Indie Author Weekly

091: When book plans change during a pandemic

December 22, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 92
Indie Author Weekly
091: When book plans change during a pandemic
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Indie Author Weekly
091: When book plans change during a pandemic
Dec 22, 2020 Episode 92
Sagan Morrow

This episode of Indie Author Weekly shares how my author and writing plans changed this past year, PLUS how to handle things when YOUR writing plans change... 

After all, we’re heading into a brand new year in just a couple weeks! This is a good time for reflection and assessment of the previous year, and for planning ahead into the upcoming year. 

Back in Episode 41 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, I shared a 5-step process for how to plan your book projects for the upcoming year. I also shared my own book plans. Of course, 2020 has been a Year, with a capital Y. If anyone’s plans actually stayed the same this year, that is impressive! But regardless, it’s easy to get off track or derailed or to simply change our plans any year, let alone a year like 2020. 

My initial plans for 2020 were to complete my entire Polyamorous Passions series—that is, Books 7 - 9, AKA Scarlett’s trilogy—and also to publish a spinoff poetry book that “Scarlett” writes in the Polyamorous Passions series. At the time of making these plans, I had already mapped out Book 7 and I believe I also had a working draft of the novel. 

Well! I ended up reworking those plans pretty early on, for two main reasons… #1, I wanted to build up the productivity teaching side of my business, so that I could have a strong, healthy financial foundation for working on the author side of my business. And #2, the pandemic meant that I, along with everyone else this year, had way lower energy and creativity levels than normal, which made book writing tricky. The other part of this is that it’s really, really challenging to write a romance novel specifically during a pandemic. 

TUNE IN to this episode to get the inside scoop on what to do when writing plans change, plus how author Sagan Morrow changed her book plans during the pandemic...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of Indie Author Weekly shares how my author and writing plans changed this past year, PLUS how to handle things when YOUR writing plans change... 

After all, we’re heading into a brand new year in just a couple weeks! This is a good time for reflection and assessment of the previous year, and for planning ahead into the upcoming year. 

Back in Episode 41 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, I shared a 5-step process for how to plan your book projects for the upcoming year. I also shared my own book plans. Of course, 2020 has been a Year, with a capital Y. If anyone’s plans actually stayed the same this year, that is impressive! But regardless, it’s easy to get off track or derailed or to simply change our plans any year, let alone a year like 2020. 

My initial plans for 2020 were to complete my entire Polyamorous Passions series—that is, Books 7 - 9, AKA Scarlett’s trilogy—and also to publish a spinoff poetry book that “Scarlett” writes in the Polyamorous Passions series. At the time of making these plans, I had already mapped out Book 7 and I believe I also had a working draft of the novel. 

Well! I ended up reworking those plans pretty early on, for two main reasons… #1, I wanted to build up the productivity teaching side of my business, so that I could have a strong, healthy financial foundation for working on the author side of my business. And #2, the pandemic meant that I, along with everyone else this year, had way lower energy and creativity levels than normal, which made book writing tricky. The other part of this is that it’s really, really challenging to write a romance novel specifically during a pandemic. 

TUNE IN to this episode to get the inside scoop on what to do when writing plans change, plus how author Sagan Morrow changed her book plans during the pandemic...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing books, such as my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Get podcast episodes and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. In this episode, I want to share how my author and writing plans changed this past year. 

After all, we’re heading into a brand new year in just a couple weeks! This is a good time for reflection and assessment of the previous year, and for planning ahead into the upcoming year. 

Back in Episode 41 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, I shared a 5-step process for how to plan your book projects for the upcoming year. I also shared my own book plans. 

Of course, 2020 has been a Year, with a capital Y. If anyone’s plans actually stayed the same this year, that is impressive! But regardless, it’s easy to get off track or derailed or to simply change our plans any year, let alone a year like 2020.

My initial plans for 2020 were to complete my entire Polyamorous Passions series—that is, Books 7 - 9, AKA Scarlett’s trilogy—and also to publish a spinoff poetry book that “Scarlett” writes in the Polyamorous Passions series. At the time of making these plans, I had already mapped out Book 7 and I believe I also had a working draft of the novel. 

