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AUGUST 2020 Writing Update: Strange Summer Holidays Part 2 + Heatwave of Despair: how it made me see sense

AUGUST 2020 Writing Update: Strange Summer Holidays Part 2 + Heatwave of Despair: how it made me see sense

August is already drawing to an end. August, the month of a seemingly never-ending heatwave. August, the month in which I released the second installment to the Kissing Monsters series. August, the month in which I realized… I was still in the midst of my summer holidays and it’s okay to slow down a bit.

Let’s dive in deeper, shall we?

 

• Writing: KISSING NIGHTMARES

Keeping my writing-momentum, I kicked off August working on the fifth installment to the Kissing Monsters series, KISSING NIGHTMARES — and finished it in about a week 🙂

I really loved working on book 5! It allowed me to explore the world I’ve created for this series even deeper, and the story lines are growing and becoming more complex. Also, I just love writing about the growing love between Kiss and Zane~

Alas, I can’t tell you guys more details about writing the book without giving away any spoilers, but… as KISSING NIGHTMARES is due for a release date early 2021, I can safely say next year all will be revealed 😉

 

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• The Never-ending Heatwave of Despair

Okay, okay, this might be a little over-dramatic, but I gotta say, while it was rather chilly and rainy in July, the summer certainly made up for all that by returning with a vengeance in August!

I’ve never known any heatwave to linger on for such a long time as this one. I’m used to them ending after three days, but this one went on for an entire week—and then came back in fits and starts the days after, as the temperature kept dropping and rising. It was pretty intense and while I can handle heat pretty well, even I started to feel a bit… well, uncomfortable toward the end 😉

However, the heatwave did have its perks; it actually forced me to slow down. My brain was absolute toast, so I barely even felt like writing (and having a laptop on your lap isn’t very “fun” during a heatwave either 😛 ), so I spent my days reading, drawing and playing video games instead. I had a lot of fun, and it reminded me that I chose July and August to take it easy and recharge — and so, that it is all right for me not to be writing all the time.

I still have a couple of weeks left, so I’m allowing myself to relax some more before I get back to writing full-time in September 😀

 

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• New Release: KISSING SHADOWS

On August 18th I celebrated the release of the second book in the darkly romantic Kissing Monsters series, KISSING SHADOWS!

I’m so excited that the series is finally truly kicking off, because the story has developed dramatically since book 1, and I’m so happy I can finally share it with you guys ❤️

— It’s available for $0.99 on Amazon!

Oh, and have you already watched the book trailer?

 

• Brainstorming for KISSING FLAMES

Yes, I know, I just told you I decided to slow down for the remaining weeks of my summer holidays — BUT.

I JUST CAN’T HELP MYSELF.

Really, I very well can’t shut off my brain, now can I?

Last week I’ve been working on the plot outline for book 6 in the Kissing Monsters series, entitled KISSING FLAMES. And it was going really well, but I soon felt that something was missing and not working; let’s just say that there are two major story lines in this book, and I was rushing one of them… and the other one was developing too slowly, as a matter of fact.

During the weekend I took a break from my laptop to do some decent brainstorming, and after a couple of days I found the solution. I actually finished the final version of the plot outline yesterday, which means the book is ready to be written whenever I feel like it 😀

 

• Coming up: September

I’ll still be taking it easy during the first bit of September (after all, my birthday is coming up soon! Yay!), but I already have loads of plans. First of all, it’s time to get back to editing, so my team and I will do revisions on KISSING SCARLET (Kissing Monsters 3, to be released September 29th) as well as The Nocturne Files (Insomnia Saga 2.5, to be released October 27th).

It’s my plan to spend this autumn and winter to finish writing both the Kissing Monsters series and the Insomnia Saga! I’m really excited about it, because I can’t wait to start working on the 80.000 other projects living in the back of my mind, screaming for attention — though on the other hand, it also makes me feel a bit sad, because it means I’ll have to say goodbye to my characters pretty soon.

Especially finishing the Insomnia Saga will be a strange experience, since I’ve been working on the project since 2017; Jodi and Kay have been on my mind on a daily basis for years… but I guess you have to let go of your characters at some point. However, I’ll still have lots of editing to do after that, so it won’t be a true good-bye 😉

 

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To be honest, before the heatwave opened my eyes and I realized it’s all right to slow down a little, I had this insane plan that I wanted to have both series finished by the end of this year, so I could immediately start up 2021 working on new projects; which would mean I had about 4 months left to write 6 books.

