Writing isn’t just about words.
I saw a meme the other day that said something like “Being an adult is telling yourself ‘But after this week, things will slow down a bit’ until you die.”
It was the perfect moment for a laugh/cry reaction. Because it’s so true. Today, I was sitting down with my wife to work out our schedules for the rest of the month. THE MONTH. When did I become this person who writes out a monthly schedule? I used to not know what I was doing in five minutes. I was the queen of spontaneity.
Now I have even the act of doing the dishes and taking the dog for a walk written into my half hour increments for the NEXT MONTH.
I put the blame partially on being a writer and partially on not knowing WTF I’m doing some of the time.
I’m a college instructor, so of course grading and lessons plans take some of my time. I’m a grad student, so homework gets a little time. I run an online writing academy, so that gets some of my time. I’m married with a house and a cat and a geriatric dog who gets shots twice a day for diabetes. So there’s that.
But it’s the writing that really eats my time. Not the ACTUAL words, mind you. The stuff that goes around the writing. And I’ve been failing miserably at it.
A month in the life of an author might consist of:
Put some words on a work in progress.
Follow #writingcommunity and other hashtags on Twitter to connect with other writers
Post things to author Facebook page
Create graphics on Canva or whatever to post on the page
Research which/if any ads work to promote one’s work.
Put out frantic calls for beta readers on social media.
Find beta readers.
Complete revisions on the finished work based on first beta reader feedback.
Send work to second beta reader.
Send out query letters on the completed work.
Wait interminably for response.
Keep track of short story submissions.
Write short stories for submissions.
Send out a newsletter. (I haven’t done this in months)
Try to up the newsletter subscriptions in the hope that I actually put out a regular newsletter one day.
Write a blog on a regular basis.
Fail miserably at writing a blog on a regular basis.
Brainstorm ideas for the next story.
Decide which of three works in progress has the best chance of getting finished in the next year and work on that one.
Change mind the next day and work on different novel.
Learn how to embed gifs in my blog posts.
Set up promotions/sales on already published works in hopes of generating some sales.
Keep writing/posting interesting and compelling pieces of work to Patreon to keep your few Patrons amused, entertained, and happy.
Post snippets of Patreon posts to social media in hopes of garnering more patrons.
Read books to stimulate author brain.
Have extreme happiness about that one big award.
Have period of extreme self-doubt that it will be the only one for life.
Research writing contests and try to determine which ones are legit.
Go through backlog of unpublished work to see if any is salvageable.
Try to learn how to play “Love Me Do” on the harmonica.
That’s it. That’s August in a nutshell. And September. And October. And…
In keeping with my monthly planner, I sat down to write a blog today about writing and instead it came out as all the things I do instead of writing.
I think there would be a market for a person who knows how to do all of these things, who will do them all, and who will take their pay in a percentage of the increase in royalties after the marketing. Some magical fairy godmother of writers who waves a magic wand and makes all the businessy stuff go away.
In the meantime, hey, I wrote a blog this month! Stay tuned until December when I bust out my next monthly blog.