Saturday, March 14, 2009

Write Stuff: The Writing Life

A couple of weeks ago I was asking what readers might enjoy in the way of blog topics, and the subject that seemed to come up most frequently was writing and the writing life. So once a month I'll post on writing.

Lisa D. commented, I would love for you to write about what it's like to live the "mystery writer's life". I am an accountant so that means no creativity in my work world.

And this is the perfect question to ask because I'm in the process of reevaluating my work schedule and writing routine. It's not working for me. I'm too stressed and too unhealthy, and it's taking a creative toll.

So here it is on Saturday morning -- an average Saturday morning. I was up at seven checking my email -- and this is one of the first things I want to change. I want to stop checking my email more than once a day on a weekend.

Now it's ten-thirty and as I was checking through my email, I remembered that I hadn't done today's blog (or the Monday blog for The Good Girls), so I had to stop the email to write this post. Which turned out to be a good thing as it's helping me clarify my thoughts about the email and the work schedule.

Okay, so when the blog is finished, I'll do some more email -- right now I'm trying to set up various promo events as I've got a book coming out in a couple of weeks. Docketful of Poesy is the fourth book in the Poetic Death series. This one is coming out through a small, indie press. It's very important that I promote like mad because when the time comes to order books for the next book in the yoga series, book buyers will take a look at how much my last title did, and my last title will be this release through a small, indie press. That means it will sell a relatively low amount, which means that -- gulp -- despite the fact that these are two different series from two different houses -- fewer copies of the second yoga book will be ordered than any of us would like.

This gives you an insight into the crazy game that is mainstream publishing.

I've already had breakfast while I checked email. Usually I would get up and try and do two miles of walking, but I'm pressed for time today as I've got a talk with some other writers at a local library.

I'll be discussing the value of critique and critique groups -- I haven't planned out what I'll say, but this part is easy for me. After years of teaching, giving presentations as a corporate manager, and singing...the live stuff doesn't scare me. I'm good at it -- or at least it's easy for me.

When I get home, which will be late-ish (the other writers want to go to dinner together), I'll settle down at the keyboard and do some work on the third yoga book which is theoretically due at the end of the month.

I say theoretically because the more I think about it, the more I realize that my promotional needs for one book and one series are beginning to derail my creative focus on the other. It's a real balancing act, and right now the ground looks very hard from where I teeter on that high wire.

Anyway, I'll write till about eight o'clock tonight when I'll break off to go work on edits for yet another project.

That's pretty much my average Saturday...and my average Saturday is like my average weekday. Which is why I feel the need to make some changes in my writing life.

So...what would I like my weekends to be like? Frankly, I'd like to have my weekends off. Yep. Beyond doing appearances and signings, I'd like to try to save weekends for family, friends, cleaning the house (well, it does have to be done eventually) and all the other mountain of things that piles up during the week.

That would make it easier to deal with the ten to fifteen hour week days -- which, by the way, I don't mind although it's hard on the body (particularly the wrists) and the brain.

And...glancing at the clock, I see it is time to go take my shower and get ready.

Such is the glamorous writing life. Sorry you asked? I'm glad you asked, because now I'm going to focus on changing this chaotic situation -- and you get to watch how I do that in the weeks ahead!
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