Monday, June 21, 2010

Juggling: The Life of an Indie Author

Having come this far, there's one thing I will tell anyone considering becoming an indie author: Don't even consider it unless you EMBRACE the concept of multi-tasking to the Nth degree.

There are a hundred things I ought to do, should do, and plan to do in regards to my writing and publishing, BUT (and this is true for all writers) this annoying thing called 'life' keeps getting in the way. You know how it is. Hungry eyes above gaunt cheekbones turn on you, little whimpering sounds leaking from trembling mouths, asking when dinner will be. To which I often reply, "Do you remember how to use the microwave?"

Then there are the urgent pleas, which only you The Responsible One, can attend to. "Oh yeah, mom, I need a passport/driver's license/sports physical/rabies shot . . . tomorrow."

And because you are a writer (really, how long can it take to dream up a story and pound out 300 pages?), you must have oodles of available time - right?

Back in the Dark Ages, I used to be ORGANIZED. I made lists. I crossed items off those lists diligently because I have this obsession with creating closure. I saw things that needed fixing, needed to be completed, to be accomplished for the greater good of humanity and why delegate when it was so much easier just to shut up, save the instructions and do it all myself?

Then, life came to a whiplash-inducing halt. And I realized that to keep stress under control and have some time left over to actually enjoy those fleeting moments that happen upon us unexpectedly (fireflies in summertime, the smell of impending rain, laughter shared with friends) that it was OKAY not to do it all or have to do it perfectly. I stopped making lists and instead operated on an as-needed basis. This meant, basically, operating in a purely crisis management mode - which really killed productivity.

So I'm back to making lists. But they are simply reminders. Not demands.

Here's the tricky part - as an indie author, there is no escape from real life. The two-legged critters need fed, reminded to do their homework and they still want their parents there at important events. The four-legged critters still need fed, played with and taken to the vet at inconvenient times. The spouse still needs fed and would like to be assured that your butt is not glued to your swivel chair and your fingers stuck to the keyboard - so you assure him with dinner out, during which you're probably wondering if you'll be able finish a rough draft on Chapter 56 before vacation or if you can squeeze some writing in on the plane.

Life surrounds you and you must still manage to carve out the time to write, make edits, format, submit files, correspond with your graphic artist, chat on genre forums, outline the next book, check your Amazon ranking (oops, forgot to do that today, oh well), review, blog and yes, Twitter.

There is no editor or agent pushing deadlines at you. When, how and if things even get done is entirely up to you. It's both liberating and terrifying. Only attempt self-publishing if you're SELF-MOTIVATED.

Quick News Flash - The Crown in the Heather was ever so briefly #7 on for Biographical Fiction last week! Woot woot!!! And it hit the dizzying heights of #16,077 overall on I'm still getting over the embarrassment when folks ask me to sign a copy. Who? Me???

P.S. If anyone wants to follow me on Twitter, I'm @NGeminSasson. I'm still learning the ropes and am slowly getting over the feeling of being stalked, but at least blogging has already cured me of the fear of being a blabbering extrovert.

P.S.S. CITH's price went up to $12.59, but hey, that's still 10% off.

Happy publishing,


Anita Davison said...

I am so with you on this Gemini! I was involved in a chapter and decided to shove the hoover round the floor to make it look as if I had done some housework. Dunno how but when I emptied it I threw the filter away-that big cylindrical thing in the dust box - I have no recollection of doing that at all! Got my chapter finished though!!!

Michelle Gregory said...

i found you by googling indie author, and as i am on a search for a definition, i thought i'd ask. is there a difference between indie author and an author who uses a POD publisher such as Lulu?


N. Gemini Sasson said...

Hi Michelle,

They're one and the same. 'Self-published author' and 'indie author' are interchangeable and there are many ways to go about getting one's book in print, whether through CreateSpace, Lulu or Lightning Source. Check this post for more helpful links