Happy Hump Day, WG2E-Land!
As many of you know, in April 2012, I’m releasing my next non-fiction book 10 Years and 24 Hours to Indie Epublishing Success.
I’ve been keeping a journal of my Indie Epub Journey, and many of the entries from that journal I’ll use to kick-off various topics in the book.
But thanks to a comment this week from one of our WG2E-Land Peeps Sarah Ross, I got to thinking about one of the huge elements of my Indie Epub Journey that I just didn’t want to wait till April to share with y’all.
Here was Sarah’s comment:
DD- you are amazing! I wish I had your energy, and your time to write! I know a lot of people agree with me that we wish we could make writing our full time job, but can’t at this point in time. I am jealous of the amount of time you’re able to invest in this!
How do you suggest a person diversify who doesn’t have that many projects ready? It took me 4 months to write my first novel which is coming out in December, and I have started a second. But it won’t be ready until Summer for publishing (if I stay on track).
I’d love to hear some suggestions to help a new girl out.
Well y’all know by now that “helpin’ a new girl or guy out” along their Indie Epub Journey is one of the things that totally makes my muses dance like nobody’s watching.
Nothin’ beats writers helping writers!
That said, here’s how I initially answered Sarah:
I hear ya on the writing full-time thing, Sarah…
I just started writing full-time during the last two years.
I worked full-time and tons of overtime too for the first 10 years of my writing-for-publication journey! I wrote ten manuscripts during that 10 year period…so I totally “get” that part of each of your journeys. I was able to write one full-length manuscript per year while working full-time. Now, writing full-time, I write four full-length manuscripts and about a dozen novellas and short stories per year!!!
I think then, while working full-time, you can begin to diversify by writing novellas and short stories along with with your full-length novels. If you can write one full-length novel a year, try to squeeze in a couple short stories too…that way you’re increasing your cyber shelf space at three-times your novel writing rate.
So I first began to tackle the ‘ole Time/Commitment Dilemma with my Indie Epublishing Diversification Plan…BUT…I have another little trick I teach in Muse Therapy that will sooo help y’all too!
I call it “Commitment and The Macomber Method”…
Here’s the scoop…straight from my Muse Therapy Archives:
Today’s Muse Therapy Extra Tidbit is all about “Commitment” — oh, and not the neurotic writer-nut type my DH thinks I may need to be committed for…LOL!!!
We’re talking “commitment” as derived from a question a past student asked me. She inquired:
“I’m curious when you became serious enough to commit to getting up at ungodly hours of the morning. Is that something that came once you felt like you were really close? I battle this in my own mind because sometimes I think I AM working hard and then other times, I think I’m a major slug compared to other people. So maybe I don’t want it enough or I’m not truly willing to do what it takes to get published.”
First, for me and my commitment level — and I’ll preface this by saying that’s
why my DH thinks I’m a neurotic writer-nut and may need to be committed – enough is never enough! I’m always, always, ALWAYS asking myself “what else can I be doing to increase my visibility and to create a new opportunity and the next one after that and the next one…?”
But that’s just me and what works for me and my muses The Carrie Squad. I’ve just got tons of ideas always flowing (which I jot down on whatever is around me at the time…you don’t even want to go there…LOL!…I’ll scribble on ANYTHING!!!) because I never stop thinking about producing my ideas. Even when I try to shut it off, I can’t. Except when I go to bed…LOL! I’m completely out in less than five minutes! LOL!
Your commitment – whether it’s getting up wayyy early or staying up late or just writing one hour each day or less – is serious enough WHEN YOU’RE READY FOR IT TO BE. It’s really that simple and almost that harsh and beyond difficult at the same time.
To catapult my desires to another level, I have NEVER waited for any bit of success (winning a contest, finding an agent, getting a great review, waiting to see how my writer peep’s Indie Epub books did before publishing mine) .
Okay…that’s a bit of a lie…but it sounds good, right?
I did wait…for 10 Years, while trying like hell to get published the TradiPub Route.
But NO MORE!!!
I first started ”Acting As If” I was already there…because why? you ask…Debbie Macomber told me to!
