Saturday, October 16, 2010

To Be a Writer

Yesterday I came to a realization about this whole "published author" thing. In order to really commit to it (especially digital publishing), you have to be at least a little bit insane.

Right now, I have contracts with two publishers. If everything goes right, it'll be three before the end of the year. I'm working on series for the first two. Let's start by quietly understanding that—I am a brand new author and I'm working on two series for two publishers. They aren't going to care about each other's timelines, and if my stories sell, they are going to care about getting more from me.

This is a mixed blessing. Yay—they want more! Boo—somehow I have to be the one who figures out how to balance everything. If I had years in the business, I might have all the tools at my disposal to accomplish that, as is…I'm winging it.

So far, I'm not doing too badly, but a few weeks ago I looked at the calendar and realized National Novel Writing Month was right around the corner. I sat for a full ten minutes staring at the calendar with one thought in mind: which project do I work on (ie—which publisher is going to get something first)? In the time since then, I've struggled to stay focused on anything because I kept changing my mind.

Last weekend, while working on two very sex-heavy holiday stories, I decided to go with the much less erotic option for NaNo. I sat back and breathed a sigh of relief, convinced my internal stabilizer would get back online finally.

Then the other publisher held out a carrot to its authors. A fairly impressive carrot.

My internal stabilizer went haywire again and options started flying through my head. Buh-bye Focus.

After a few conversations with the publisher in question, the real insanity set in. You see, while I'm pretty sure I'll get my 50k in November (I haven't lost NaNo yet), I'm not certain I'll finish that novel in time for the carrot. I'm definitely going to try, but since I'm not positive and I really want that carrot, I'm also initiating Plan B.

Plan B involves taking a novel that I'd trunked a while ago and shining it up. Before November. You know, those eighteen days when I'm also supposed to be editing and submitting those two holiday stories?

Yeah. I'm pretty sure I've completely lost it. Oddly enough, I feel good about the decision. It's not because I work best under pressure (sometimes I do, but not often enough to claim it). I think in this particular case it's just because I'm not fighting the pull of the madness. (And because I know come December, I'm free and clear to work on the other project, which might not have been long enough for NaNo anyway.)

Stabilizer is momentarily working fine. Now if I could just figure out this navigation thing, I'd be all set.

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