Okay, to be fair, 5 of them are of novella length, but… really, what was I thinking? And why am I rushing things like that? I’m already far ahead of my publishing schedule; I already have a few finished manuscripts all done and waiting to be released during the first couple of months of 2021, so really, there is absolutely no need for me to be in such a hurry.

Next to that, I don’t want to become some kind of soulless writing machine: I write because I’m passionate about it, and because I love spending time with my own made-up characters in worlds I’ve also created myself. (After all, that’s what a writer does, right?)

So, I’ve made a deal with myself for when I get back to work in September: yes, I am going to finish writing my series. Yes, I’ll probably end up writing most of the books this year, so I’ll probably only have about one or two of them left to write at the start of 2021. But for now it’s still 2020 and this year has been crazy enough already, and I just want to enjoy.

I choose to enjoy my writing to the fullest — and hell, even the editing process, although I have to confess that’s my least favorite part of my work. But I also choose to enjoy other things and making time for them: like reading a good book, playing a fun video game, photography, you name it.

Every year, to me September feels like the beginning of something new, even more so than January does. I suppose you could say these are my “new year’s” resolutions for September: to enjoy my writing and to enjoy life to the fullest. The world is already brimming with anxious, restless feelings — and really, I’m done adding mine to it.

 

So! I’m excited for September, and can’t wait to start writing full time again… yet for now, I’ll be spending the following couple of weeks mostly slouched on the couch 😛

Thank you for reading ❤️

 

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COMING UP NEXT MONTH: On September 29th we’ll be celebrating the release of KISSING SCARLET, book 3 in the Kissing Monsters series! The love story of Kiss and Zane will continue — and another character will be added to the cast…~

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ❤️

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 4 comments
5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

5 Tips & Tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle from a YA Fantasy Romance Author

Hey there!

Last month I posted April’s Writing Update, in which I told you about the changes and improvements I made to my lifestyle — being an author, I’m already used to living indoors… and yet, our current world has forced me to make some changes in order for me to stay healthy, fit, but also productive creatively.

I’d been thinking about sharing my tips and tricks for several weeks now, but wasn’t sure whether I should; I had already seen many similar posts pop up all over the internet, and wasn’t entirely convinced that I could add something new to that.

However, I decided to run a poll in my Instagram story to ask you, my readers, this very question — and, well, after I got a 100% “yes” from several votes, I figured there are people interested out there after all 😉

So — are you ready? In this post I’m going to talk about schedules (nothing neurotic, promise), at home workouts, things that can motivate you and improve your mood, AND, especially, how to maintain a high-productivity.

Let’s go! ❤️

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1: Schedule your day

To be honest, this is still pretty new to me. Usually I’m not one for living by schedules. I think it actually sounds rather neurotic. AND YET. Because I wanted to keep my productivity high while writing one book and editing another one simultaneously, I decided to give it a try.

Turns out I’m loving it! Besides all-things-bookish, I have also started scheduling my at home workouts. I used to go out for runs and walks (mostly in the mornings), but ever since I can’t anymore, I caught myself slacking off a bit. I still did my indoor workouts in the evenings (I already did those before all this), but my “daylight training” (for a lack of a better description) was kind of non-existent… and I didn’t like that, because my health is important to me, and I actually LOVE working out.

On top of that, I always notice that working out regularly not only makes me stronger physically but mentally as well; it makes me feel fit and alert and focused, which increases my productivity in, yes, writing! (Or any other [creative] profession or hobby you do)

To give you an idea, here’s how such a schedule looks like for, let’s say, a Monday:

 

• MORNING

— house chores

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— BREAK: social media check/replying to messages/post something new

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

• AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

• EVENING

— make dinner

— 15 minute meditation

 

And here’s a random Tuesday’s:

MORNING

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— WORKOUT: 30 minute HIIT

— edit 15 pages of manuscript

— write blog post

AFTERNOON

— write on new manuscript

EVENING

— WORKOUT: 50 minute cardio kickboxing + strength training

 

Every day is different, so it’s okay to mix it up a bit and make different schedules for each and every day of the week. As you can see, however, I tend to do my editing in the mornings and my writing in the afternoons. This is because A) I’m more focused earlier in the day, and B) writing is more fun for me, so I have something to look forward to later that day 😉

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #1.5: Making a schedule

The first thing you need to figure out is what you want to get done that day. Be realistic, though — don’t plan too much, or you’ll only put yourself under an immense amount of pressure that won’t make you or anyone around you happy.