She told me to do just that at RWA in Reno in 2005ish (not sure that’s the right year but close). That’s how she (and Allison Brennan too – she’s been a great personal example to me as well — luv them!) made it…because they never stopped to let the doubt that they weren’t there yet stop ‘em!
I’ve never slowed down or looked back since!
It may have taken me five years from that Acting As If Launch to gather the knowledge and guts to Indie Epublish, but I did it!!!
If you’re ready NOW then NOW is the time to step-it-up!
Don’t waste the 10 years I did, traveling a road where you’re not in control of your career path and destiny.
That being said…I’m going to challenge you to MAKE MORE OF YOUR TIME CENTERED ON PURSUING YOUR WRITING-FOR-PUBLICATION CAREER.
You all may be doing tons of fabulous things for the writing world and beyond but how is YOUR WRITING PRODUCTION when you look at pages produced or ideas firmly in place and ready to go?
That’s why we actually do a time study of sorts in Muse Therapy. So hang in
there with me.
And please don’t think I’m telling you to quit any of the wonderful things you
do IF THEY’RE MAKING YOUR MUSES DANCE AND HELPING YOU CRANK OUT YOUR OWN PAGES…but and that’s a huge but…you’ve got to make sure you really WANT AND NEED to do these things to maintain YOUR production level and goals.
It’s great to be BUSY…but is your “BUSY” GETTING YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO? If not, we’ll find a way to get you there!!!
And now for the way I’ve achieved my Commitment Groove…The Macomber Method…
At RWA Nationals in Reno (whatever year that was), Debbie Macomber placed orange cards at each of our luncheon plates and told us to write down Five Goals for our writing-for-publication journey.
She then told us, and I’m paraphrasing, to “Act As If” we’d achieved those goals while we were going for the gusto of making them our reality. (Note: I wrote out another card with the “Act As If” on it too!)
She told us to put the card(s) in our purses (or man bags…LOL!…I’m sure she meant man bags too) so we’d see them frequently and check-in with our progress and/or re-commit ourselves to those goals when the going got tougher (…and she also told us no matter where we were in our career path, it would get tougher…never easier…).
I still have the cards in my purse…and no matter what purse I’m carrying for
whatever event (I even squeeze them into my evening bags for formal
events)…the cards are always there…as dog-eared and messed-up as they now are.
As of July 2010, I’d achieved my first two goals on those cards…I’d gotten my agent and finished another book (so I had three complete manuscripts ready to go…plus the other seven that were stuffed in a box in the basement, along with about 20 short stories).
My next goal on the cards was to make PAN…then it was onto goals four and five (which included bestseller lists)…etc…and then I thought I’d do a new card with five more goals on it…and probably frame card one.
Well…in August of 2011, so fast forward a year, I framed card one with just
the first two goals achieved.
Because the rest of the goals – like making RWA’s PAN (Published Author’s
Network) and making one or two bestseller lists – didn’t matter anymore!
I’d gone the Indie Epub Route.
I’d quit RWA.
And I’d now sold more books – 5,000 at that point…approaching 20,000 now - than those remaining goals would ever have gotten me!!!
Plus, I’d made a goal for hitting three bestseller lists, and I’d now hit over 50 bestseller lists and hit ‘em over 300 times!!!
So cheers to the old orange card…and in with the new one, reflecting my Indie Epub Goals!!!
And speaking of my new orange card, which included a goal of 20,000 sales, which I thought I could do in the next six months, I’ll have achieved that next goal in just a little over two months past my framing of that original card!!!
Now…my new orange card is all about getting to know my tens of thousands of readers! And keepin’ ‘em happy with great books for great prices!!!
That’s how I’m traveling my writing-for-publication road…and why I’m getting up so damn early every day and typing new pages ’til my fingers and my brain hurts.
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: How ’bout u? What will your Macomber Cards say?
The Best of The WG2E It’s Time To Commit To Yourself & Your Goals Wishes — D. D. Scott
P.S. Bring-on the orange cards!!! (or whatever color you and your muses prefer)