Update | Haunted by Deadlines

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Right now, it feels like maybe, just maybe, I’ve taken on more than I can handle. The deadlines are coming closer and closer with each day passing, and my workload at the day job is increasing. We also got it confirmed that my son has dyslexia last week, so lots of school contacts and such.

Him being dyslexic is nothing we’re surprised by. I’m dyslexic. By the time you’re reading this, I’ve first written it, then read it, then ran it through Grammarly, then listen to it, sometimes twice, and yet I’m sure you can find a typo or a missing word somewhere.

What saddens me is that I know he’ll have a hard time in the coming years as the workload in school increases. As an adult, I’ve learned my strategies, I’ve learned what works for me, and while hubby sometimes might have a hard time decipher my handwritten notes, I do all right on a computer (at least in comparison LOL). My son has a lot of hard work ahead of him figuring out what works for him, and I wish I could spare him having to work through it.

But, this post, was supposed to be about what’s going on writing-wise and nothing else. I’m working on two stories at the time, both will be Holly Day stories, and I hope I’ll soon be begging my beta readers for feedback.

I’ve written 97.290 words so far during 2021, and according to my tracker that leaves me 39% done with my goal of writing 250.000 words. So I think, I’m doing pretty well. I just need a couple of weeks with no obligations, a maid, and food deliveries to make my deadlines LOL

The plan is to write the third Rockshade story next, but… If I’m gonna write any holiday stories this year, I need to start planning for those too.

There are so many stories and so little time. Do all authors feel that way? I guess they do. There are always ideas, always scenes playing out in my head. They might not turn out anything in the stories like they are in my head, but there is a constant flow of scenarios. A pleasant problem, I guess. Except I get frustrated when I don’t have time to write them.

Ah well, we’ll see how far I’ve come next month.

What the Heck Do Authors Do?

Pen

Have you ever wondered what an author does all day? This is not meant to be a post where I’m whining – I love what I do – but I often have the feeling a general reader doesn’t have a clue how much time and effort we put into everything.

I am so in awe of all the authors out there who do what I do while working full time. I only work part-time and there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to be on top of everything. All you writers out there who make this work on top of a day job, I applaud you. You are amazing!

So what do I do?

Every day I’m not working – yes, every day, weekends too – I put the alarm on 05:40 and stumble out of bed. Actually, I put the alarm on 05:40 on the days I’m working too. On days I’m not working, I zombie-walk down the stairs and put on the coffee maker. At 06:00, (often 06:03 because I’m waiting for my coffee to drip down) I log into the morning office where I say good morning (and good evening to those in a different time zone) to Nell Iris, A.L. Lester, and J.M. Snyder.

We work together, each on their project, for three hours. At 09:00, my time, we put the pens down (only Nell writes with an actual pen) and say goodbye. Then starts the work I don’t think most people understand.

If you’re a reader who doesn’t only buy books when you see something you think you’ll enjoy but want to follow the authors you like, then you see us post something now and then. You might even interact with us (we love you for that! LOL).

Then you have five minutes to kill and you hop on another platform, and there we are again, a different post, posted at a different time. You scroll past it, maybe like it if it speaks to you, but it fades into the background, and it’s not something you’ll think of again.

I’m not complaining, not really. No one is forcing me to post anywhere, but if you don’t see my name pop up now and then, you’ll forget I exist. And if you don’t know I exist, you won’t read my books.

