Friday, February 01, 2019

Writing: Time Management

One reason I have an attitude of "I've got to participate but sometimes I don't like it" toward social media is that I'm frustrated when I read some of the posts of my fellow authors. And the phrase they use that makes me envy them sometimes is "under deadline."

As a writer who, after publication of ten novels by traditional publishers, has decided to publish via the "indie" route, I somehow miss one aspect of having a contract with a definite deadline. It's not so much approval of the cover design (I have a wonderful cover designer--it simply costs money) or the editing (again, I've found a good editor and am willing to pay for that function). It's not even arranging the publicity for the forthcoming book--I've always found that what I do works best for me.

No, I mainly miss the deadlines. Let me hasten to say that I've never missed a deadline imposed by an editor or publisher. Matter of fact, I almost always got my work in early. But in the indie-world of publication, it's up to me to set (and keep) deadlines. I have to decide when the book will be released and work backwards to get everything done. And there's always the temptation to put off the work that I know I need to do--from idea to rough draft to finished product plus all the things I've already mentioned.

That's where I am now. I started with the idea for a novel of medical suspense with a bit of romance--what I usually write--but in the middle of writing it my attention turned to a novella I've had on my computer for some time. It's a bit different, but I really like it and the message it has. I envy the authors who say they are always working on two or more novels. I'm used to being single-minded, going to work each day on one novel until it's done. So, like the donkey who starved to death between two hay bales, I feel stuck.

What am I going to do? Probably indie-publish the novella once I get the corners rounded off, then finish the full-length novel. What would you do? I'm anxious to read your suggestions.

4 comments:

greg fuller said...

I have always been told growing up by my grandfather, teachers, and employers: Do what's best for you. Novella could be written around holiday times: Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas. Novel could be written around the seasons: Fall: when it is a rainy day and you can't go out, Winter: it's too cold to go out...so you snuggle by the fireplace, Spring: just on those rainy days; and Summer: when it's too hot to go out and the a/c broken...you're sitting in front of a fan with a glass of iced tea; or perhaps, Coors light, or a Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!!

Richard Mabry said...

Greg, I've got this, but thanks. And, by the way, I'll pass on the beer.

Priscilla said...

I'd have to finish the harder one first. Otherwise it'd sit there in the back of my mind like a leaden weight, messing with my creativity. The upside to doing it that way is the easier story when I got to it would be like dessert, yum!

Richard Mabry said...

Priscilla, I note that you're not a "work on two or more at once" type of writer, either. Thanks for your input.