Try to estimate how much time you need for a certain task. An hour? Several? The entire morning or afternoon?

Once you’ve figured that out, try dividing it into three parts; morning, afternoon, and evening. Of course, you could also consider making some kind of time table — for me, however, that’s a little bit too much. I don’t mind putting some pressure on myself (in fact, that only stimulates me to work harder and get more results in a short amount of time), but to feel like I’m racing against time and having to keep an eye on the clock while working, isn’t really the most relaxed atmosphere to me. BUT: in the end, it’s all up to you as an individual. Find what works best for you ❤️

It’s better to schedule too little for your day rather than too much; that way, you get to have this feeling of accomplishment because you’re able to check off all of those boxes, and maybe even get some extra work done. That feels a whole lot better than ending up with unchecked boxes and feeling like you haven’t done enough, right?

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #2: Keep your energy level high — at home workouts

I love writing. I also love to write A LOT — as much as I can each and every day. I love being able to finish not one, not two, but even three chapters a day. It helps me stay in my story’s flow and it keeps the creative process fun.

In order to keep that up, however, I’ve found out some time ago that you need to do some things to keep your energy level high. One of those things is being fit yourself. I’m not saying you need to be some kind of athlete, but science has proven multiple times that exercise helps reducing stress. And what does stress do for you? Absolutely nothing, except making you feel like crap and low on energy.

To get a good workout you don’t need to go to a gym and be surrounded by dozens of sweaty, red-faced people (during these times that’s a bit of a horror scenario, isn’t it?). Actually, you don’t even need to go outside.

Really, you can do it all at home. Don’t worry if you don’t have any fancy equipment; cardio and body-weight workouts, for example, don’t require any equipment at all.

My go-to YouTube channel for this is FitnessBlender. I am a HUGE fan of this channel. It’s run by the couple Kelli and Daniel, and I believe they have 600+ different workouts, as well as warming up and cool down exercises. During the videos, they give many tips for each and every exercise, explaining what to do, and what NOT to do to prevent injury.

One of my favorite no-equipment workouts is most certainly this one:

 

I know, this is a rather intense workout — but no fear! If you’re not used to working out or just don’t feel like jumping around the room for 50 minutes, there are also some neat low impact workouts out there.

This is a fun one and a great workout (you don’t need to bounce around to get some decent exercise; this works just as well):

 

 

If, for whatever reason, you absolutely HATE fitness workouts, there’s always yoga to consider! It’s another great way to stay healthy and keep the energy flowing — I actually love using it as a mid-morning break in between editing manuscripts.

My all-time favorite yoga YouTube channel is most definitely Yoga With Adriene:

 

 

This is a video I especially love — it’s called “detox flow”, but it’s actually not just a detox for the body, but for the mind as well. When I feel like too many thoughts and ideas are crowding my head, this is my go-to video 🙂

Or have you ever considered pilates? (Which is my latest fascination):

 

 

Or perhaps tai chi?

 

• Indoors High-productivity TIP #3: Healthy mind; happy mind

Even if you’re living indoors where there’s little influence from the outside world and even if you don’t have a lot of contact with other people, sometimes your mind can still take a wrong turn and drag you down a road of darkness filled with hungry demons eagerly waiting to tear your heart out.

Okay, so maybe that sounds a bit dramatic, but it CAN feel like that. We all know mood swings. We all know depression, even if it’s only a tiny little bit. The advice you normally get whenever that hits you, is to go outside; take a walk; breathe in some fresh air.

But what if you can’t go outside?

Well, I believe meditation can be a solution — sometimes all you need is to be still for a bit, to reorganize your thoughts, open the drains and let the dirt out, and do some breathing exercises.

Meditation is also great when you’re feeling happy and you’re in a good place, of course! Personally, I’m doing absolutely awesome lately, yet I still like to practice meditation from time to time because I like the sense of calmness it gives me (especially because my brain has gone into overdrive and I have too many new book ideas floating around).

