There is a lot of pressure for authors to produce multiple books per year. For some, that isn’t a problem. As I am a writer who has written one book per year going on four years now, I am definitely feeling the squeeze.
It isn’t that I don’t have the time. With one child in elementary school and one in preschool, and the luxury of being able to stay home with them, I have at least a two hour writing window per day. Even more if I can sneak in some writing time before the rest of the household wakes up.
I’ve developed a writing style, over the years, which works for me. I like to write in one-scene blocks. The more difficult scenes often take another pass or two. Once I finish a chapter, I like to take a day off. I give my characters a chance to talk to me, tell me where things are going next. Sometimes I feel like a puppet on strings, but some of my best scenes come when I hand over the reins and just watch things develop from afar.
Now that I am a published author, my workload has increased. I need to include marketing and promotion into my schedule. While writing a book, I eventually get to type “The End”. When marketing a book, it seems like no matter how much social media wrangling, blogging and review solicitation I do, I could always be doing more. So, where do I draw the line?
My little guy starts kindergarten in the fall – all day. On one hand I am thrilled that I finally get all day to myself – to start treating this writing career with the seriousness and respect it deserves. On the other hand, it means no more procrastinating loads of laundry, trips to the grocery store or levels of Candy Crush. Time to step up my game and show myself who’s boss. I am capable of so much more and I know that once I get into the routine it will get easier.
Learning to be productive in a self-motivated career field is tough. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but with the right organization, scheduling and rewards (lots of coffee and chocolate, baby!) I know I can do it. I won’t aim for three books a year just yet. But one day.
Jennifer DeCuir writes small town contemporary romances while wrangling two kids, a husband who acts like a big kid and three neurotic pets. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she can’t get enough sunshine or caffeine. Her series Scallop Shores, published by Crimson Romance, is based on her hometown of York, Maine. When she isn’t writing, she is either crocheting or at the craft store adding to her massive yarn stash.
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