Hello, everyone. Sorry I have been MIA. I think I did post last week, but I try to hit Mondays and this week was a fail. What have I been up to? Glad you asked!
Yesterday my proofer gave me back book one of series. He liked the story overall, and found some typos. I found some more running it through Grammarly, and I think it’s going to be as perfect as humans can make it. So, that’s book one down.
Will I be able to start publishing near Thanksgiving like I hoped? Nope. I’ve decided I want him to read through all four and make sure they are consistent with details and plots. Waiting will make my life a lot easier if he finds anything. I could go ahead and start publishing because I’m hoping I would know if I left behind any giant plot holes, but I am not 100% confident in my abilities. I admire the authors who can publish books one by one in a series. I prefer to not chance it, but I should be able to start publishing before the end of the year, so I’m not that far off the mark. Editing always takes more time than I think.
Also, yesterday, I woke up in a lot of pain. My left shoulder blade and arm were hurting pretty badly. This could have been from all the typing I did on Monday since I transcribed the last of my SUPER SECRET PROJECT, and the final word count before editing came in at 80,500 words. Monday I transcribed to the tune of 6,000 words and that may have just been a little much.
But you know, I probably just slept funny. All those “after 40” memes are pretty accurate. Someone can look at me wrong, and my back will hurt the next day. Because aches and pains are going to be part of life from here on out, I try not to take too many pain meds and save them for the worst days. Yesterday was one of those days, and I took some before bed too, which gave me a decent night’s sleep. Except for the cats, of course.
I feel like my life is a box of clichés.
Anyway, this segues into something I’ve been thinking about.
We’re all under a lot of pressure. It’s something we don’t like to talk about. The pressure to create content, the pressure to publish. Especially in romance, the genre I write in. I haven’t published anything since May of this year, and that gap in a publishing schedule is practically unheard of (by authors who are making money). Never mind that in total this year, so far I have written four full-length novels and half of one that I started in December 2018.
We see authors cranking out content and we want to do that too. Sometimes we try. Sometimes we can, most times we can’t. This is a secret that I learned, and not that long ago.
You have no idea what is going on behind an author’s name. Or, more precisely, a pen name. You think, one name, one person. And a lot of time, I can’t say how many times because authors keep this secret pretty close, a prolific author name has two, three, or more writers behind it. It’s how they can crank out material so fast. We’re over here killing ourselves trying to keep up, and oh, look, a couple of top ten romance authors have two people writing the books.
I’m definitely not saying this is bad. If you can find someone who matches your style and you get along, hell yeah, collaborate. Why not? In fact, if you listen to any publishing prediction for any upcoming year, more collaboration is always one. Why? Because it’s smart. Why not share the work? Why not dominate in your genre if you can. Half of thousands in royalties is better than none, am I right?
But for those of us who write solo, it’s very deceptive. And it can be dangerous.
Another thing you have to watch out for if you’re comparing yourself to prolific writers is what the word count of their books is. Yes, they are writing full-length books, BUT, if you look closely, you’ll see that their catalog is peppered with novellas, novelettes, and even short stories. Lots of those are “add-ons” or “companions” to the full-length book, and it’s a fun way to give readers a little extra. But you do have to keep in mind that counting an author’s titles isn’t a fair way to compare how much time they spend writing versus how many books they have published.
I could publish two novellas a month if that how I wanted to build my backlist. For now I’d like to continue to offer my readers full-length novels of 70+ thousand words. You have to do what’s best for you and the readers you want to attract.
If you’re going to have comparisonitis, at least be smart about it.
Having passion and working hard at something doesn’t have to be a bad thing. When I used to run, I would run injured all the time. Anyone can tell you that’s bad, and it just sets you up for more injury. But whether it’s bad or not, it’s common. Runners even have memes about it:
There are a lot more than this one, but it depicts how runners really feel about taking time off to relax and heal.
Writers can be the same way. I am very passionate about my SUPER SECRET PROJECT. It was fun to write, and I don’t feel like I was racing to get it done. It’s book one of a trilogy, and I probably won’t be able to release them until early next year when my series is out. Why was it so important I finish it so quickly?
Who knows, except, again, it was fun. But I could have afforded to go a bit slower, just to take better care of my health. Mental and physical.
There is pressure to publish, and to publish quickly. We scramble because it feels like other writers are gobbling up pieces of the reader pie and there won’t be any left by the time our book comes out.
The indie publishing space is drowning in books. But hurting yourself and making yourself burn out isn’t the way to make a grab for your piece.
I’m going to try to be more mindful of writing time. If I have twenty pages to transcribe, I have to remind myself it’s not a race to get them typed up.
Take care of yourself and don’t bow under the pressure. Especially with the holiday season coming. Sometimes you won’t have time to write, and that’s okay. Take a rest,
tolerate enjoy your family, and eat a piece of pie while you watch TV. Just be mindful of what your goals are!
I’ll end with that for now. It’s early here yet, even though it’s pitch black outside. I have time to edit for a few more hours.
No . . . I’m not. 😀
Have a great week everyone!