I gotta be honest, I’ve just started doing meditation a bit more seriously since this year, and that’s why I really like guided meditations — you know, in which you’re reminded to not let your brain go monkey-mind on you while you’re actually supposed to empty it.

For that, I turn to Yoga With Adriene once more! This is a video I quite like (it’s a recent one, actually):

 

Other ways I sometimes use to clear my mind is to simply listen to some music (can be anything), read a book, play a video game, draw something. You just need to find what works best for you at that moment, until you’re feeling grounded and balanced again.

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #4: Stay motivated; remember WHY

This, of course, is an important one.

To me writing is my absolute passion, so I actually don’t need much to stay motivated and keep on doing it — the fresh ideas my mind comes up with constantly are doing a fine job. Next to that, I don’t find it too difficult to stay motivated for my workout routines, because I enjoy them.

I guess that’s the trick to staying motivated for whatever it is you’re doing: simply loving it.

Of course, other people can help inspire you. To me, there are many people in this world who inspire me on a daily basis. One of them, again, is Yoga With Adriene. (I swear I’ve not been hired to advertise her, lol.) The reason she inspires me, however, is her honest, positive attitude; she practically seems to exude happiness, and I guess that’s why she’s so popular. Everyone likes and is attracted to positivity — negativity only drags you down. Her way of living has inspired me and reminds me often to see the good in things, even in the bad, and to be grateful for everything I have rather than be frustrated with the things I don’t have (yet).

This is just one example — there are many more people who I find an inspiration, like some of my fellow indie authors who have published over a 100 books, have an amazing fanbase, and make other people happy with their stories on a daily basis. Seeing and reading about those things motivate me immensely; it literally sends my heart racing, and gives me a boost and the courage to chase my dreams as an author.

However… while others can inspire you, the BEST way to stay truly motivated for whatever you’re working on every single day (while at home and indoors), I believe that your true motivation and inspiration has to come from yourself.

Huh, what?

Yes.

All you have to do is remember WHY.

Why are you doing this? Why have you begun working toward your goal? Why have you decided to start chasing your dreams?

That answer alone should be enough to keep your fire burning — and stay productive 😉

 

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• Indoors High-productivity TIP #5: Give yourself a break

We’ve reached the final tip, which is going to be a very short, very simple one:

While being indoors all (or at least most of) the time, it can be very tempting to keep going constantly. To keep up the productivity. To not stop working, because home is where the work is happening, and you have to keep on going—

Well, yeah, to achieve your goals, working hard is important. But to keep up your productivity and to stay healthy — physically and mentally — sometimes you need to give yourself a break.

Some days you have to tell your schedules to go to hell. Some days you have to allow yourself to slump down on the couch and read a book, play a video game, or watch a movie or series.

And that’s okay.

It took me a while to realize this. The first few years of my author-life I kept on going 24/7, and felt bad and even guilty whenever I took a bit of time off, feeling like I wasn’t doing enough to achieve my goals, like I was wasting my time. That’s why I even had a hard time doing regular workouts, because as long as something didn’t have anything to do with my writing, it felt like a waste of time.

The thing is, though — it isn’t.

Because you only live this life once and you’re allowed to have fun with things that don’t have anything to do with your passions or dreams. Because working out doesn’t merely make me stronger physically, but mentally as well, which also makes me a better writer, because it makes my mind clear, which helps me work faster.

Give yourself a break sometimes. Allow yourself some rest. You’re not a machine — no matter how productive you wish to be, you’re still just a person, and some days you’ll feel better or stronger than others. And that’s totally cool 🙂

 


 

All right! With this, we have reached this very lengthy blog post, in which I’ve explained my top 5 tips and tricks for a high-productivity-healthy-indoors-lifestyle.

Of course, everyone is different. What works well for me, might not work at all for you. Still, I hope you may be able to get something out of my tips, or at least got inspired to improve your own way of living.

Or perhaps it’s already totally awesome and you don’t need to change a thing. In that case — keep it up! 😉

I hope you guys enjoyed reading this! Tell me, have some of my tips inspired you? Or do you have a trick of your own that works well? Feel free to leave a message! Red heart Also, if you think a friend might benefit from this post, please share~!

 

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

PS. Just to be clear — although I stated that you don’t even need to go outdoors to get some healthy exercise done, I didn’t mean that you shouldn’t ever go outside. After all, in normal circumstances, being outdoors is good for your health as we all need sunlight and vitamins. So, as soon as it’s safe to venture out again… please do 😉

 

Don’t want to miss updates on my book releases? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my stories; feel free to follow!

