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Danielle Miceli

🌷 May 31st, 2020 🌷

Overview:

What’s New?

I’m so sorry for the late letter! Initially, my own chaotic weekend sabotaged the release, but then I chose to further delay May’s newsletter in support and respect for #BlackoutTuesday. This week has been an eye-opening lesson in empathy for (hopefully) many of us, and if you want to talk about it with someone, just know I’m here for you. I’ll listen. 🖤

May marked the end of my 2-month beta reading adventure. While a few betas requested until the end of June to finish up, the vast majority of my readers have now read the entire 4th draft of my massive, 266,228 word book. And it feels...insane. Unreal. Terrifying. Wonderful. All at once.

But more on that later! I’m happy to bid May a fond (and somewhat frantic) adieu, and set an entirely different pace for June. 
  1. Positivity Pass Giveaway: Last June, I decided to offer Positivity Passes, and it ended up being an amazing experience. Not only because I had the honor to personally encourage members of our incredible community, but the web of people complimenting each other on that Instagram post became truly heart-warming. Writers shouted out what they loved about their peers’ work, and I could feel people smiling through their words. I knew immediately I wanted to make it an annual event. I’ll be announcing the giveaway on my Instagram page soon, so keep an eye on my feed if you’re interested in entering!

    What the heck is a Positivity Pass? It’s when someone reads through an excerpt of your writing with the sole intention of pointing out everything you’re doing well. The goal is not to provide empty, general praise. Rather, the reader will tell you why they like what they like and what precisely you’re doing so well. It is not a substitute for a full critique, since a Positivity Pass doesn’t include constructive criticism or feedback on aspects of your writing that may need improvement. However, it’s still a valuable tool to know what is working; we need to understand our strengths as well as our weaknesses. And sometimes, all you need is a little boost to remind you to keep writing. 💖

     
  2. Instagram Live: I recently had my first experience swapping writerly questions LIVE with the lovely Benét Stoen for her April "Tea and Conversations" on Instagram. Even though I felt like I might throw up from nerves the entire day leading up to it...I ended up having so much fun

    So when my beautiful friend Ashley (@ashleykwbooks) mentioned wanting to co-host an Instagram Live all about the beta reading process, I volunteered as tribute! The two of us will be hosting our Live on Saturday, June 13th, at 12:00 PM EST. Ashley is currently at the beginning of her own beta reading process while I’m wrapping up mine, and we’re both also frequent beta readers for other writers, so running a Q&A on this topic seemed like a natural fit.

    We’ll be answering any questions you have about beta reading from either side of the process (writer or reader). Feel free to ask us absolutely anything you want--about our personal experiences; receiving (or delivering) the good, the bad, and the ugly; dos and don’ts; etiquette; technical details; etc. If you already know what questions you’d like answered, please reply to this newsletter and I’ll add them to our list! Otherwise, you can comment on Ashley’s Instagram post this weekend when we officially announce the event. Or ask us a question live on June 13th! 🥰 We hope to see you there!

Writing Update

I seem to keep forgetting that I did also complete draft 4 of my book this month, even if it was mere hours before I needed to send it to beta readers. 😅 So that’s a huge May win I should remember!

  1. Beta Readers Finished My Book: I’ll be honest. I’ve only read through and replied to 2 of the many “End of Book” questionnaires sitting in my inbox so far. I thoroughly enjoyed them, both the tear-inducing praise they contained, and the wonderful ideas for improvement, and yet I couldn’t seem to get myself to open any more last week. My brain felt so saturated and so exhausted, I needed to hold off for a bit. 

    So if you’re a beta reader who already sent me your final feedback, and you’re still waiting to hear back from me--I sincerely apologize for the delay. It takes me a long time to draft thoughtful responses, address your suggestions, answer your questions, and properly thank you on the personal level you all deserve. I promise I’ll get back to every one of you, but I need to be slow and steady about it so I don’t overwhelm myself. Thank you for understanding. 💜

    I’ve learned so much from having people beta read my draft. While I’ll definitely make some changes to my process in the future, I’m overall quite pleased with how I conducted it, and there are plenty of things I’ll repeat next time.

    Now that it’s (mostly) over, I’m feeling a lot of things at once. It’s easy to feel crushed under the combined weight of so many conflicting emotions, or by the pulsing, never-ending beat of “what now?” If I think too much about it too soon, I might not be able to move forward. There is work to be done on this draft. Plenty of it. But not right now.

     
  2. Pressing Pause: I have to exit this season of non-stop work and allow myself a brief period of rest and reflection if I ever hope to bring this monster of a tome to full fruition. If I want my book on a shelf next year, I need to build back up my stamina, which means taking breaks between sprints. Celebrate the milestones along the journey. Recover. And only then, get back to work.

    Plus, from a more practical standpoint, the etymology of “revise” can be traced back to “re-see.” And I know for a fact a day or two’s break from an epic manuscript is not enough time or distance for my brain to “forget” every memorized word, flow, style choice, etc. When you don’t allow yourself space between drafts, you risk turning your own mind into an echo chamber. I know many writers struggle to step away from their work because they’re anxious to finally finish, but I truly believe it’s a necessary part of the revision process.

    That being said, June is a month not only for recuperation, but to give back to the community that always supports me through my crazy times. I’ll be devoting much of my free time to critiquing manuscripts for other aspiring authors at various stages of their own author journeys, and I cannot wait!

    I also plan to research and begin reaching out to editors, artists, and other publishing professionals so I can start outlining a realistic publication timeline. If you’re an indie author who absolutely adored working with a certain editor, cover artist, interior formatter, character artist, logo designer…whoever, I’d love to hear your recommendations! Please reply to this email or DM me on Instagram if you have any!

May Reads

We all know the only reading I did this month was for my own damn manuscript until my eyes felt like they were actually bleeding. BUT THAT’S ABOUT TO CHANGE BECAUSE I HAVE A LEGITIMATE TBR FOR NEXT MONTH AND I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT IT!

June TBR:
-Finish my CP Katie’s draft of Until Fate.
-Continue Sister of the Stars for my other CP, Lina.
-Beta read Beautiful Curses by Ashley Wilson.
-Finish alpha reading King’s Reach for Tom.
-Buddy read Blood by Kirsten Krueger.
-FINALLY finish Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff.

I have a ton more books I’m dying to read ASAP, but this is already a heavy load for one month, and I'd like to be realistic. If I can keep up with my CP/Beta/Alpha responsibilities and read the bottom two books on the list for fun...I will be one happy lady. And then these newsletters might actually start containing mini book reviews again! 


                                                                  

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read this email. I’m so endlessly grateful for all your love and support as I forge my own rocky, forked path toward publication. My inbox, DMs, P.O. box, etc. are always open to each of you!

💖Always,
Dani

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Upcoming fantasy author, new mom, D&D addict, Gemini, Slytherclaw, lover of brunch and afternoon tea, wants to be your friend. 💕

     
Copyright © 2020 Danielle Miceli, All rights reserved.


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