writing updates collage


Ok, so we’re coming down to the wire here. There are only two full weeks of preparation left (this week and next week) until the week of the big move to Tucson! Thankfully, though, I’ve divided packing and sorting up into smaller daily tasks, so I’m right on schedule, if not ahead of it.

But I’m still shaking in my boots! I’ll be moving to a totally new place, and I have no clue what to expect, really. The little one will be going to daycare, I’ll have a space to settle into and decorate, a school and schedule to get acquainted with, shopping to do, admin and adulting to handle (obvs, gotta get my resources and support systems in place), and a life to get in order all at once. PLUS writing as much as I can, of course. It’s all exciting and scary at the same time, but I know I’ll get through it.

As a heads up, the move week (May 30 – June 5) is going to be kind of cray, so while I’ll write a short weekly update on May 30, you may not hear from me so much on social media that week. June 6, I’ll be back full force on all channels, though.

ASIDE FROM THAT, I have some pretty BOSS ASS NEWS! Avec screenshot, ya’ll!


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So why is this a big deal? BECAUSE: 

  1. It’s the first time this has ever happened since my books came out in 2013 – 2014,
  2. I did NO marketing on The Given (I suspect Amazon and the pre-order set up of The Iron Maiden had something to do with this),
  3. It is MEGA DIFFICULT to get placed in the top 100 of ANYTHING on Amazon nowadays, especially in a market that’s as competitive as New Adult Fiction.
  4. It’s MEGA DIFFICULT x 10 to get placed in the top 100, ESPECIALLY if your book is FREE! (Because let’s face it, everyone has caught onto the permafree strategy. So there are thousands upon thousands of books to compete with now.)

This accomplishment, while relatively short-lived (I think it lasted all week practically), really made me open my eyes to the marketability of my series. For a long time, my books idled with the occasional random spike up the ranks. And I knew a large part of that was because I just wasn’t able to keep up with reader demand. There is such a huge gap between the release of my first two books, and the release of this third one, mainly due to me having to raise my daughter from home (and then having to do it alone quite unexpectedly).

So for a long while, I was really discouraged. I didn’t stop writing per se, but I sort of just chugged along to go along. Then, as I decided that I deserved to love what I do and revel in my passion for writing (the past three or so months), my writer’s journey became super enjoyable. I’m writing way more now than I did since seeing that little pink line, and I’m really loving my art again. Then, to wake up and see that my book hit the top 100 charts? I was frickin’ ecstatic!

But, more importantly, I’m glad to see that people ARE interested in my work and premise. They ARE reading. They ARE buying and selling through, and they ARE waiting for the next book. I just need to publish more and become more diligent with my marketing efforts! Moving from full-time stuck-at-home mom to full-time creative is definitely going to help me up my writing speed. So, now? ONWARD and UPWARD!

In any case, here’s what popped off last week, and what will pop off this week in Colby’s world:


What I wrote: I wrote over 4,500 hundred more words for The Iron Maiden, over 1000 words for my blog, and about 400 words for my book review on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. So, a lot of writing, considering the circumstances. STILL, I know I can do even better. I’m still trying to master 2000-3000 prose words per day, every day.

What I edited: Nothing, really. Focusing on writing, writing, writing.

What I read / watched / listened to: I listened to all my usual podcasts and caught up with quite a few episodes. I’ve also started a “Book Marketing” notes section on my phone so that I can take down tips and notes as I listen. #nerdalert

Also, I FINALLY FINISHED Mockingjay! WOOOOO!!!! Honestly, it dragged and dragged and dragged ALL the way through Act II, but then Act III EXPLODED with action (quite literally), and I was hooked until the very end of the book. Really glad I didn’t drop the book as planned. I wrote my review of Mockingjay here, so check it out if the spirit moves you!

What I researched / developed: I did some HEAVY background and story development for these five books coming up in The Books of Ezekiel saga. For The Iron Maiden (book #3), I re-ogranized my scenes by POV to make sure I have a solid plot and storyline for it (and I do! Yay!!). Book #4, Blood & Ink, has a solid push to it, but I still need to tame the flames around all of my ideas, so to speak, and find some plot direction.

Book #5, The House of Death, is still a little amorphous at the moment, mostly because I have to come up with a more solid “push” for the main storyline. I’m sure that by the time I finish The Iron Maiden, things will look a bit more organized. I’ve pretty much laid out the entire general structure of book #6, Chase the Devil. The general plot of book #7, The Last Descent, is forming as well. Feeling pretty good about my progress so far.

What I learned: This must be the week of breaking free, because in addition to finishing Mockingjay, I also finished the Your First 10K Readers course, lol. I’m so glad to be done with this hefty course, and BOY did I get a lot out of it! But now, it’s time to move forward with my learning, so onward and upward!


What I’m writing: More of The Iron Maiden! The more I write, the more things come together and stick, so I’m trying to keep my mind in that world every day.

What I’m editing: Nothing much. Don’t have much time for editing, actually.

What I’m reading / watching / listening to: I’m still reading Lee Lofland’s “Police Procedure & Investigation: A Guide for Writers”. It’s a pretty hefty (and AWESOME) book, so it’ll take a month or so to get through. In the meantime, I’m going to try and breeze through The Barefoot Executive this time around!

What I’m researching / developing: I think I’m going to force myself to stay firmly in the world of The Books of Ezekiel at the moment. (Inspiration has no master, though, so I may just come up with more series ideas too! We’ll have to wait and see.) At this point, I can sort of foresee how 2016 is going to turn out production-and-publishing-wise, so by focusing on and then finishing BOE, I can get a head start on the four other IPs I’d like to launch in 2017.

What I’m learning: This week, I’m aiming to knock out three short courses:

  1. The Supermom Sanity Challenge by Mariana Ruiz: this class helps work-from-home and stay-at-home moms to better organize their time and get more work done even while they have crazy kids running around at home. Can’t miss this one, for obvious reasons!
  2. The Profitable Teacher mini course by Teachable.com: this course teaches entrepreneurs how to narrow down their course ideas and build their own profitable online courses from the ground up! And, lastly:
  3. Audience from Scratch by Bryan Harris: this mini course teaches you how to focus on your mailing list and subscriber / customer base!

So what about you? Are you gunning towards any major or minor goals this week? Any huge changes coming up? Leave your thoughts and comments below!

Writing on, rocking on, and forever journeying towards creative badassery,

<3 Colby

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