Writing is a Job
I think it was the fabulous Clair Delacroix/Deb Cooke who once told me that writing is a job. I sort of believed it then, but not as much as I do today at this particular point in my career. I remember when writing was fun, exciting, joyful, passionate and EASY. So what happened? Where along the way did writing become less of these things.
While, I don’t think I’ve lost the excitement, the joy or the passion of writing, I now understand far better the words of wisdom that well-establish writers have handed down to those of us who haven’t hit certain levels in our career. But, the writing has become more of a job and these things I’ve always associated with writing seem a bit out of reach at the moment. I don’t know if it’s because I took a step up the career ladder or if it’s because I’m putting extra pressure on myself to do more than I’m capable. Super Writer syndrome as it were. Maybe it’s the holidays, but I feel like I’m in the Foreign Legion with my back to the wall and I’m smoking my last cigerette.
The Whys and Wherefores
Why am I feeling this way? Part of it is my October contract with Berkley for a three-book paranormal series. Writing paranormal is new to me, so as Yanni says, “A little bit of fear means your are doing something worth doing — you are stretching — you are going outside your immediate grasp. Out of my immediate grasp? Can we say outside the atmosphere and I’m scared spitless? A three-book historical series would be easy. I know that world. But creating a new one definitely makes me stretch. And it’s scary as hell!
Another monkey wrench that’s been thrown into the mix is that I’m trying to market my newest release Dangerous, which comes out the end of January (and is available for pre-order). I’ve got advertising in place, but I’m already planning for Mirage’s release in June! I need to hire Baby to help me out. Problem is she’s just 11, and she’s not savvy enough to do it without me guiding her, and if that’s the case, it’s easier to do it myself. So I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. If only Oldest were more computer savvy and eager to help.
Another Berkley Contract
Then the week before Christmas, I landed my second contract with Berkley, this time for two historicals. One of those books is written (THANK GOD) but I have to write a new one. I’m over the moon about another NY sale, but OMG, my scared spitless monitor just went through the roof. I’m now facing deadlines unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my entire career. Normally deadlines excite me. Right now, I’m asking myself, “WTF were you thinking you idiot! Three and half books in 13-14 months???”
All of these things mean I’ve got writing deadlines, proposal deadlines, marketing deadlines and then the actual marketing of the releases. Maybe this wouldn’t be so daunting if I didn’t have to work a day job, but like most struggling new writers, I have to work the day job to keep a roof over our head.
Why Are You Whining
So perhaps you can see where I’m wondering what happened to the days when writing was fun, exciting, joyful, passionate and EASY. I think those things are still there, I just don’t see them as well as perhaps I once did. It was much easier when there weren’t deadlines to deal with. I’ve always submitted completed books, now I’m selling on proposal, and the books ARE NOT written. Then there are the craft issues to include at the editor’s request, learning the technical and financial business aspects of the publishing industry (I’m a VERY SLOW learner) and this or that business piece to comprehend. And for the newbies reading this and thinking, “I don’t know what she’s whining about, she sold.” All I can say is, my Mom used to tell me you’ll understand when you grow up. She was right, damn it.
So Claire, and any other writer I ever dismissed for telling me it was hard, my apologies for my arrogance. It is easier to sell than it is to keep up with the results of selling. However, the one thing in my favor is my stubbornness. I’ll make it just to have the pleasure of saying I made it. *grin*
What do you do to keep deadlines and everything else from driving you insane?
Monica Burns | https://www.monicaburns.com
Dangerous, 4.5 Stars Romantic Times
“…a pretty good read.” MrsGiggles.com
Master of Sin, Berkley 03/10