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out of print Heart's Sentinel cover art

Every once in a while, a long time reader asks me how to get a hold of an out of print title, especially now that I’ve been re-releasing some of my older titles originally written under the pen name of PJ Schnyder.

The thing is…

That was a long time ago and my writing skills have developed over the years. It would be a big difference from my voice and writing style now, so many of those stories are in need of a rewrite before they could be re-released. Books like Heart’s Sentinel and Hunting Kat come to mind.

There’s also higher priorities.

I’ve got contractual commitments to write new books – there’s the Darke Consortium (working title paranormal romance) and The Missing (romantic suspense). Those take priority.

How to carve out the time to devote to re-writing an out of print story?

I’ll be doing the re-writes slowly, one chapter a month, and posting the revision on my Patreon with annotations so readers get insight into my stream-of-conscious thought process as I was revising. Patrons at the Trail Buddies tier or higher will have access.

It’ll be important that these don’t become another form of procrastination. I won’t sacrifice my progress on my new works because it’s really important to me to ramp up on writing the new series. So I’ll be balancing the benefits of doing this with the time I need to write new words. Still, I think it will actually help me write more.

Revising some of my out of print work will help me in a lot of ways.

I’ll be accomplishing something each month, where drafting new words on a new novel is great but tends to take me months and thus I go several months without celebrating accomplishments. Celebrating more incremental accomplishments will lift my spirits, increase positivity, and help me gain momentum to write more.

Revising is easier for me than new words, so using this as a writing exercise or prompt will also help me dive into writing new words for my contracted work.

Falling in love with my old stories will be encouraging too, which again, leads to me wanting to write more new works.

Overall, I hope this will be positive and fun. It may also lead to those out of print books eventually becoming re-released and available to you all again, with improved writing craft and maybe even additional content. There would definitely be shiny new cover art and wow, I do love new cover art!

It’s the end of 2019 and plans for 2020 are forming in the back of my mind as I attempt to focus on writing to finish the first novel in my new series, currently called The Missing.

Confession: this blog post is actually a form of procrastination. So I’m going to try to be concise a do a bulleted list.

What did I do in 2019?

  • released Fierce Justice
  • completed edits on Forever Strong
  • drafted the intro novella to The Missing
  • hopefully finished drafting the 1st novel of The Missing (in progress)
  • started physical therapy for nerve issues and extreme, chronic pain in my hands and arms due to issues in my neck/back/shoulders
  • starting learning to write via dictation
  • re-released 4 novellas formerly under my PJ Schnyder name
  • instructor and staff on the Writing Excuses workshop and retreat cruise
  • guest speaker at Surrey International Writer’s Conference
  • signing author at ApollyCon
  • featured author at Book Lovers Con
  • re-launched my Patreon to share task management & project planning, as well as lessons learned in writing via dictation

Those are the highlights, with a whole lot of hard work and some crazy obstacles to overcome behind the scenes.

It’s been a rough year, struggling with depression and anxiety along the way, and I am going to let 2019 go in the rear view mirror without too much examination. I’m also not going to plan too much about 2020 before it actually begins.

So that’s the end of 2019 and plans for 2020 are?

My focus will be on health, balance, and my writing. I want to dive into my writing and savor the joy of it.

There will be fewer cons or book signings and more writing retreats.

I love my readers and I’m pretty sure you all love me primarily for my books, so I’m going to focus on writing more.

Speaking of savoring…

Updates to Patreon

Sharing my journey in learning to write via dictation, as well as my tips on project planning and task management, has worked out well on Patreon. I intend to continue into 2020.

Based on a whole lot of stress cooking in 2019, with plenty of pics posted to my Facebook profile and Instagram feeds, the subsequent requests for recipes, then private messages from people asking me for those recipes again later when they couldn’t find the FB post where I’d provided the recipe or at least guidelines of what I did (because a lot of my cooking doesn’t involve me following a recipe) … I’ll be sharing recipes or relate how I cooked a dish on my Patreon, made available to public.

This means you don’t have to join a paid tier to have access to those posts, only follow me on Patreon. Patrons who did join a paid tier will have early access to my cooking posts, then the posts will be available to the public after a bit of time. Either way, it’s an easy place to go find those recipes and cooking instructions.

I will be adding a paid tier for those interested in vlogs (videos) of me cooking various favorite dishes, especially food I’ve included in my books as part of my character building. Shenanigans are sure to occur as I have fun with this and I cannot predict just how many bloopers are going to happen but I promise not to edit them out. Look to join the “Trail Cache” tier, or any of the higher tiers on my Patreon for access to those videos.

Yes, I’ve decided. I’m resurrecting Patreon as one of my platforms.

About time management and project planning…

PJD resurrecting PatreonI’d retired it some time ago until I could regroup and consider how Patreon might fit into what I do between my day job and writing careers. And recently, I’ve had a lot of questions come to me about when I’m going to teach more classes or hold more workshops on time management and project planning, particularly as they could be used by writers. There’s a lot of writers who are balancing a day job career with a writing career. Add in life, and family, and friends and finding time gets complicated.

I do teach at least once a year, maybe twice, at various conferences. But not everyone can attend those conferences or the workshops/panels that I might be presenting due to scheduling conflicts. I get a lot of requests for online courses or even asked when I’m going to write a nonfiction book on the topic of time management and project planning for writers.

I don’t have the bandwidth to offer those things and still be able to meet my deadlines for the fiction I love to write. So Patreon came to mind as a platform that would be great for sharing this kind of information in bite-size pieces throughout the year.

And writing via dictation…

PJD resurrecting PatreonI am also learning to find a new normal in my life due to medical challenges and the need to drastically change the way I write… anything. I started to try learning dictation earlier this year, just about the same time I started physical therapy. So I got the basics down. But as soon as the physical therapy started to help me get back my functionality with my hands and I could type again for short periods of time, I went back to typing my manuscripts.

That’s not sustainable.

I will experience flareups in my future and my physical condition will deteriorate. So I really, really need to learn how to dictate now, not later.

Wonderfully generous people have given me their advice, their insights, and some great tips and tricks. I need to practice in order to incorporate what they shared with me. I need to make dictation and writing via dictation a habit. And writing via dictation, for me, means retraining my brain. Patreon becomes the perfect platform again for my adventures in learning how to dictate. It’ll be a place where I can be accountable while I share my trials and tribulations, what works for me and what really doesn’t.

So. There we have it. I’m resurrecting Patreon and I will be sharing information in two major categories:

  • Time management and project planning for writers, particularly with the day job to balance with their writing.
  • My progress as I learn writing via dictation, the tips and tricks I pick up along the way, and lessons learned.

If you’re interested in what I have to share or would like to join me on this journey, I hope you’ll subscribe to my Patreon. I’ll see you there.