Authors write. No doubt about it. But in today’s world we also blog, speak at conferences, bookstores, libraries and schools, post on social media, send newsletters or notes to fans, and appear in venues as varied as 2500 person auditoriums and tables in farmers’ markets.
But, always, the building blocks of our writing lives are research, plotting, writing, and editing.
In 2016 my eighteenth book was published, and I wrote numbers nineteen and twenty, which will appear in 2017, and one book that did not sell. I did promotional events on 43 days, wrote over fifty blogs, and sent over 7,000 postcards to fans telling them about new releases. And — oh, yes. I wrote proposals for six books, revised proposals for five others, and started research for another book.
I spent more time on marketing-related work than on actual writing and editing, even if you add in the preparation need for writing.
In 2017 I’m hoping to write more, even if that means a little less promoting. So far I have one contracted book due, one I’m hoping to finish researching and then write, and later this month I’ll be writing a proposal for three additional books in one of my current series, at least one of which would be written in 2017.
Yesterday I stopped in to donate some books to the elementary school in my town, and the librarian there (this is Maine — she’s also a published author,) said, “You’re living the dream!”
And I am. I’m living in the place I want to be, with the man I love, doing what I’ve always wanted to do. Every day I’m very aware of that, and very thankful for the life I’m living.
And, in 2017, I hope to write more, relax more, say “no” sometimes, and appreciate how lucky I am.
In the meantime, I’m cleaning out my desk, sorting stacks of accumulated folders, writing proposals, doing taxes, and planning for the next two books I’ll be writing and the next book I promote.
And – I’m also hoping to get a little more sleep in 2017.
Happy New Year to all my friends who are writers or readers! It’s time to begin again. And we’re lucky to be doing that.