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Thursday, March 22, 2012

This Is a Real Job

When people ask me when I intend to get a Real Job they usually mean, "When will you get a paycheck?" And they are usually asking about that in reference to my decision to be a stay-at-home mom.

Now I'm running into the reverse. I sat down at my computer and my well meaning mother (who is visiting the grandkids over spring break) asked, "What are you doing? I thought you were writing for a living now. Shouldn't you be writing?"

I had Twitter, my email, MailChimp and my Smashwords accounts all open. Believe it or not, this is writing!

It would be wonderful if every hour of an author's day were filled with typing up the next scene or editing their latest bestseller, but the reality is that being a published author in any form is just running a business. Some days you're working on Research & Development while you flip through pictures on Deviant Art or read about how steam engines worked. Some days you're in the Typing Pool sweating over the rough draft. Some days you're an editor. Some days you're an accountant checking on sales, chasing down advertising ideas, and building an audience.

The only thing an author does every day without fail is daydream, and then only because I've never met an author who can't spin a tale at the drop of the hat.

Writers are dreamers at heart, but we'll do everything it takes to make our fictional worlds work. And this is the biggest change I've noticed since I signed a contract, I'm working on the business end of things just as much as I am writing.

I used to spend months stuck in one aspect of writing. Weeks were willed away researching. I spent one whole year just writing rough drafts for ideas and never editing. I spent most of last year editing either EVEN VILLAINS FALL IN LOVE or JANE DOE. Now I'm condensing those timelines and doing a little of everything every day.

Is it more efficient? It's what's necessary to get the work down with the current deadlines. Only time will tell if this is the best way to use my time.

So, yes mother, that email is just as important as those 1000 words I wrote this morning, and just as important as the blog post that I'll write this afternoon. Now... if I could just figure out this newsletter thing we could call it a day...


  1. Yes! I get the well-meaners asking if I've got a job teaching yet - hasn't occurred to them that I'm choosing to stay home and write for a while. Then there's my mum that thinks I should be at home when I do go out and teach. If they could all just get together and do up a schedule... that'd be great.
    Wagging Tales

  2. That's the atitude I get from my husband - that a)it's not a job until I get paid for it and b)that networking, promoting, blogging, emailing, researching, and even reading are all part of the 'job'. Okay, so maybe the chatting on Twitter isn't so much, but that bit's my sanity saver, lol!

  3. Twitter is my saving grace and the bane of my existence. I spend too much time there, but I also find support and ideas there. I just need to use it in moderation.

  4. Hi Liana, Have a question. What is the best way or format to send stuff to people so they can edit it for you. I was considering making disc and mailing them but thought, there has to be a better way. Will probably send this via twitter also. Later....

  5. Ric - Word documents emailed as an attachment to someone who is expecting it.