First, I should apologize for the lateness of the latest newsletter. I got more than a little backlogged this summer, and also a little too stubborn for my own good about how and when things should be done vs. when they could be done. It’s a bug, not a feature, and I’m working on it. In the meantime though, the next installment of Shadow in the Stacks is done, and should be in your inboxes by tomorrow morning. Thanks for being patient.
Part of avoiding issues like late newsletters and such is making better plans and sticking to them. Plans that leave me a lot of leeway to get things done and still live my life. I’ve been pushing too hard, and for what? I have no intention of leaving my job (because I like it, and steady paychecks), so my books don’t need to pay the bills, and aside from some audiobooks that I have an obligation to do what I can to sell, there isn’t anything that says I have to hurry up and write as many books as possible and make a bunch of money or build the biggest newsletter list or whatever. I am my own worst enemy here, and relieving the stress I’ve put on myself is really quite simple – I just need to slow down.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about what I write, and what I want to write. And my focus next year is going to be quite different than it has been. I’m going to take a break from contemporary romance and romantic suspense for awhile, and my erotic romance pen name will be stepping back as well. Instead, I’ll be focusing on a youth/young adult action/adventure series, the steampunk-style-fantasy novel I have in progress, and more work for my suspense alter-ego.
I’ll be writing just three books next year (as opposed to the 7 drafts I have in progress at the moment), and any leftover time I find myself with will be spent editing and doing the business-y stuff that comes with (or should come with) publishing and selling books. I’ve neglected the business side of things for too long, and that’s a source of stress as well, so I will leave myself plenty of time to work on that next year.
Just coming to that decision has been a major stress-reliever for me. I still have to finish the drafts I’m working on, but once they’re done, the pressure’s off (those drafts are what I’ll be editing/publishing next year). I feel good about that.
There are some other things I’m still waffling about, but I’m happy with this decision to slow down overall, and just focus on a few key genres.
The other thing I’m going to do, starting right away, is to update my writing journal every weeknight before I go to bed. I’m also going to go over my daily schedule/plans for the next day before bed, which is something I should be doing anyways, and I tend to be lazy about. My writing journal, for those who don’t know, is called The Writer’s Desk, and I’ll be starting the nightly updates late this evening (like, really late – between 11pm and midnight). I’ll be including my daily word count (or excuses), what I was working on, and whatever other notes I feel like sharing (quickly – they’ll be short entries). I already so this with a friend via email, but I think it’ll be interesting/handy to have it available as a public reference.
So…lots of changes coming, but good changes, for me anyways. Ironically, getting to bed by midnight for a reading session before sleep is one of those changes…and one I’ve failed at miserably just to get this blog post done (it’s just after 1am as I finish this up). Better planning/use of time next week, eh?