Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New day, new muse

I hit a slump in my writing last year. I know, you're saying, "Hunh? You had 11 books release in 2011 and that's a slump?"

Well, keep in mind all of those books were written prior to 2011. In fact, I turned in 4 of them to my editor at least a year earlier. 3 of those books were re-releases, written way back in 2006, 07, 08. And 3 of them were digital and print releases. That left one "new" book that released last year, and I wrote that one very early in the year.

I haven't been slacking off. I wrote 2 more books last year (which haven't released yet) and I'm working on my big series that I anticipate will take years to see the light of day. And I'm in the midst of two more books in progress and I have one waiting for me to edit.

But I'm starting to realize that I need to go back and promote all of those previous 20-some books that I have out. Those books are still for sale and still viable. They're still out there, waiting for someone to buy them. So it's not just about the new books. It's about the old ones as well.

That's caused me to re-juggle some of my precious free time so I'm focusing on promotion as well as writing. I've always done a little bit of promo here and there, but I'm trying to get consistent about it now, trying to make it a part of my daily activities. I'm trying to find the muse -- the excitement, the fun -- call it what you will -- in promotion that I have felt when I'm writing.

It's tough. The muse just isn't there a lot of the times. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth and force myself to make a post, do a blog, or do some activity that takes away from my writing time. I have faith that it's worth my effort, but that doesn't mean I have to embrace it. I just gotta do it.

You know, that's sort of a metaphor for a lot of things in life, isn't it? You gotta go to the dentist, you gotta shovel the drive when it snows, you gotta pet the kitty when she jumps up on your lap (as she just did). At the end of the day, a lot of our day is taken up with the gottas. Let's try to make the best of it, okay? Because it's a new day and maybe a new muse is just around the corner ...

4 comments:

Jill James said...

JL, yes, life is full of gottas. I tried to request paper plates and plastic silverware when I was a teenager so I didn't have to do dishes. Nope, didn't work. Gotta do dishes. Sometimes, after every meal.

I do enjoy blogging but I've really slacked on Twitter and Facebook. There just doesn't seem to be the time to go do it.

Madison said...

I've spent the last few months in a flurry of activity. My print book released in July, hot on the heels of three digital releases. All this time spent promoting, tweeting, FB'ing, etc and I forgot how to write.
Yup.
Forgot to set aside time for me to write, and not worry about what 'the industry' was doing.
So I absolutely understand what you're talking about.
Here's to a productive 2012 where we do what we love to do - tell stories.

Madison

J L said...

Let's all make a pledge to make time for our writing and not worry about the rest. If it works, fine. If not, then at least we spent time doing what we wanted!

Josie said...

JL,
I've found the internet can eat up great blocks of time that I can spend writing. And, sounds like you're doing great with your writing, despite your post.