already confessing so many things on this frickin baby. I’m not gonna do this again. Anyway, right so I get home on a good day at 8. However, it’s usually 9:00 or 9:30 before I’m really putting my head into the books, so I want to stop that and I want to be productive and have something to show for that first hour in the morning. So here’s me putting my hands up and admitting I procrastinate and need to stop. And and I’m going to do something about that in the first quarter of 2020.
I think this is a number 10… When I launch The Anatomy of Prose, I would like to appear on some podcasts. So I will be pitching some people. And if you guys have any recommendations for podcasts that you listen to that take guests please do tweet me or email me or contact me in some way or another, or if you would like me to come on your podcast hit me up and I would love to come and talk about improving prose.
Number 11 okay, I think I’ve got it, I think it’s number 11. Now, number 11 I would like to do a paperback boxset of villains 13 steps to evil. I’ve been wanting to do one of those for a really long time and just for a multitude of reasons, including being a bad publisher. I haven’t done it . So I I would like to do that as long as funds allow then I will be doing that. It will also be a nice time to coincide with getting the audiobook started or at least the book reviewed and reread and changing things for audio.
Next in his Number 12 the hardback for Keepers so I want to move to having all of my fiction books in hardback and the first one I will be starting with is Keepers. Now the Keepers cover wasn’t designed by my current designers so I’ve always been a bit hesitant to do this because I don’t know if it’s going to require a complete redesign of the cover which will obviously be more expensive than just having a hardback created and attached to the paperback. So we’ll see hopefully I will be able to do that but we will see.
Number 13, once I have published Trey, I will have three books in my fiction series. So I will be creating a box set. I’ve already got the cover so it will be formatting, proofing sticking in some bonus material and then ordering a proof. I might not publish it in the first quarter just because I’d like to leave some time between publishing Trey and publishing the box set, but I will be doing it nonetheless.
Number 14 getting Rebel Author merchandise live so Icy Sedgwick has created some amazing designs for me. Thank you very much, I see and I would like to get those live so yeah.
15 I… okay whoa big confession. I’m feeling under pressure when I say this. I would like to take this podcast weekly. Now I don’t know how realistic that is. I don’t know if there’s even a desire for that. Would you guys want me to be doing this weekly? But that is my hope, that I can get this weekly. Lot of things depend on that, for example, the amount of work it takes. So yeah, we will see but that is my hope. And let me know if you’d like that.
Number 16 sort some merchandise for my young adult series, I would really like to go to the young adult literature conference and have a stall there. So that is in preparation for that. I haven’t quite made up my mind. So that one is a bit of an iffy one, but nonetheless, it is in there.
Number 17. I am going to make a concerned effort to market to my fiction next year once I have three books and a boxset. And I will also have another fiction book in a different series by the end of next year. So I really need to be spending more time marketing. So I want to do some research and do a bit of a mega marketing plan.
So that was 17 I think. Number 18, finish an Instagram course that I purchased a little while ago.
Number 19. Last, but by no means least, is some really heavy reading into plotting. So in this whole journey into self-publishing has been a roller coaster of finding out what works, what doesn’t work, finding out what I like and what I don’t like. And that’s quite empowering but also overwhelming and confusing, because there’s nobody to tell me the right answer is and whilst I know I’m never going to be the sort of person that can publish a book a month. I also know that getting to the end of 2019 without having published anything isn’t good enough for me. And Yes, okay, I left my job and I did a whole transition I moved house and blah, blah, blah, but I would like to be faster than I am. And I’m happy saying that and I don’t think that’s an unrealistic expectation. And that’s sort of the reason I also said about, the 8am to 9am accountability and making sure I’m productive in that hour. So, yeah, now the reason I am talking about plotting is because I think innately I like structure and, you know, my Myers Briggs is E/I borderline but more NTJ and that essentially means I’m the sort of person that does things in advance. I like planning, I like to do lists, I like structure. I like plotting. What I don’t like is when bloody characters go off and do whatever the fuck they want that isn’t in my plan. So I just think I need to do some more study and re-look at trying to plot because I have basically written the last two books more or less pantsing, and it’s taken me fucking forever to get through them. So I don’t think that is what I should be doing. I think I should be doing a plot with flexibility. So yeah, anyway, I’m going to stop waffling, I’m going to do some research on that.
Now. I also have a stretch goal. Originally this was in my quarterly goals which made me have 20. But also, I don’t really want to burn out. So I put this as a stretch goal and it will be a quarter 2 goal if I don’t get it done. But I would like to start drafting The Scent of Death if I can in quarter one. That is the fiction book I mentioned that’s in a different series. I’ve just had the cover done, and it’s amazing. Okay, I think that’s it. Those are my quarterly goals. I have confessed my goals… They’re not they’re my quarterly projects projects, damn it. And I think that wraps up this episode. My question to you so my question of the week because there is another episode next week. My question to you is, what are your quarterly goals? Or if you don’t have quarterly goals and you have annual goals, then tell me your annual goals. And I will give them some of them a shout out next week.