It takes a village: Help support an author!

author-supportThere’s a myth about writers, that we toil alone in our turrets, writing each of our books in solitude.

Well guess what? Writing a book takes a village. Whether you’re an indie author DIYing your way to the top or a fancypants traditionally published author, you still need a team behind you to help support your goal of writing and publishing the best book you can.

That’s where the Author Support Blog Hop comes in.

Today’s a day for authors to visit each others’ websites and give one another some much needed support on this journey. We’ll each be answering questions about what we do, how – and why – we do it, and tossing out questions and even pleas for help from each other.

What I do

So what do I do? Thankfully I work from home, which means I can roll out of bed, stumble to the computer and start working in my PJs. But that doesn’t mean it’s sunshine and lollipops all the time. I do still have a day jobs that pays that bills, so I typically dedicate about 4 to 6 hours each day to making bank. (And that frequently includes weekends, too.) That leaves me the rest of the day to wear several different hats, including:

  • Writer – cranking out more words for a variety of works in progress (including my ongoing serial novel, The Case of the Cunning Linguist, over at Jukepop)
  • Marketer – figuring out how to introduce more readers to my existing books
  • Editor – lining up writing for publication 7 days a week over at my literary magazine, Black Heart – as well as marketing and tons of other behind-the-scenes activities related to the magazine’s direction

Broken down that way, it may not sound terribly overwhelming, but of course nothing is ever quite that neat and tidy. Fires will erupt at the magazine that I have to tend to ASAP; the day job will send me last-minute work due the same day; marketing stuff will fall by the wayside; writing will get pushed to odd hours; the cat food I ordered from Amazon will mysteriously not show up on time, leaving my cats with nothing but dry food; and my husband will flip out because he never gets any time to do his artistic projects since he’s stressed out at his day job.

It’s all a little crazy.

How I handle it

So how do I handle it? I just try to do what I can, when I can, and keep on carving out small bits of time to get to items on that neverending To Do List. Writing has to happen every day, no matter what, so I’ve set myself the very minimal task of writing 350 words a day in order to keep on chipping away at my projects. I don’t really have any magical tips or tricks for how to accomplish that, other than locking yourself in a room with a laptop or notebook and pen and just getting the words written. It’s all a matter of applying my ass to the chair, my fingers to the keyboard, and writing like the wind.

Why keep at it?

Why do I do it? Because if I don’t write, I get mighty cranky indeed, and that isn’t good for anyone. Because writers can’t not write. Because I’ve still got more to say, more characters to draw up, more worlds to build, more crazy adventures to send people on so I can live a million more lives, vicariously, through them.

When I feel depressed or my motivation is flagging, I fire up a pot of coffee (or, actually, a cup – since I make mine with an Aeropress, which does one shot at a time), sit down on the couch with a notebook, and start brainstorming. I think about how the world isn’t waiting for my next novel, and I tell myself it should be, because it’s going to kick ass. And then, I hit the keyboard until something – even if it’s the world’s shittiest first draft – appears on the screen.

And always hit save, every few seconds, just in case. Unless you’re using Scrivener, which saves automatically. (Yes, really.)

My plea for help

CunningCover-JukepopIn terms of pleas for help, I just have one:

Please read my serial novel, The Case of the Cunning Linguist, over at Jukepop and give it a +Vote! (You need to be logged in to do so, and can sign up easily using a Facebook account. It’s free!)

Help me help you!

If you’ve got an author page you’d like me to Like, a Twitter feed you’d like me to follow, or a blog you’d like me to read, just let me know in the comments and I will gladly return the favor. Also, if you’re an erotica writer, get in touch! I’m starting a new series of interviews on this blog, so I’d love to learn more about your book(s) and help share them with the world.

Thanks to Sharon Bayliss, author of The Charge, for setting up this blog hop, and be sure to check out her blog for a list of fellow authors to visit!

4 Responses
  1. I’m not sure what your day job is, but I think we’re in a similar situation. I freelance write for $$$, so fiction writing is my “fun job.” Just like you, I roll out of bed and stumble to my computer and write all day! Working from home RULES. It’s a great life.

  2. Stephanie: My main day job is actually as a transcriptionist, which is actually pretty fun. Some of my work is for a company that works with reality TV shows, which has given me plenty of ideas for more stories. I hope one of these days they make a reality show about writers, where they have to face-off in critique groups of their peers to win $50K — that’s one I would definitely audition for!

  3. Denise says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips.

  4. You’re so right about it taking a village. That’s probably the thing that surprised me most about becoming an author. Even though I’ve never been a very social person, that all changed when I started publishing books!