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Friday, September 22, 2006

Two Pieces of Advice

Or maybe advice isn't the right word. Maybe it's two observations? Warnings? I'm not sure what to call it, I guess, so I'll just share what I consider the two most true statements I was told by more experienced writers and let you label them yourselves. :-)

The first piece of advice (or whatever) came from an author of 60+ books after I sold my first one. She said that my writing process will change and that I shouldn't try to fight it. Forget sticking to the way you used to do things and go with the way that works now.

Since then, every single book has had a different process. Some were just a little different, some drastically different, but her advice was helpful. Instead of panicking when the way I always did something didn't work anymore, I just looked for what did work. Does the process change for a lot of writers on each book or did I just get lucky? Because in this group of writers, I'm the one who's kind of the oddball. They get to use the same process for a number of books before something changes.

The second piece of advice (or whatever) came from the same author. She told me that I'll reach a point in my career where I could be selling a lot more books if I only had time to work on proposals and write the stories, but that I wouldn't be in a financial position to quit the day job and have that time.

That's come true too. I feel like I'm in a Catch-22 situation. If I didn't have the day job, I wouldn't be struggling so hard to find time to write/revise the two proposals I'm working on. However, there's no way (especially with a new house) that I can afford to quit my job and write full time. Just the cost of health insurance alone is daunting, and after the surprise of breaking a bone in my foot last year and needing surgery, I don't take the need for health benefits lightly. :-/ As I recall, though, this author had no good advice on how to handle this situation besides riding it out. Which I've tried to do.

Time is really tight right now because I seriously need to unpack more boxes at my house. Like the boxes with my fall/winter clothes. :-) It's freezing here and I'm still wearing the summer attire because I can't get to the long-sleeved shirts.

I'd love to hear how other writers in my situation do it. Besides sacrificing more sleep that is because I've got to tell you, I can't lose anymore sleep and still be a functional human being. ;-) In fact, there's some question if I am right now.

The thing is that writing is a demanding mistress (what's the male equivalent? Gigalo? No, that's not quite the right connotation.), but I didn't realize how demanding until a few years in to being published. That's another story, though, and I have to get going. The day job beckons.