 

Thanks so much for subscribing and following ?

Posted by Lynn Robin in Lifestyle, 2 comments
MARCH 2020 Writing Update: Writing & Craziness

MARCH 2020 Writing Update: Writing & Craziness

Hey there, Sleepwalkers!

Whoa. March. Well. What can I say? This sure has been a crazy month — and I tend to say this about many months, because, well, let’s face it, I write crazy stories and am a bit of a crazy person myself, giving myself tons of deadlines to reach so I can write as much as possible each year.

But this month took “crazy” to a whole new level: countries are in lockdown, everyone is in (preventive) quarantine, the streets are mostly empty, and people have developed a sudden obsession with toilet paper (seriously, what’s that about?).

Everything feels so… surreal. Like this is actually a really crappy script of a really crappy movie, and we all somehow got stuck with a part in it.

However — apart from all this, life still goes on, and as an author I’m lucky to be working from home anyway, which means not much has changed for me (except for the fact that I have developed a bit of a phobia from going outside, but oh well). So let’s focus on the fun things I did this month, yeah? Let’s get this writing update started!

 

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• Editing: The Insomnia Files

Well, okay, perhaps this isn’t the most exciting thing I’ve done in March, since editing is actually the slowest, least interesting part of the writing process (in my opinion), yet it’s important and has to be done!

So, my team and I have been editing the short stories included in The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5) this month, since the book’s release on April 7th is rapidly coming closer! The thing I absolutely love about editing, though, is the way I get to see my manuscripts getting better and better with each round of revisions. It always makes me feel like I’m polishing this rough stone until in the end, I’m holding this shimmering jewel in my hands — something to feel good about, a manuscript that is ready to become an actual book, after all the quirky sentences and typos have been smoothed out into something ready to be read by others.

And that’s pretty cool ?

 

• The Insomnia Files publication update

I posted this last week, but for those who may have missed it: concerning the world’s current… situation, so to speak, I have decided to postpone the paperback release of The Insomnia Files; the eBook, however, will still be released worldwide on April 7th!

To read my lengthy explanation of why I made this decision, please check out this post 🙂

And if you want to know more about The Insomnia Files (Insomnia Saga #1.5) and which short stories this collection includes, visit the official Insomnia Saga page!

 

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• Writing: The Nocturne Files

At the end of 2019 I finished writing NOCTURNE, the second full-length installment to the Insomnia Saga and so the direct sequel to INSOMNIA — so my latest project to write for the Insomnia Saga was The Nocturne Files, book #2.5 in the series.

I started working on this project in February, and finished it in the second week of March! I can’t say too much about this, because NOCTURNE isn’t even published yet and I don’t want to give away any spoilers — what I can say is that The Nocturne Files (#2.5) have a connection to the third and last story of The Insomnia Files (#1.5) of Alain Somnus, which means that I dove even deeper into the Insomnia Saga’s history.

The Nocturne Files contains two stories, one novella and one short story, and I think it’s safe to say that these in-between story collections will become a bit of a sub-series within the Insomnia Saga, in which I tell about the history of the very first Summoners and the arrival of the Nightprowlers in great detail.

All right, I guess this all sounds pretty vague to you guys for now, but I promise things will get clearer once you’ve read The Insomnia Files 😉 In any case, I’m very excited about The Nocturne Files and enjoyed writing it so much. It was another great experience!

And, after completing The Nocturne Files, I already finished my 3rd writing project of 2020! I’m feeling pretty awesome about that.

 

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• Writing: KISSING SHADOWS

Wait, what? KISSING SHADOWS? But, you published a story last month called KISSING MONSTERS, right…?

Yep, that’s right! In last month’s writing update I already told you guys that I was brainstorming for a sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, but this month all of my ideas really started coming together and before I knew it, I had the entire story plotted out.

So, last week I decided to dive right in and write this story — and, whoa; I loved working on this. I think I’ve actually fallen in love with the characters, the world, the atmosphere. Strangely enough, even though it’s filled with monsters, this is actually a rather relaxing project to work on. Perhaps because it’s less action-packed than the Insomnia Saga, and focusing more on romance.

