January has come and gone, so you know what that means, right? It’s time for another installment of State of the Writer, where I talk about the mechanics of what I did for the month. Consider it my way of holding myself accountable.

To recap, I ended December logging 23,126 words. So how did January measure up?

January 2018

January was an extremely productive month across the board. And, I had my highest word count month ever (well, since I began tracking my word count in September, 2017).

  •  Logged a total of 25,491 words
  • Finished my final round of deep edits on Dangerous Contracts.
  • Began copy editing Dangerous Contracts by reading it aloud and fixing grammar and syntax errors (you know, the little things)
  • Made additional sample chapters available for Dangerous Contracts – Chapter 0  |  Chapter 1
  • Outlined my next project, the DNA Detective Series. I’m planning on this being a 5 book series, and I have solid, thorough outlines for three books, and loser outlines for books 4 and 5.
  • Began my first draft of my first novel in the DNA Detective Series. So far the working title is “Helix Helix: DNA Detective,” although that may still change.
  • Began marketing plan for Dangerous Contracts. Now that it is looking like it will be published Summer 2018, I am working on my plan for how I will market my novel once it’s available
  • Total Words Since May, 2017: 199,500

And that’s about it for January. It may not seem like a lot, but I ended up doing far more than I expected, which is exciting considering that my writing career is something that I’m doing part-time, in the early morning hours between 5 am – 7 am.

So far this plan for February is more of the same – lots of work: continue writing book one of my DNA Detective series, and continue copy editing and working on the marketing plan for Dangerous Contracts.

And that’s what I’m really starting to learn about moving from an amateur writer to a professional one — the sheer volume of work and determination that it takes. It’s not about writing when inspiration strikes, but rather it’s about getting in front of the keyboard, putting the time in, and making it happen on my own, even on the days when I don’t feel like working (especially on those days). That’s truly when the magic happens – when you put the time in and do the work.