Wednesday, October 9, 2013

On my first days as a published author

Hey all! Today I'm at Mark Koopmans's blog, talking about why paying it forward is so important.

BTW, the Paying Forward Awards are on, and I'm collecting prizes. Please see here for details.


Some of you might be wondering what I'm up to at the moment? Signings? Press releases? T.V. interviews? Nope. I'm being a writer. I.E. I (supposedly) write.

At the moment, though, I'm struggling a bit. I'm so busy with writing blog posts, visiting blogs, checking my Amazon rankings (seriously. It's something I do compulsively.), responding to comments on guest posts and interviews etc. that when I do sit down to write, the words aren't there.

Which is annoying, because I know my muse is tapping her feet, waiting for me to get my butt into gear. But maybe I'm not in the right mental space to write. Which sucks, because deep down, I know I need to get writing again.

I need to escape the craziness that is being newly published and to focus on my real love. Yes, I'd love to be read. I want desperately for people to read The Vanished Knight. But first of all, I love creating stories. And I feel that if I lose sight of that for even a moment, my creativity will suffer.

So what I'm doing is this. I set a goal for 31k words this month. And every day, I'm sitting down by a blank page. If the words come, I write. Even if it's nowhere near my daily goal. I'm not forcing out more. But I am dedicating time to my muse.

Hopefully, the words will come easier as I fall into the new routine that comes with being a published writer.

How do you balance marketing with writing? Do you think I'm nuts for even trying?

54 comments:

  1. I allocate time and try my best to stick to it. If I succeed, I get to reward myself with something fun. :)

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    1. That sounds like a good way to do it. :-)

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  2. Good luck as a published author. The first of many??????

    Yvonne.

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  3. Yahhy! Finally the day has arrived :)

    Wishing you all the very best, and continued success as you move forward :)

    PS... my post will be Live! in thirty-three minutes (12:01 a.m. HST. :)

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  4. I think you are doing well. At least you are still trying to write, which is a good sign. I can't imagine myself doing so many things at once, so you are Super woman. All the best.

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    1. Lol I'm far from being Superwoman. I keep dropping stuff I'm supposed to be doing.

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  5. I had trouble with that when I first published - it feels like you have to do everything! Best thing to do is focus on writing your next book rather than worrying about Amazon rankings (although it's taken me 8 months to stop checking mine, and I might relapse when my second book comes out tomorrow! :P). Best of luck! :)

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    1. Hahaha yeah I really have to work on that focus.

      Hope your book's doing well!

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  6. Will visit you at Mark's blog!
    Find a balance. You can't let the writing slide and you can't pull completely into the cave and away from blogging and promotions, either.

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    1. True. Struggling with the balance thing, though. :-/

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  7. You're in the right place by setting a goal and making an effort. I imagine it would be quite hard to switch off from all the marketing when you've just released a book, but I'm sure you'll be back in a routine soon! Or adapting to a new one - I think we are all doing this all the time.

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    1. Yeah I just need to keep trying until the writing falls back into place...

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  8. They always say the best way to sell a book is to write the best book you can. I think writing should be top of the list because in its essence, that's how you market too. But then I'm not a published author, so maybe I don't know much. :)

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    1. So true. Really really really should be writing.

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  9. I needed some space between my book coming out and beginning the next project, but that's just me. And marketing, although it's what I did for a living for 30+ years, is not something I'm good at when it comes to my books. So all I can offer you in the way of advice is to pay attention to how you're feeling in a given moment and act accordingly.

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    1. Very true. Odd thing is, I want to write, but my thoughts won't fall into line...

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  10. Yeah, don't get distracted by all the other stuff, especially if you want to make your goal.

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  11. I'm with Nick. Setting a goal is essential. After that it's finding ways to reach that goal which means to test different marketing methods. Andrew's right, don't let the other stuff distract your primary goal.
    So excited for you Misha. :)

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    1. Thanks Mina!

      The goal is set, but I'm still struggling. :-/

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  12. In my former life, we took all kinds of time management courses and they worked well in that structured office environment. Since I've been writing full time, nothing seems to work. If you find the secret, please share.

