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Self Publishing Goals: Falling Behind & Trying Not to Freak Out

Oak trees reflected in our car's windshield (photo by Tui Snider)
Oak trees reflected in our car's windshield (photo by Tui Snider)

Self Publishing Progress Report

My Row80 writing goals are to self-publish my quirky Texas travel guide in March of this year, and to report on my progress each Wednesday, so here you go:

The first step towards self-publishing is to simply get my manuscript written. In order to achieve this, over the past several months I’ve spent two hours each night, as well as twelve hours each weekend researching and writing the book. My original plan was to have a finished manuscript by mid-January and for a while I thought I was on schedule… Well, here we are at January 15th, and I still have more research, writing and re-writing to do!

Frankly, I blame the flu which knocked me on my butt on December 31st. I wasn’t even up to playing Words with Friends for a while, let alone sitting upright at my computer and writing coherent sentences. I feel as though the New Year is just starting! (Am I the only one who secretly daydreams of having a magical pause button so that they can catch up with all their plans?)

A New Goal

My new goal is to have my manuscript ready by January 31, 2014. As before, I’ll spend two hours each night (except for Thursday nights, when I lead #StoryDam writers chat on Twitter.) As for the weekends, I think it’s time to pull out all the stops and put in ten to twelve hours each day. I’ll pace myself with stuff like laundry and lunchtime errands, because I think that I’m more productive that way, but otherwise, it’s nose-to-the-grindstone time! I must admit, though, that I’m scared that I won’t be able to pull this off. There is no way that I want to publish a sub-par book. Just between you and me, I’m really struggling not to freak out!

You may be wondering why I am so determined to get my book out in March. It’s not just because I set an arbitrary deadline and I don’t want to cut myself any slack. Here’s the deal: I really want to have my book out before the 2014 A to Z blogging challenge in March. I would also like to have a book in hand when I attend this year’s DFW Writers Conference in May.

As you can see, it’s all part of my master plan, bwah, ha, ha! Wish me luck… and writing stamina!

Who are these ROW80 Writers, you ask?

To join in and cheer on other ROW80 writers, check out the A Round of Words in 80 Days website
. You may also simply click on any of the blogs in the following list:

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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. You can do it if your enthusiaism and hard work are anything to go by – but just a thought if you keep finding more places do you have enough for 2 books – then you could divide the places into some reasonable format and – so for instance around a certain area (I know Texas is large so as a Brit I’m probably not the one to try and divi it up – are there certain areas people tend to stay at, tour around – stuff like that.

    And I am sure you just typed the wrong month, but I always thought the A-Z was in April – hope it hasn’t changed as I have planned my deadlines around April myself:)

    all the best:)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Alberta! Oh, yeah… Texas is BIG. I mean, I knew that before, but after researching this book, I really, really know it! I hear ya on focusing on a region. For this book, I’m sticking with places that are in reach of the Dallas – Fort Worth section of north Texas.

      Oh, thank you for pointing out my April A to Z Challenge typo! *blush*

  2. I have to echo Amy a bit here, Tui. The world is such a interesting varied place, and each state holds so may unique treasures… You could drive yourself crazy trying to research every detail for your book. If I dared make a suggestion it would be to write your travel guide around a theme. Not just unique sites (because what strikes you as unique and quirky might not be the same for others)… But in the end, you’ll know exactly what to say. It won’t be sub-par. It won’t be even par. Your passion for the project is clean. It’ll be delightful.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      As I drifted off last night, I started obsessing thinking about my book, as well as the many other travel guides I have read and realized that they each have a specific theme to them. I suddenly realized that if I zero in on exactly what it is that I want to share regarding the quirky places in Texas that my book would hold together much better.

      Of course, I fell asleep in the midst of these thoughts and had completely forgotten them until I saw your comment…

      So thank you ever so much for reminding me of this, Eden! :)

      Oooh! I’m so excited for tomorrow – it’s my day off. I can hardly wait to pounce on my book and get it done.

  3. Amy Amy

    Hi Tui!
    This is my first comment with ROW80, so I’m very excited – hopefully some of that can spill over and encourage you…is this your first book you’re writing right now? From the sound of your post you’re a perfectionist and a meticulous researcher like me…next time you start to panic, can I just recommend writing for a while without looking anything up? There’ll never be a completely comprehensive travel guide, and trying to make it so might be what makes it sub-par, rather than your writing skill; if you focus on writing the perfect quirky passage about one particular place without referencing anything else – even the internet – you might find the most important things to write about for you, and it could take you in a more specific, focused, personal direction. Then again, it may not help at all! But it’s certainly more relaxing than the “but there’s so much to write about” panic…(you might even find you can spend more time writing than researching!)
    Then again, it sounds like you have a great working system set up, even if it’s more packed than I could handle. Just remember to relax too – we’re all here and we all know you can do it!
    I look forward to your next check in!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions, Amy.

      I think you hit the nail on the head. I need to let go of the idea of putting every single quirky travel spot in north Texas in my book.

      It’s hard, though, because I keep finding more and more offbeat and overlooked sites I’d like to include, but… at this point, that’s becoming a distraction. And what the hey? If this book does well, I can always write a second edition.

      So I am going to take your advice and stay focused on the chapter list that I currently have. When I find more travel goodies, rather than follow them off into the sunset, I’ll simply pop ’em in a new file and write about them at another time.

      Phew! I feel a bit relieved already. Thanks again and happy #row80-ing to you!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you, Morgan! I’m trying to believe in me, too. Most of the time I do, but I do falter – especially when I’m tired. It’s wonderful having you as a cheerleader. :)

  4. Oh my gosh, my girlfriend and I love quirky travel guides! I wish you the best of luck and send all the encouraging vibes toward you that I can because I want to read this book!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thank you, Kathy! It’s encourage to know that folks are interested in the end result. Now, I’ve just gotta create that end result! :)

  5. You can do it Tui!. The Story dam team is here to cheer you on. ;)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks, Patricia! I’m really gonna need some cheering on (and lots of coffee.)

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