Hello, friends, and welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  If you’re a writer, and if you feel in any way insecure about your writing life, click here to learn more about this amazingly supportive group!

I don’t know about you, but my writing productivity crashed and burned toward the end of March.  Right now, I’m feeling insecure because I’ve done virtually nothing to prepare for this year’s A to Z Challenge.  I’m also feeling insecure because the timeline for publishing Tomorrow News Network, book one, has totally fallen apart.

I have no one to blame but myself.  Wait, no, that’s not true.  The coronavirus deserves a lot of the blame too.  Not all of the blame, but a lot of it.

So here’s my plan.  Even though I’m as ill-prepared for the A to Z Challenge as I could possibly be, I’m doing the challenge anyway.  My theme is the story universe I created for Tomorrow News Network.  Obviously, I have an ulterior motive for doing this.  It’s my way of saying: “Buy my book!”

Except the first book of the Tomorrow News Network series isn’t out yet. It won’t be released until (checks timetable, mutters curse at the coronavirus)—okay, I still have to figure out what my new release date will be.  But it’s coming soon!

I have a second ulterior motive as well.  You see, book one is more or less finished, but I still have to write books two, three, four, five (etc, etc, etc).  So as I tell you all about this fictional universe I’ve created, your feedback, dear reader, will be invaluable as I plan out the rest of the Tomorrow News Network series.

And lastly, my third ulterior motive may be the most important of all, given my current mental state during the coronavirus crisis.  As I said at the beginning of this post, my writing productivity crashed and burned near the end of March, and I’m having a tough time getting back into my creative groove.  I’m hoping that by participating in the A to Z Challenge—and by writing, specifically, about my own story universe—I’ll jumpstart my writing brain.  I guess we’ll have to wait until the end of April to know if that works.

In the meantime, please click here to check out the first Tomorrow News Network: A to Z post.  Today, A is for Alkali Extraction Incorporated, a faceless mega-corporation that’s mining alien planets for their resources.

27 responses »

  1. Rilla Z says:

    Great ulterior motives! 😉 You can do this, Pailly!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CV Grehan says:

    I’m rooting for you!
    Digging into the April challenge might be exactly what you need to get your focus back.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Kate Rauner says:

    I have a wonky author question. Since this is a writers’ support group, I hope you’ll all weigh in. I’ve read about how great it is to prep a series and then release one book a month to always have one in Amazon’s New Releases. At least for the first 3 or 4 books in a series. What do you think? Would you try it? Or does it feel like a looong time goes by with no releases while you write multiple books? I’m finishing up a trilogy this year and wondering about my next series…

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      I hope someone with more indie publishing experience weighs in on this. I’m just starting out.

      I can tell you this, though: from what I’ve read, the book-a-month thing works best for romance authors, in part because their audience tends to tear through books at a rapid pace. And ever since I read that, I have noticed that the people who advocate for the book-a-month plan do tend to be romance authors.

      That being said, a rapid release schedule is part of my own business plan for Tomorrow News Network. I’m not doing a book a month, because I don’t think that’s sustainable. But I think I can do three or four releases a year, and I’m hoping that will be enough to grab the attention of Amazon’s new releases algorithm.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Morris says:

      My personal experience is that a 3-month release schedule works very well. You need to make sure that the next book is available for pre-order, and that each book has a link to the next book at the end. It does require a lot of discipline and hard work to manage a 3-month publishing schedule, but not the insanity of monthly release!

      Liked by 1 person

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      Kate, I’ve been trying to find the article I read about romance authors and the book a month system. I thought I read it on Kristen Lamb’s blog, but I can’t seem to find it there. However, Writing Excuses touched on the same idea in a recent episode:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. jmh says:

    I’d completely forgotten about the A to Z Challenge! It’s certainly going to pose an extra challenge this year!

    Good luck with it, and with getting your writing mojo back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • J.S. Pailly says:

      Thanks! A to Z is going to be extra challenging this year, given the circumstances. But I feel like I need something to help me focus on writing again, and fortunately the A to Z Challenge is to help me do just that.


  5. emaginette says:

    My concentration is similar to a goldfish’s memory. So I’m right there with you. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t panic! Pick a new date and consider all this as promotional teaser. And let me know when it’s ready for release. I’ll post about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. chemistken says:

    Boy, have I been out of touch. I didn’t even realize that the challenge was coming up. Well, I guess another year will pass without me joining in. So what else is new?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. debscarey says:

    I think you’ve made a great call with regard to using A-Z to jump start you into books 2-5. Take heart that you’re so close to getting book 1 out there – that’s something David & I are still struggling with our A-Z book from a couple of years back. We’re trying to use this time to push through with finishing it. One problem is we have plenty of ideas for later books, but have had to work hard on focus to get this one finished & polished. To be fair, David has been doing sterling work to keep it going, while I’ve been lagging behind. Looking forward to reading your A-Z posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Juneta says:

    I am doing better with the writing oddly. Great ulter motives though. Belated IwSG!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Toi Thomas says:

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.
    I commend you for still participating in the A to Z challenge. I’m barely blogging, I mean look how long it’s taking me to respond.
    I really hope that writing about your world in the A to Z gives your writing the boost you seek.

    Liked by 1 person

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