Since it’s a shorter project, I already finished the manuscript last Sunday morning (I got up early especially to finish it; those who follow me on Instagram have probably seen that in my story!). So, that’s project #4 of 2020!

I’m on a roll.

 

• The KISSING MONSTERS series

Yeah, you read that right:

Although I’d originally planned to only write one sequel to KISSING MONSTERS, that thing that always happens to me happened again: my imagination got a bit over-active and before I knew it, the story began to grow, the characters started to develop, things became complex, and there you have it: a whole new series is born.

I’ve decided to add more sequels to KISSING MONSTERS and turn it into a series, consisting of short but sweet installments. They’ll all be around the length of the first book (though book two has already crossed the word count… 😀 ), and I’m planning to release all installments as eBooks for a nice 99 cents — they’ll be quick reads to enjoy and finish within the night (or morning, or afternoon, or whenever it is you read)!

So, for now I’ll be working on two projects: the Insomnia Saga and Kissing Monsters ?

 

By the way, have you read KISSING MONSTERS yet? It’s available as a free eBook, in any format you like! If you’re a Kindle reader, you can find the .mobi format on Smashwords.

Find out more about KISSING MONSTERS here! ?

 

• Preparing to write ORIGINS

Oh yes, another thing I did in March: I made preparations for ORIGINS, the third full-length installment of the Insomnia Saga.

Throughout the months, I had taken lots and lots of notes (I swear, my notebooks scare me sometimes), and it has literally taken me hours to get them all organized in a Word document. After that, I’ve spent several days working on the plot-outline, and I’ve summarized the first 26 chapters of the book.

I plan to officially start working on ORIGINS in April! Really excited about that 😀 (And looking at everything that’s happening right now, it’ll be a great distraction.)

 

So… I suppose that’s it. I actually did even more this month than I thought! 😉

This week I’m working hard on making The Insomnia Files publish-ready; the eBook is finished and uploaded to the publishers, and yesterday my designer and I worked on the paperback! It won’t be published yet, but at least we’ll have the files ready once I feel comfortable releasing it 🙂 Today, however, we’re going into movie-mode to make some really cool teaser trailers! You can expect to see them on YouTube in April and May.

Well, everyone. What else can I say? These are strange times, and I know many of you are struggling. I must admit, I’m pretty anxious too, but I’ve decided to focus more on my writing — because, you know, freaking out and panicking is not going to help anyone and certainly not going to change our current situation. I’m just trying to make the best of it. My family and I have placed ourselves in preventive quarantine, just to be extra safe, so I’m not going out anymore, not even for a run. To make up for it, I’m doing more indoor fitness and yoga workouts ?

What are you doing these days?

Wishing you all the best of health; be strong, be happy, be positive.

 

And don’t forget—

BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

 

Don’t want to miss a single update or release? Then please subscribe to my blog (scroll all the way up, and you’ll find the subscribe button to your right. All you have to do is enter your email address, and then confirm your subscription).

or

If you’d like to stay updated and see more of what’s happening behind the scenes on a daily (hourly, even!) basis, please follow me on Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook. I recommend Instagram for a steady amount of updates, since I’m sharing everything I’m working on in my story; feel free to follow!

 

Posted by Lynn Robin in Writing Updates, 4 comments
Looking Back at 2019

Looking Back at 2019

We did it.

We have reached the last days of December — and so, the last days of 2019. Can you believe it? This year just seemed to fly right by, and yet, I have done A LOT these past twelve months.

At the end of each year, I always like to look back at all the highlights and reflect on that.

Let’s journey back through 2019 together:

 

• January: Writing Books and Snowy Walks

At the beginning of this year I was still working on my last Dutch novel, which was Schimmenstof (translation: Phantom Dust), the sixth and final installment of the Schimmenwereld Serie (Phantom World series). After taking a Christmas-break off working on this manuscript, I was SO ready to tackle this project again once it was January.

Working on the last book of a series always is an emotional experience. The project was pretty heavy to work on, but I absolutely loved every moment of it (luckily I’m what you call a “plotter”, which means I first write a detailed plot outline for my books before I even start writing; this way, for me, the actual writing process is a very smooth and fun experience).

January was a cold month, and we even had some snow—so, besides writing like a madwoman, I often went outside with my camera 😀 I still have a couple of photos!:

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• February: Working Hard & Taking It Easy

In February I finished writing Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust).

It felt amazing.

