Okay, it dawned on me recently that I have a couple apologies to make. Because early last year, I kinda stated a release schedule for a bunch of short stories, and … by end of April, I’ll have only delivered on two.
So I fail.
But here’s my defence.
Last year, my head was super busy. When I made the declaration early in the year, I honestly hadn’t realised that enough time had passed for me to regain my publishing rights to Darkness & Light (as well as Instinct at the end of the year). As a result, I ended up spending a couple of months prepping that and trying to learn everything I needed to know about self publishing, all in one small chunk of time. It was hard work. It was tiring. It was a little bit stressful. It was also fun.
But that was only a couple of months, you say …
Yeah, it was. But the rest of the year, I was truly busy with editing work. You see, when you’re not a biggish name author, there’s a good chance your book sales income isn’t going to keep you afloat, and this often leads to authors either a) keeping on their day job, if they already had one when they started writing; or b) looking for a day job so they can continue to write. I fell into the latter category.
Because of this, I wore myself out, trying to earn a living that actually brought home enough money to make a difference to us as a family, as opposed to working for love of craft.
But that alone came with consequences. Because when a writer doesn’t write, something a bit shi**y happens.
1) I began to lose self-belief that I could still do it. That I still had it in me to spin a decent yarn. In fact, 2014 was my least productive ever since I began writing. I went from my highest point ever of knocking out a couple hundred K in a year, to writing only about 10K.
2) I began to wilt. The thing with writers is, they can quit tapping those keys all they want, but that doesn’t stop the stories from coming. When a writer’s writing, they have an outlet for all the voices. When they’re not writing? Well, their heads fill up with that much noise, that much busyness, until it all piles up and piles up, and not only is it stifling, it’s also enough to send us a little demented. Not that I wasn’t slightly demented to begin.
So, at the end of 2014, as I clicked ‘send’ on my final editing job of the year, I made a promise to myself. That, in 2015, I would not only continue earning my editing living, because that’s something I enjoy and need, but I would also make time that is 100% for me. By that, I don’t mean time to myself, time to do ‘hobbies’, etc, but time to write. Because writing is important to me, and I’d managed to ignore this for an entire year. 2015 was going to be different.
So, after checking my calendar for jobs I already had booked in, I decided on a definite date for when I’d dive back into the very small opening I had written for Cornered (Holloway Pack 5). I also decided when, exactly, I wanted it completed by, how many words I wanted it to be, as well as which weekdays, exactly, I would allocate for definite ‘me time’, and then I calculated how many words per day and per week I would need to accomplish to reach my goal. Due to not having written much for a year, I also knew I needed to make this achievable so I wouldn’t feel like a loser by not hitting the target.
Tuesday of last week was my ‘start’ date. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were my other four writing days. Although I didn’t expect to hit any of my daily targets, let alone my weekly one, thanks to Mr B announcing he’d spontaneously booked a week off work, I did. One week under my belt, and I stayed on track.
Now I just have 6 months to go.
So I give you my permission. If anything I say online sounds like I’m not staying focused, not knuckling down and doing what I gotta do, then you have my permission to kick my virtual butt.
Thanks for dropping in.