Let’s Talk Shop . . .
Hey friends 🙂
First, I want to thank everyone who purchased a signed paperback from me. I put them all in the mail yesterday. Yea, I was the annoying lady in the loooong line at the post office who had lots of US and 3 out-of-country media mail thingys to send. You should all have them by Christmas.
I just wanted to take a minute to talk about writing. Writing itself. The thing I loooove. I’ve learned so much more about the process of writing during crafting Reckless Abandon than I did while writing Ten Days of Perfect.
To start, I had a broken leg when I wrote Ten Days. I had an idea and it just flew out of me. Seriously. I wrote the thing in less than six weeks. Then beta readers had it for a while, then I played with it a bit, then the editor had it, then . . . I released it.
Starting immediately I learned lots of marketing, and pre-release/polishing things I knew i would do different this time around. That goes for any new author.
My learning, however, came when I started writing Reckless Abandon. I used an outline. There were several things I knew I “had” to include, and I needed to pace them through the story. I didn’t outline a single thing in Ten Days, so this was a new exercise for me. I learned to start with a very lean out line and add things in, really, as needed. I also learned that it’s OK not to use things. I had three scenes written in GREAT detail before I started writing Reckless Abandon. Not a single one was used. I loved them. But, they just didn’t end up belonging 🙂
Time. Oh, time. After my friggen leg healed I went back to work at 30 hours a week. I work during the day and my husband works at night. This means I spend my 30-minute lunch break checking sales reports, rankings, doing some marketing, and tossing ideas around with author friends online who are also on their lunch breaks. This also means when my kids go to bed (thank God they’re in bed by 7 or 730) I have to clean up dinner, tidy the house, prepare for the next day, THEN WRITE. More often than not, my house is trashed. This is because I’m tired, folks. My oldest son will be 5 in February and I have 3-year-old twins. They. Just. Tire. Me. Out. So, what usually happens is I get them in bed and sit for the rest of the night.
Or . . . I don’t.
Yea. One of the most stressful pieces of writing Reckless Abandon is I have gone days…DAYS without writing at times. I have friends who released books in the fall so I would interview them for The Indie Bookshelf, write reviews, help beta read . . . All things I could do all summer with a broken leg and all the time in the world. I had to learn . . . to say no. After I finished beta reading for my dear friend Melissa Brown I said “that’s it. no more till RA is done.” I had to say no, and have to say no, a lot.
That’s just not in the “writing and internet world” either. I don’t do things with my friends on the weekends usually. Not without careful planning, anyway. Saturday, for instance, I knew that my hubs and I were going to a Christmas party at night. I usually write from 4-8 at Starbucks on Saturdays. This is the time I used to work a part time job. Since I don’t do that part time job anymore, I write then. So, I let the hubs sleep in on Saturday and then I did an AM writing session, came home, cleaned the house with him, then went to a real-person Christmas party. Today was a little different. I didn’t feel well this am (sore throat) so we skipped church. Hubs let ME sleep in, then we cleaned, played with the kids, and I took the oldest boy grocery shopping, got them lunch ,then went and wrote for three hours.
Now…the writing process. My writing just…got better. The writing brain is a muscle; the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Sure, the outline helped, but so did reading lots of books, learning technique for turning a phrase, discussing “never use” words and “try to use” words and grammar nuances with my author friends. Receiving and paying attention to feedback on Ten Days (you know those reviews we all bug you to write…yea, those are for us just as much as they are for people looking to maybe buy the book themselves). I have read every single review and looked for common likes, dislikes, issues with style, etc. It doesn’t mean I’m changing my style to fit what these reviewers say, but sometimes there are things that need to be paid attention to – and I do.
So, I’m done rambling for now, because I have a story to finish. For you. For me. For Ember.