Well! I ended up reworking those plans pretty early on, for two main reasons… #1, I wanted to build up the productivity teaching side of my business, so that I could have a strong, healthy financial foundation for working on the author side of my business. And #2, the pandemic meant that I, along with everyone else this year, had way lower energy and creativity levels than normal, which made book writing tricky. The other part of this is that it’s really, really challenging to write a romance novel specifically during a pandemic.

As a result, although I originally wanted to write and publish 3 romantic comedy novellas and also publish the book of poetry in 2020, instead I wrote and published one romantic comedy novel—Her Bad Idea, AKA Book 7 in the Polyamorous Passions series—and I also wrote and submitted a short story to a short story competition, and I wrote the entire first and second drafts for an unplanned stand-alone romcom, Small Town Stilettos

I’m actually very pleased with that outcome. It’s not quite where I wanted to be, and that’s okay. That’s okay, not only because there was a pandemic, but also because we as authors, as business owners, as human beings, are allowed to change directions and pivot as needed. So I really want to encourage you to give yourself permission to do this, too: to be willing to change your plans and to give yourself the grace and space to do that when it happens. 

The book of poems is something that I thought I already would have written and published well over a year ago, to be honest. I’ve had a working draft on it I think since summer of 2019! If you’ve read the Polyamorous Passions series, then you’ll know that one of the main characters, Scarlett, writes a poetry book. And so I absolutely love this idea of creating a whole Polyamorous Passions world, featuring all the things within it—that’s why you can actually buy the Relationship Rebel shirt that’s mentioned in one of the first books, for example. You can buy it at SaganMorrow.com/shop — link is in the show notes. 

But, that book of poetry isn’t exactly a top priority for me. So we’ll see what happens with it… I need to go through and rework some of the poems, and then edit and get the cover designed and the book formatted, etc. It’s on my list to do, but it’s not at the top of that list. At this point, realistically, I might not get to it until after the entire Polyamorous Passions series is finished. And again… that’s okay. 

Regardless of how many words you wrote this year, it is so, so important to be kind to yourself. It’s okay if you didn’t achieve your goals! It’s okay if you didn’t come close to achieving your goals. Writing should bring us joy. It’s not about making yourself feel bad about how many words you did or didn’t write. 

And also: When our plans change, whatever those plans might be, it’s worth assessing why they are changing, what’s going on, what’s the purpose here, and so on. The important thing is that you are actively making the choice of what changes, rather than just going with the flow and realizing three years down the road that you aren’t happy with how your plans changed. 

With that in mind, I encourage you to check in with yourself. Take a step back. Assess your plans and pivot, but be the active participant when it happens. Make the choice for yourself, rather than letting the choice be made for or to you. This is your business or your life or your book, so you get to make the rules, you get to create the script, you get to write the story, and you get to be in charge of the plans. 

And if you want to learn more about HOW to do that, you can always grab my free training, the Business Planning Retreat Workshop—it’s a great resource for mapping out your life and business plans, which can include writing or reading plans. Access the free workshop at SaganMorrow.com/retreat; link is in the show notes.

Okay! So there you have it, the inside scoop on how my author plans changed in 2020.

Tune into the next episode of Indie Author Weekly to find out my upcoming author plans for 2021!

And in the meantime, I would absolutely love it if you would read my books this holiday season. All of them can be enjoyed as stand-alones! And frankly, the more books I sell, the more books I can keep writing, and the more behind-the-scenes juicy goodness I can continue to share with you here on Indie Author Weekly in the coming months and years. When you buy my books, you are also supporting this podcast!

Here’s what readers said about my latest romcom, Her Bad Idea:

  • "Super flirty"
  • "Snarky, punny, sassy"
  • "Couldn't put it down"
  • "Funny and witty—made me laugh out loud many times!"
  • "I FELT the characters"
  • "A perfect escape from all the craziness going on in the world right now"

If you need an escape, too, and if you want a reason to laugh out loud, then grab Her Bad Idea and the rest of my books on your favourite e-bookstore, or visit SaganMorrow.com/books — link is in the show notes.

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this! Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it, or to let me know if you have requests for future episode topics. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support. 

And let’s stay in touch: Get podcast and book updates delivered directly to your inbox, plus unlock awesome bonuses such as free chapters of my books, at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.