Friday, July 20, 2012

Business is Business is ... goofing off?

by Lorna Barrett / Lorraine Bartlett / L.L. Bartlett

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend from out of town. She's unpublished, but working on several writing projects, and we talked writing and business.  And it was the business end of things seems that seemed to fascinate her the most.

It got me thinking that some days (actually most) I spend more time working on the business end of writing rather than the writing itself.  I can't say I don't enjoy it, either.  I keep spreadsheets on my sales--both for my traditionally published books (think the Booktown and Victoria Square mysteries) and or my indie publishing projects (short stories, my Jeff Resnick mysteries, and my cookbook.  And BTW, did you know that my first Jeff Resnick mystery is free for a limited time on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords?)

Some days I tell myself I'll dabble with email etc. until noon and then start writing.  But then I get emails that answered the emails I sent earlier in the day and the next thing you know, it's time to quit for the day.  I send out a lot of bookmarks and bookplates, and even doing one or two a day takes 30 minutes or more by the time I record the addresses, sort out the bookmarks, sticker and stamp the envelopes, and hustle them out to the mailbox. 

Some days I spend way too much time on Facebook.  I try to limit my time on Pinterest to Sunday mornings. I try to retweet messages for friends and colleagues on a daily basis, but I know a LOT of other writers and some days it's overwhelming.  It feels like I'm wasting away in Margaritaville.

But I guess overall I like what I'm doing and I can't seem to stop it.  Of course, I'm currently trying to write the first couple of chapters of two different books, and that's the part about writing I hate the most -- the beginning of the book.  I don't know where they're going.  I don't know what new characters will show up.  And I face the blank text document with fear.  Will I remember how to construct a book?  Will it be okay?  What if people don't like it?

But then I know I'll eventually hit the 40,000 word mark and everything starts to snowball.  The story takes off, I regain my confidence, and all is right with the world.  But in the meantime ... I guess I should just get back to my Facebook pages.

What keeps you from starting or finishing what needs to get done?