I had a reality check the other day. I realised that I’m not enjoying being a self-published author. I write because I enjoy it, and at the moment the fun has gone and I’m doing very little writing.
This hit me while playing golf. I was talking to my playing partner about my writing, and she said I sounded stressed.
"Hang on," I thought, "I’m retired. I left all the stress behind me when I quit work." Then I realised she was right.
I’m writing a sequel to my children’s novel ANTics. I started the first draft last September and have still not finished. It should have been finished, edited, polished and published by now. And I should be well into my next project. Where has all the time gone?
It didn’t take long to figure that one out. I dabble in so many things that I haven’t got a clue about. I get emails about emails; I press buttons here, there and everywhere, and get more emails and invitations to press more buttons. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. It’s turning and turning and not going anywhere.
And it’s all eating into my writing time.
You hear stories about self published authors who have sold millions of copies of their books. Good for them. I’m delighted for them. They may have a great product that readers are lining up to buy, they may pay someone to promote and market their product or they may be naturally gifted in the multiple skills it takes to be a best selling self-published author.
I'm not. When it comes to promotion and marketing, I suck. It takes me days to do a task that many may consider very simple and take only minutes. And in the end the rewards don’t justify all the time and effort I invest. At the end of each day, after pressing all those buttons, there’s no time or energy left to write.
I write because I want people to read my work and hopefully enjoy it. And to do that I need to connect with readers. And I can best do that by writing more and getting more work out there.
It’s March but I’m making a belated New Year’s Resolution to stop wasting time on the things I don’t enjoy doing and more on being more productive with my writing.
I read somewhere that a writer worked by the clock. Literally. She set a timer so that she only dedicated a certain amount of time to a particular task. That’s fine if it works for her. I’m not going to be as extreme as that. But I am going to carve my day up more efficiently and dedicate a limited time to certain tasks and more time to my writing.
Thank you for reading and don't forget to keep reaching for the stars.