Writing is a small part of being an author 

  • I blog – This might be my favourite thing to do other than writing stories. I like blogging, but it takes time. I try to write at least one post a week, preferably more, and I try to have at least one guest a week both because I want to help you find new stories to read and because I want to help my colleagues out by giving them a little room. 
  • I post on Facebook – Ah, Facebook… I’ll let you in on a little secret. I detest Facebook, but everyone is on there. If you want to connect with the writer community or the M/M community, Facebook is as close to a must as you’ll come. So I’m on Facebook. I post on my page every day – that’s 365 posts a year I have to come up with. I have a group that I sadly tend to forget. In there I post 1-2 times a week maybe. I’ll do better there, I promise. And I have my profile where I mostly share other people’s stuff or stuff from my page. 
  • I pin stuff on Pinterest – I love Pinterest! Pinterest is my kind of platform. I have boards with everything M/M Romance. I pin the books I read and the guests I’m having. I’ve scaled down a little. I ‘only’ pin 4 times a day. I used to do 5-6, but it’s a lot of work to create pins and set everything up. Still, Pinterest probably is my favourite platform.
  • I post on InstagramInstagram is nice. I post once a day, mostly about the books I read, my guests’ books, and my books. I like making Instagram posts, but it too takes time. 
  • I’m on Goodreads – I have to admit I don’t do much on Goodreads. I share my blog posts, but nowadays I only add my books and like reviews. I used to review the books I read, but it takes too much time. 
  • I’m on Bookbub – Same as Goodreads. I started reviewing books, but there only are 24 hours in a day, so I’ve just let it drop. I check the reviews of my books now and then. 
  • I’m on Booksprout – ARCs. When I have a new book out, I put it on Booksprout. It’s not a platform that takes a lot of time, but it does take some time. I add the information, I upload files and covers, I set a date when I want the ARC readers to leave their reviews, and then I have to log on again to send out reminder emails.
  • I have a newsletter – Now I send a letter on the first every month. I used to send one whenever I had a release, but then I thought the world was too chaotic, so I needed order and decided the first each month would be Newsletter Day. Now, I don’t know. I’m thinking about changing it again. But yeah, a newsletter takes some time to put together.  
  • I do promo things – Then we have everything else. I’m on Queer Romance Ink and Limfic where I upload my books and information about them – adding the information about each book takes a lifetime. I write guest posts for other people’s blogs. And don’t get me started on making promo pictures. I love photoshop, I do, but if you think you throw together a promo pic in five minutes, you’re wrong. I don’t attend a lot of Facebook parties or parties of any kind, but they take time too.  

And lately I’ve been thinking that maybe it was stupid of me to quit twitter. I never understood it, but maybe I ‘should’ be on there. 

I probably do more things that I don’t remember now, so writing really is the little part of it all. Oh, and I guess we can say it’s part of the writing, but we have the work I do with my lovely beta readers, my editor for each story, and let’s not forget the work with the cover artist.

And I’m extra stupid because I decided to have a personality split so I do all of the above for two names *shakes head*

I love writing stories, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing them, but if you think writing is what an author spends the most time on, I’m sorry to disappoint. It also takes away a bit from the fantasy, doesn’t it?

Update | Camp NaNo

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

― Jodi Picoult

typewriter-3711589_640

We’re back on track, people! Or…we’re trying to find the track LOL. I didn’t write anything in March. I’m not kidding. I think my word count for the entire month was around 420 words, which might be my worse month ever. On the other hand, I went through thirteen stories that will be republished soon. So I didn’t sit idle.  

But now I’m writing. April 1st was the start of Camp NaNo, and I decided that come hell or high water, on April 1st I would be writing. And I was. I’ve written 13k in six days, but now I’m gonna work the dreaded day job – is it hell or high water? – so there won’t be many more words this week, I’m afraid. 

My goal for NaNo is 15k, but I think I’m gonna change it. 20k should be doable. We’re only on the sixth today and while I’ll be working a lot the coming two and a half weeks, I should manage to get 7k down, don’t you think? I mean there is always the weekends. 

I’m keeping track of my words, and I’ve written 71.306 words so far during 2021 which is 28.52% of my yearly goal. I feel like I should be further along, but given the circumstances, I guess it’s okay. 

We’ll see how it goes. I need to start planning for holidays stories if I’m gonna write any. My publisher sent out a list of deadlines for the coming holidays, so I need to have a bit of a think on that. So many stories to write and so little time…