Saturday, March 25, 2017
Was the Fun Lost?
BUT - and this is a very large caveat - the writing and the joy of it is totally separate in my mind from the 'job', which is the work of then making that story available to be read by others, of doing the promo necessary to let readers know the book even exists, of putting in the time to do blog posts and participate on social media in support of the book. I do love social media for the sheer enjoyment of the conversations and the networking and 'meeting people', but sometimes there is a definite pressure in relation to "I need to write twelve blog posts on the new book and keep each one fresh and fun to read, and then tweet them and...."
I had what I refer to as "my competitive job" for a very long time and I did really well at it, and enjoyed it. I call it competitive because there were positions, opportunities, projects and management assignments that a lot of people wanted. An employee had to stay on their toes to do the work and have the responsibilities they aspired to. That job involved commuting to an office and there were bosses and performance reviews and deadlines and endless revisions to documents, and all the trappings of standard work. Valuable experience but I certainly don't miss it. (Miss the people, yes. Miss the work, no.)
In the job part of of being an independently published author, I have to do edits and rewrites, based on input from my professional freelance editors. Are they my bosses? No, but my own internal boss refuses to let me put out books that haven't been edited and burnished. Do I have deadlines imposed on me by other people? Rarely. Only if I'm in an anthology or going to a conference. Otherwise the deadlines are set by me but that doesn't make them less real. I just did some deadline setting today in fact as far as my release schedule for the rest of the year. I can change that of course, but since I need to be selling books in order to pay my rent and my bills (and the costs of new books - covers, editors, the formatter, promo etc) and since there are so many books coming out all the time now, I need to be doing frequent new releases of high quality books. Definitely performance pressure.
Do I want to be rebellious and take a 'day off' and binge watch all ten seasons of some wonderful TV show? YES! Occasionally I'll even do that, but I'm always conscious in the back of my mind that I really need to get that book written for the June release and get it to the editor in plenty of time for her schedule and....
So the challenge for me isn't so much about losing the fun, but in keeping the job aspects of being a full time writer running my own small publishing business (publishing only myself to be clear) from crushing the creative juices.
Luckily for me, when I sit down to write the actual story, I lose myself in the flow of the creative process and I'm having fun. But I have to keep it all very much separated in my mind from the worries and pressure of the business of publishing and selling books.
To paraphrase one of my favorite TV shows, 'Killjoys', the story is all!
And by the way, I did a cover reveal for my next book, The Captive Shifter, available on the major ebook sites on April 3rd! Thanks to Fiona Jayde for another gorgeous cover!
Here's the blurb:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything.