Friday, March 2, 2012

My current "shoulds" of writing

My cbt therapist (or should that be cb therapist?) Shiva, would probably tell me to rephrase this, but there are several things I "should" be doing for my writing right now.*

First of all, there's the sequel to The River and the Roses, which has been through one round of revisions, and probably could stand to undergo about nine rounds more. If I gave it some serious time and energy, I could probably get it up to par for April, and publish it. I even have most of what I need to create the cover. I've been meaning to do this for about six months, with the intention of dropping the price for River to $0.99 once the sequel is out. Why have I not done it yet? Well, aside from the whole pregnancy/bed rest/newborn baby distraction, revisions are... well, work. And often annoying, painful work at that. I read a quote on twitter the other day, I forget from which famous author, saying something about how revisions or rewrites are more pleasant than producing the first draft because you don't have the dread of not finishing the novel hanging over you. I can relate to that, but for me, revisions are way more difficult to get into. Still, and Shiva would approve of this phrase, it would be satisfying to get that item done.

Then there's marketing. I stopped actively marketing my books nearly a year ago, I think, or at least nine months ago. I'm still on twitter and I update my facebook page from time to time, most often to notify you all that I've got a new blog post, actually, but as for directly sending out messages on twitter suggesting that people check out my book, no. Michael R. Hicks, one of those lucky and driven self-pubbed authors who is living the dream (he quit his day job last April, I think it was--I admire him so much!) suggests that the "tipping point" for twitter as a marketing platform is to have 1000+ followers. At the moment I have about 845. I use my twitter account to recommend news articles and just talk about things I'm doing or am interested in. And also let people know when I've posted something new on either this blog or the recipe blog. I don't advertise the family blog because it's much more personal and I figure if you're really that interested in me you'll check it out off this page. And probably most people aren't that interested in me! Anyway, I don't have a problem with people posting on twitter to advertise their books (in fact I try to retweet them when it's clear to me what they are about). Although some people will spam the feed for like, ten minutes, and it makes me wonder whether they've ever read an article about twitter etiquette. So my point is, though, I haven't been doing that. Why not? I feel like until I've got something new to offer, I don't want to risk losing followers because I'm self-promoting for the sake of self-promoting. Probably not sound business reasoning, but there it is. Maybe this week I'll send out a couple of links to my books.

I'm on Pinterest, now, too. Please feel free to follow me. I even have a board devoted to books, although they are books I want to remember to check out, so it seems weird to post my own books there. Maybe I'll create a new board for my books and stuff related to them. I do have a decopunk board where I collected a bunch of stuff to help me world build my current story. So I suppose when (if) it's done and I've published it, I could pin it to that board and it wouldn't be weird.

Speaking of the current novel, it is teetering on the edge of that going-to-be-abandoned cliff because I haven't been working on it regularly and I'll lose so much steam I'll never get it back at this rate. And that would be a shame, I think, because I have some interesting ideas for it. So what would be good there is to set up some sort of schedule or something... and bribe myself with some reward for achieving a word goal too, I think. My attempts to create NaNos outside of the official NaNoWriMo have failed thus far. It's silly, it shouldn't (there's that word again) make a difference whether I'm looking at the official site's graph for the word count or a ticker I created myself, but for some reason, it does. So the trick may be to abandon the large goal of a NaNo and make smaller goals. Shorter term, too. And small rewards as a result. Hm... must give some thought to what rewards would motivate me.

Any suggestions? Must be cheap. We are broke-ish.

How about you, do you have any writing "shoulds" or other projects that need your attention? How do you get yourself on task?

* By the way, if you have ever struggled with depression or anxiety, I strongly recommend going through cbt. Changed my life, no exaggeration.

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