I need a clone. With all my responsibilities, I need a clone or a longer day or to somehow stop time so I can get more done.
This morning I spent two hours working on the business end of writing. Mostly I compiled data about sales so I could see how that would help me for marketing. I told Vicki yesterday that I’m getting steady sales with an average of about 45 books a month for the last three months. This is great as I’m just getting started but at the same time I have done very little marketing. The thing for me is to figure out how to market and where to spend my money for marketing.
This led to another analysis of sales – which books are selling the best. By knowing which book is selling the best I can either choose to put more money into marketing that book (because it is popular) or I can choose to let it grow on it’s own (because it is popular).
When I’m done with this blog, I’ll be heading to the recliner to put my foot up because my foot is doing better and I want to keep it that way. While in the recliner, I can write and listen to music or crochet while I watch tv or listen to a book. I’ll probably write for a time because I have a new book going and there are scenes I want to work on. If Ken and I opt to watch something together I’ll try to pull out my crocheting but we usually do that when we’re eating so I might be busy eating.
If only I had a second me, I could work on all of it at once. I have three crochet projects started and several in the works. I have a half dozen writing projects started and actively working on plus all the other ones that aren’t being actively worked on.
It promises to be a full day one way or another and that is with only the writing and crocheting demands. Two of my daughters just bought a house so they are calling with questions. My sister is writing a paper so she will want me to edit it for her. I’ll slide those in because it’s family and they are important.
We’ve been watching West Wing and in their they’re always saying – “What’s next?” That is my life right now. I’m done with this so what’s next.
I took my last final today – think I bombed it. Regardless, I am done. So long as I didn’t fail the class (which I didn’t) I have finished my second degree – officially. Five semesters (2 1/2 years) and I’ve now got three degrees – Associate Degree in Business Machines (from Blackhawk Technical Institute), Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science (both from UW-Whitewater).
My faculty in my department have all been very supportive and helpful. The student workers who have covered the office have been wonderful. My family has been supportive, encouraging and helpful. It has been an interesting journey to this degree and to those who have helped – Thank you. I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without you.
My two business degrees got me through a career in business and public service. My public service career will continue (until I get my best sellers out there). My Bachelor of Science is misleading because there was as little science in what I did as I could get away with. My degree is actually English Professional Writing and Book Editing. I’m very proud of all my degrees but this one is near and dear to my heart. The business degrees are just that – business to make sure I can support myself. The English degree is to move me along my writing career.
Writing is what keeps me sane (or as sane as I get). It takes all the images and words in my head and makes it into stories, poems, and other various things. Whether others end up reading them or not is a different issue but I’m hoping more will be reading them.
Now that I’ve finished I have plans. I didn’t get the grant I applied for but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to write. It just means I have to find alternative ways to support my writing. Moving forward, I need to clean my office. I have to put away all the school stuff. Then I have to organize the entire office. My office has to accommodate all the genealogy stuff, writing stuff, and personal business stuff. I need to get things organized so all of that will fit and play nice together.
After I get organized, I will work on self publishing, submissions, completing a manuscript that has been floating for three years. It is a matter of moving forward to getting published – hopefully paid for my work at the same time.
The last week has been very relaxed for me. I’ve done a LOT of crocheting, finishing projects and getting them out of the way. I’ve made hats, scarves, potholders, bibs, coasters, afghan, and a variety of other things. I’ve watched movies and dvr items. I’ve listened to music. I’ve talked to a lot of people. It has been calm and relaxing.
Tomorrow I go back to work. I’m looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. My foot is manageable at this point. I haven’t had it down for a full eight hour day but tomorrow will tell me how it is going to be. I at least am up and walking on my own. By the end of the day I’m exhausted depending on how much walking I do but I’m at least mobile again. Hopefully by the time I start classes again I’ll be back to normal.
With this being my last day off, I am going to try to get some other things done. I submitted some of my work to a publication today. I haven’t done that in months because I’ve been so busy. I’m also going to work on the grant I’ve made the to-do list for. In reality I have to have the grant writing completed by February 15 in order to give myself time to get it submitted. Mostly I have to gather the information and get it in the format the grant wants it in. It will be more editing than writing I think. This means I get out my orange pen and have to be critical of my own work. I’ll have to be objective and critical. The question on my mind is – would this encourage someone to invest in my project, in me?
It is funny I have lots of hats when it comes to life. I have my business skills which are practical and in some ways cold. I have my creative skills which are grand and range through a variety of topics. Somehow I have to fold both these sets of skills into writing a grant that will help me focus on my writing and business as an author. It is interesting to see myself pull from all my life experiences to help me further my career as a writer.
And now for a slight break from the drama and stress of politics…
Writing is a dual process. You have to be creative to create the product but you also have to be business minded to market your work. The creative side sort of takes care of itself in my mind. There are times I sit down and say – let’s try something new. I’ll pull out my poetry book and try a new type of poem. Or I’ll go to a publication I don’t normally write for and try their style. Flash writing for me is quite the challenge. I LOVE words so I’m not likely to tell you there is a blue sky. I’m going to tell you about the clear cerulean endless expanse dotted with puffy billowy white clouds. Flash writing is typically a very small number of words – 500 or less is very common.
Marketing and the business side of writing is a bit more difficult. You have to find the places that publish the work you produce. Then you have to follow their guidelines (don’t bother sending if you aren’t following them). After an interminable amount of time you find out whether they accept your work or not.
You also have to put your creative self away when you get the notice because most of the time it is NO. They don’t tell you why – they just say no. You have to have a thick skin here because I’ve had rejections from sweet and kind to completely bitchy. One of the things you have to realize is that in a magazine there is a limited number of spaces they fill. If it is a big publication maybe ten, for these ten slots, they get hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of submissions. You are one very small submission. Your article, story, poem – whatever – may have been perfectly lovely but there were a lot of other ones that were just as lovely. The lesson here is “do not take it personally”. It is just a business decision. Move to the next publication that fits the item. Keep trying – even if it seems hopeless.
The problem here is there are only a finite number of hours in the day. If you are like me – you have a day job, family and other obligations. Sleep is important… I guess. You have to find a balance between your writing tasks. For me this is one of the hardest things to do. Sometimes I’m just in the mood to write and to hell with everything else. I just want to work on what I want to work on. I don’t want to deal with the editing, marketing, etc.
This means time management is a key skill to employ. It is one I’m still working on. One thing I do is when I have very limited time, rather than start writing when I’m not going to want to stop, I’ll work on those marketing tasks, editing tasks and so on. If I’ve only got an hour, I’ll look at my submission guidelines and try to find a piece that will fit without me having to write. If there is one then I work to make it fit the guidelines. If there isn’t one – I put it in my to do pile (which is WAY too big).
I have a day job so my breaks / lunch time activities sometimes include editing and other writing activities. Because it is a shared break room I often end up doing more of the business side of the writing during this time. I try to make the most of my time but really there are just times I want to be a veggie and hit my recliner…