Thursday, January 26, 2006

Juggling

I used to think writing was all about, well…writing. You know: sit down, apply fingers to keyboard…type out that best seller rolling around in your head.

Now, almost four years along in the journey, I know better. I know that sometimes it’s not about the writing at all. Sometimes you have to do the stuff that’s not even (gasp) fun.

Like participating in on-line critique groups, for instance. In the beginning, you spend a lot of time critiquing other people’s work and getting feedback on your own. But there comes a point when, to tell you truth, they feel like a big drain on your writing time. Necessary, yes. Worthwhile, yes. But, still...if I were critiquing at the same level I did three years ago, I'd never finish a book of my own.

Then, there’s the multi-book dilemma. When you’re writing your first, there’s never a question of what to work on. Duh. You’ve only got one book. But when you bring a second one into the mix, you start having to make choices about revising the old one vs. writing the new one.

Plus, now you have to pitch the first one. That means time you could spend writing the new one gets hijacked in favor of researching agents, devising killer query letters, copying parts of your manuscript, and driving to the post office. Or vice versa. You let the marketing side of book one slide, because that part isn’t fun. You’d rather be writing book two.

Oh, and let’s not forget entering contests. Contests are another way of getting your stuff in front of an acquiring agent or editor, so there’s more researching, copying, and mailing.

So you send out a batch of queries and enter a slew of contests. By now you’re well-schooled on the waiting game, so you figure it’s safe to dust off book number two and resume where you left off.

Yeah, right.

Just about the time you slide back into the rhythm…get reacquainted with your characters and their story…a request arrives for book number one.

All hell breaks lose.

Suddenly, that book that was absolutely, positively, one hundred percent polished and finished, looks like a rough draft. Book number two slinks off to the back burner, awaiting its turn.

Have I mentioned I’m on book three? Guess how many combinations and permutations go along with three?

And, I haven’t even reached the stage of dealing with what happens when you actually SELL one of the suckers.


Yep, it’s all about multi-tasking.

And juggling.

1 comment:

Carol B. said...

Sounds like a narrow escape for you. Good thing you have taste. *smirk*