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  13. Routines definitely lend to productivity, but I also think there are seasons. Just like animals store food for the winter in fall, your focus has to change with the seasons of life. A book release definitely is a unique season, and I think you should allow yourself to enjoy it, fully, and not pressure yourself to write until afterwards. My humble two bits.

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    1. True. Definitely gave me something to think about...

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  14. I go through phases when the storybuilding comes easier and then others where it Does.Not. I find that I do a lot of thinking about my WIP during those periods. I have also decided that active thinking counts as writing. Maybe you need to spend some time just getting inside the head of your MC or plotting the next chapter. Thinking is working, too.

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    1. There's my problem, I suspect. I'm having issues just thinking about my stories. :-/

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  15. It's a tough job balancing writing with other aspects of being a published author, I imagine. I love your goal (on your header) and I'm cheering you on!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. Thanks Nutschell! I hope I crack the balancing act soon.

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  16. I think both are equally important, but publicising yourself means nothing if you're not writing! I always just focus on the writing itself first. Then once at least the first draft's done, I start gradually getting the hint out that I've got a new book 'in the works'. Just my way of doing things :)

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    1. So true. I'm so going to find a way to get focused tonight.

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  17. You need to step away from the rankings, lol! Seriously, my life became less stressful when I did. You get sales reports on the 15th of every month and that should be the only thing you look at. Base your marketing on those.

    Good luck. You must be so excited.

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    1. Lol I'm trying. Down to checking about every three hours now... :-D

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  18. I have not yet had the pleasure of balancing a published book with my writing. Some day I hope to have that difficulty! I'm sure you'll find the right balance. From what I hear, it gets more manageable with experience, and of course, trial and error. Good luck and congrats!!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Hahaha yeah I guess this counts as a first world problem. :-D

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  19. I love the marketing and promo aspects of writing. But honestly, I'll be doing both at the same time as I have a couple more books outlines I want to finish.

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    1. Yeah I'm also enjoying the marketing. Maybe a bit too much, in fact...

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  20. I'm still trying to figure out how to balance marketing and writing and everything else. And it doesn't do much good to look at the rankings (even though I look at mine way too much too). And your book hasn't even been out a week yet. It's okay to spend a bit more time marketing and being excited about it all. :)

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    1. Hahaha true. The ranking doesn't tell me all that much, but it's so nice to see the numbers shrink. :-D

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  21. I'm not published yet (not one of my novels), but I hear this from so many writers it has made me wary of the post-pub time-suck and muse-block. I hope I can find a balance then, because I'm struggling to do that now. 0_0

    Maybe it'll get better with time. Most things do.

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    1. I hope it does get better, because I can't really afford to get stuck like this every time I publish. :-/

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  22. You're not nuts at all, just trying to figure out how to do what you need to do at this point. It's an exciting juncture. Enjoy the ride.

    xoRobyn

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    1. Thanks! I'm definitely trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Only one first book and all that.

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  23. You'll slow down on your Amazon checks over time, even though it is sort of fun to see what's happening.

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    1. Hahaha good to know. It'll be nice to feel less than OCD again.

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  24. It can be difficult to get any actual writing done with all the other activities that we find we have to do, isn't it? Hopefully things will settle down for you soon.

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  25. The balance between writing and markets is tough. Both are important. It ebbs and flows. I can't say I always hit it though. I doubt any of us do. Just keep trying.

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  26. I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a break from your writing to focus on marketing your book. It's something that needs to be done so I say just enjoy this moment. Set a date to get back to your writing but in the meanwhile, enjoy connecting with your readers. This is a big deal. Celebrate!

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    1. I'm trying to! But my muse keeps giving me these baleful stares...

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  27. I think 'balance' is an exaggeration with my writing and marketing. I kind of do whatever I feel like when I feel it....haha. Congrats on pubbing your book!

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  28. You are definitely NOT nuts for trying. I've read countless times from countless writers that if you don't show up consistently, you can't expect the muse to show up on the spur of a moment. As long as you're there every day, even if you don't write, you're creating space for the story to come at the right time. It's very brave of you not to force the writing. I am notorious for that and I always end up throwing away what comes from it.

    Congrats on the new book! Take a bit of a break. You've earned it! The new stories will come :)

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