Though I must also admit that besides feeling happy and euphoric and, well, pretty d*mn proud, I also felt sad that I finished the series. Writing so many books about your characters really is a special experience, and especially when you’re about to say goodbye to them, you realize how much you’ve come to care about them. I know they’re just fictional figures, figments of my imagination… and yet 😉

I decided to take a break off from writing during the last week of February — and while it had been snowy and cold in January, spring came early during the second half of February! I also took some photos back then:

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• March: Rewriting INSOMNIA + shortlisted for The Indie Awards

This month I could finally start writing in English full time — and so I worked on the new version of INSOMNIA, and even finished it! I was so hyped about my projects; I was practically unstoppable 😉

Meanwhile, other exciting things were happening — to my utter surprise, I received an email from The (Dutch) Indie Awards, telling me that my book Schimmendroom (Phantom Dream, the fourth installment of the Schimmenwereld Serie/Phantom World series) had been chosen by the jury as one of the finalists in the category “Best Book of 2018”!

Juryprijs Beste Boek 2018

There it is, on the right!

I actually had a hard time believing it, but it was all over social media — and I was invited to come to the award ceremony in April…

 


• April: I did some editing, some writing… oh, and I won an award. (say what?)

In April I started the editing process for Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust); the release was planned for July, so it was time to start working toward that goal!

Deciding to take a break from the Insomnia Saga, I started working on another project behind the scenes (one I still can’t talk too much about, because it’ll take at least a year before it’ll be published; sorry!). What I can tell is that it’s another series, and that I finished writing the first installment.

I also announced the release date for Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust), and officially revealed the cover! I love cover reveals, but this one was, well, “extra special” to me, for it was the final book of my series.

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I was also supposed to attend the award ceremony of The Indie Awards. It took place on a Saturday.

On Friday, however, I didn’t feel very well; headache, dizziness, aching muscles, runny nose, you know it: THE FLU. The next day I still didn’t feel any better, so I couldn’t go the the ceremony. I was pretty bummed. Sunday morning, however, I found that I had recovered a bit, so I decided to watch the video of the awards ceremony.

At the end of the video, they announced the winner of the “Best Book of 2018” award… and my jaw nearly dropped to the floor when they called out “Lynn Robin!”.

SERIOUSLY. I couldn’t believe it. My first response was: HUH? (yeah, being a writer, you can see that I’m very well-spoken)

Thinking back on this, I actually still feel pretty amazed and dazed, even, because it’s such a crazy thing! It’s one of those things that always happen to other people, not me. Those things you secretly fantasize about, but really don’t expect to happen for real. It really was an amazing experience! 😀

I was disappointed (still am a bit) that I couldn’t be there, but well. Flu happens. Right?

 

The Indie Awards logo

 

 


• May: Working on my top secret project & Editing some more

After all the craziness of the past month(s), May was much more relaxed, giving me time to write and edit in peace (lol).

The editing process for Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust) continued. I got the notes back from my Editing Ninjas, worked through them, and then started editing again by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, I also continued working on my top secret project, by starting book 2!

 

 


• June: My award, publishing/release preparations… and exhaustion

June was UTTER MADNESS.

I finished writing the second installment of my secret project.

I also finished the editing process for Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust), and then my team and I worked on turning it into an actual book, both print and eBook edition. We also made a trailer! If you’d like, you can watch it here:

 

The excitement of June didn’t stop though, because I also got my award sent to me through the mail! It was such a surreal feeling to finally be able to hold it in my hands, yet I think it was at that moment that it truly dawned on me that I really won this.

I took some photos to share:

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By the end of June I was completely exhausted. But still, I couldn’t wait for the release of Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust) in July…

 


Bookpage_Schimmenstof

• July: Release Schimmenstof + Summer holiday

On the 16th of July, Schimmenstof (Phantom Dust) was officially released! And it was a true celebration, because the book had already received a several reviews from book bloggers by that time, and all of them were absolutely wonderful and completely blew me away. My book got the best reviews I could wish for—and hey, what more could you want?

The rest of July I decided to just enjoy the summer, and allowed myself to be lazy. I read books, went outside to lounge in the grass (and read books), I played video games, I visited a museum… and, all right, maybe I’m not really good at being lazy, because I soon started to write the plot outlines for two Insomnia Saga short stories, and already wrote a huge chunk of the first one 🙂

 


• August: Extending the summer holiday… and writing some more

I took it easy in August as well, though my urge to write grew stronger with each week, and soon I had finished both short stories and was already busy writing down notes for other projects!

