As the adrenaline fuelled high of publishing my debut novel last week recedes, and the world of marketing and promotion rears its vast endless head, I'm realizing the only way I’ll stay sane is to keep my main focus on writing, for which I’ll need plenty of the following:
DETERMINATION: Life is about balance, especially that important work /social life balance, which if your life is similar to mine - and most people I know - is a juggling act that despite endless practice is rarely easy.
Determination isn’t a constant quality; it can vary - like waves reaching the shore. Sometimes a storm arrives and huge crunchers thunder on to the beach; other days the sky is blue, the sun’s shining and tiny wavelets surge and retreat. Yet the sea is always there, with the wind pushing those waves forward. So determination, especially when allied with perseverance, accords you a decent chance at achieving your objectives.
DISCIPLINE: Developing a regular writerly habit is important, although every writer has their own rhythm, their own way of tapping into the creative process. I’m still learning what works for me and find changing my schedule around every now and then has surprising results. Generally I write as soon as I get up for as long as I can, but I’ll also have periods of working later in the day when I give myself a word quota and stay at the keyboard till I’ve reach my target. Some people swear by coffee shops or the library as places for work. Sometimes words flow, other times it’s a case of patience, encouraging them on to the page. Sometimes when the words do arrive, they’re not the ones you want; but if you've got something you can work with – that’s always better than nothing. Being disciplined doesn’t mean being rigid, but it does mean putting the time in, one way or another.
DRIVE: Here are a few of the explanations of the word 'drive' from the Oxford dictionary: by compulsion, force along, impel, urge, compel, energy, initiative, go along before an impelling force. You get the drift.
When you combine determination and discipline, you generate momentum and enthusiasm enabling you to make progress. Energy bubbles, and aspects of the craft, characters, plot, setting etc., cycle round your brain. Determination gets you started, and discipline keeps you going, but most of all, the act of writing provides enough impetus to continue with this fascinating, absorbing yet difficult activity. Why? I believe it’s because the experience of creation is ultimately one of the most satisfying in life.
Taking my own advice, I’m determined to be more disciplined this coming week, and work on achieving a good writing/marketing balance. Unfortunately trying to expand my activities on social media beyond Twitter and Google+ has been time consuming. Being an indie writer promoting your own work is like entering an enormous bewildering bazaar full of enticing colourful wares, resounding with vendors’ cries, and all I have a tiny table with one wee book in the farthest darkest corner. I feel as if I’m isolated inside a glass box, watching everybody else enjoy the party, but no-one knows I’m there! (Apologies, the pity post is over, now I can move on.)
Writing-wise, I’ve been outlining the plot for the second book in my paranormal trilogy, and working on the protagonist’s emotional journey. I’m doing this in more detail than for the first book, as working with the same characters and setting poses new and different questions. This time I want to have as many details as possible clear in my head before I start writing. Once I’ve finished this, I’ll return to the third edit of book one – I’d like to publish it before Halloween.
So I have my targets and if I achieve them, great, if not, I won’t beat myself up because I’ll still be closer to my objectives than right now.
AT THE COFFEE SHOP
full red lipsticked mouth
pouts as her lover walks in late -
she still kisses him
Chris Graham’s website does exactly what it says. Easy to navigate and upload your info, open and friendly to authors and readers, I recommend this blog to anyone looking for free promotion, new reads, editors’ services etc. Well worth a visit.
Prudence Hayes runs another website offering free promotions. Another lovely friendly writer, willing to help others with a straightforward process.
I’d love it if you checked out my debut novel, or popped over to Wattpad and read any of my posted stories... just click on the links to the right.
Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku
Thanks for visiting my blog, and please do leave a comment.
To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.
P.S. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I upload, change, etc. this blog post, the second half insists of having separate spacing from the first half. Google - get it together.!
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