Sunday, April 6, 2014

Keeping Up With The Times

I've said it many times, but it bears repeating as often as necessary - writing is a business.  Writers who don't understand this will fail.  Writing is fun, but to do it for a living, you need to treat it like a job.  A fun job to be sure, but still a job.

There are several things I'm doing in my own pursuit of my business.  Er...rather I should say several things I do when I can.  And that's the problem - too little time.  A while back, following the birth of my new daughter, I did a post about wild times beginning in the Meyer household.  Much to my surprise, those wild times haven't fully subsided, and I'm starting to wonder if they ever will.  New job(well, new as of last May) and new child, along with several other things out of left field, have kept me on the edge of frantic.  It can be exhausting, as several other writers I know can testify to.

Fortunately, my books aren't ready for publication yet(that will happen when I return to the US mainland sometime next year).  However, that doesn't mean I can't get ahead of the game now.  The first order of business is getting to be a better writer, as well as connecting with the community.  There are two ways to do this well.  The first is to read.  Read read read.  Pick up every book you can and read it.  Find stuff outside of your comfort zone but which people say is good and read it.  Find award winning stuff you've ignored and read it.  Find stuff you might never have read from the indie circuit and read it.  Once you're done, read it again.  As Stephen King said - if you don't have time to read, then you don't have time to write(well).

Yes, my reading has slackened off in recent months.  That's not to say it's gone away, just that it has diminished.  I used to be able to spend all day in a bookstore, but I'm now lucky to get into one once a month.  Luckily, there's Amazon, but even that's limiting if you can't get around to reading.  I still have a third of Hugh Howie's book I, Zombie, left, and I'm not sure when I'll finish it.  Yet there are so many still out there to get to.

A second way I stay up on things is through the blogs on the right side of this page.  The writers on it are very talented, and they provide both tips for improving and insights into the business.  In an ideal world, I'd open up my morning with them.  Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, and I'm lucky to get to three or four in a day.  Usually I'll be able to do one or two at night as my wife and children are in bed.  I find myself reading fewer and commenting even less.

And these two tiny things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to even the superficial part of the business.  There are still bookstore to contact, copywriting editors to interview, and targeting plans for giveaways to conduct.  These things are necessary, if challenging to find time for.  Here's hoping that times may eventually ease up.

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