 


• September: Back to business + Writing NOCTURNE

In September it was time to really get back to work, so I edited my INSOMNIA manuscript and sent it to my team, and then started writing NOCTURNE, the second installment of the Insomnia Saga.

I wrote the first 100 pages in a couple of weeks and I really liked where it was going, and yet, something was off…

At the end of the month, after talking it over with my team, I realized what the issue was: the first book simply missed something, something that would help it connect better to the second book that somehow felt more “mature”.

After that talk I got really excited, and soon my head was overflowing with ideas of things I wanted to change and add to the manuscript…

 


• October: Rewriting INSOMNIA

Yep, I wrote the whole freakin’ manuscript all over again.

I’d given myself the entire month to do it (so I wouldn’t get behind schedule too much), and I practically wrote until my brain was toast. I was done after three weeks though, and used the last week for a rough editing round.

After the first week of rewriting, however, I’d already sent the first part of my manuscript over to my team — and they were so enthusiastic, it just blew me away 😀 It really encouraged me to go on, so I guess that actually helped speed up the writing process.

To be honest, I don’t remember much else of October. It was kind of a blur, really.

 


• November: Back to NOCTURNE + Updating the site: Going English! + December release preparations

Once it was November, I was glad to get back to work on NOCTURNE, and wrote about the next 150 pages.

Meanwhile, though, I also had other things to do… such as updating my site (it was still Dutch). That was really cool, and I felt good after it was all done; it truly felt like a new beginning 😀 I also shared a blog post, in which I introduced myself; you can read it here.

Also, it was time to do some preparations for my December release, an Insomnia Saga short story (the one I wrote back in July/August!). My team helped me make the eBook, and even a book trailer! Check it out!:

 

I love new releases, whether they’re full books, a novella, or just a short story. It’s just awesome to share something new with the world — it’s what I love most about writing professionally 🙂

 


2000_MU_InsomniaFile_Jodi

• December: Release JODI COLLINS + Finishing NOCTURNE + Christmas!

And so, it became December. The last month of 2019.

I worked hard; it was awesome.

On December 10th, I released my very first international publication: The Insomnia Files, File #1: JODI COLLINS. A free eBook, a prequel to my upcoming series, a short story especially written for first-time Insomnia Saga readers, telling the background story of the series’ main protagonist, Jodi Collins.

I’m still really excited about this release, and I hope people have been/are/will read and enjoy it, and that you’re looking forward to the release of INSOMNIA early 2020!

 

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Besides publishing this short story, however, I also worked hard on writing NOCTURNE… and even managed to finish it! To be honest, looking at how busy I’d been, I never expected I would be able to finish this project before Christmas, but somehow I did! It was such a wonderful feeling to write down those last words; it really was a nice wrap-up of the year 😉

 

 


 

And here we are, at the end of 2019.

Like I said, this year has just flown right by — and yet, to me it really feels like an actual year has passed; I have done so many things this year, wrote so many manuscripts (6, if I’m counting it right), and also learned a lot.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I always like to reflect back on the past twelve months at the end of each year, because it’s just really cool to create an overview of all the things I’ve done, but also to see what I’d like to change or improve in the next year. And not just things concerning writing, but concerning myself as well.

I think the lesson I learned this year is that it’s important to be patient, and to realize that you can’t force things. I think it’s safe to say that I’m pretty enthusiastic and passionate, especially regarding my writing, and so sometimes I pressure myself a bit too much in wanting to reach certain goals in a certain amount of time — also things I actually don’t really have any control over.

So the advice I’m giving myself for 2020 is to simply stop trying to control things, and to accept things as they are. As long as I keep working hard, as long as I stay positive, things will work out. And hey, come on, I’ve got nothing to complain about. 2019 has been EPIC — and 2020 is going to be a great year, filled with new book releases and adventures I can’t wait to share with you guys! 😀

 

Are you excited for 2020?

 

Thank you for reading my post! I’ll be posting a really cool one on January 1st, in which I’m going to tell you guys a bit more about my upcoming releases of 2020!

 

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BE CREEPY. STAY FREAKY.

— Lynn

Posted by Lynn Robin in News, 4 comments