This will be a short post because I’m busy writing my second book and I have set the ambitious goal of 5,000 words today. That might be over-reaching, especially because I’m offering the prequel to Elementary Magic for free today and that means I tend to hop over to Amazon.com to check the numbers. As I said yesterday, I’m in the April doldrums with sales slowing so I was looking for a way to boost myself out of that. Maybe a free promo will do the trick – it seemed to work last time.
It’s hard to keep perspective when you’re an indie writer and you’re the only one you answer to. I set goals, and I generally reach them because there’s nothing I would rather be doing than sitting next to my dog and getting lost in my own world for a while. It decompresses me in ways that I can’t explain, especially since tomorrow it’s back to the day job and all of the stress that comes with that. Because I have a very busy and demanding (but rewarding and fun) day job, I refuse to let my writing become stress producing – but that’s not always as easy as it sounds.
These are the top 5 things I stress about:
1. Plot and pace
I deal with this by using my “down time” to work out the details. Driving to and from work; showering; folding laundry; cooking dinner – these are all times when I let myself think things through in a guilt free environment because I’m multi-tasking already and not taking time away from the people who are important to me. PLUS, it lets me roll things around my brain before putting my fingers on the keyboard.
I admit that I am obsessed by how well my books are doing on Amazon. I surf the net to find ways of marketing my writing, and join groups to develop a presence. I also blog and comment on the kindle boards from time to time. Then there’s the free promo thing. I’ll be adding my books to smashwords next month, and I think that may help. I do think I’ll stay with the three-month Kindle Select program at Amazon for the next book, though. I think I found some moderate success with that.
3. Cover art
I did a few mock-ups of the cover for Destructive Magic yesterday. I’ll probably post them here to get feedback at some point in time, but for now I’ll just page through the folder on my desktop and evaluate my own work. Since my background is in Art, I’m resisting the urge to have someone else do my covers. I like playing with it too much, but found out the hard way that I need the cover done before the book. I finished Elementary Magic and then had to wait to finish the cover…that nearly put me over the edge.
4. Side stories
Every story leads me down a slightly different path, and I tend to write the side stories while I’m constructing the main book. It makes it clearer to me, so I’m going to post those here – hey, why not, right? Then maybe I will turn it into a collection at some point in time.
5. So little time
When I first started seeing decent sales on Elementary Magic, I would rush home from work to write…until I realized that I was unintentionally working TWO full-time jobs. I dialed it back, and now Sundays are my main writing day, with a few short forays into my world during the week. I don’t want to get to the end of the book, start the next one, and realize someday that my writing completely made me lose sight of those things that are important – my family, dog, painting, and general enjoyment of my life.