Say it, like a mantra, and keep charging forward. Everything is a choice. Today, I’d like to talk about certain choices I’m determined to change, in order to continue reaching my goals. I’ve crossed that line from dream to reality and there’s no going back; because I don’t want to. But, there’s one thing I had as an aspiring writer that I no longer have as a published author:
No, I’m not whining. I’m attempting to rewire my
bad old habits. You know the ones that would allow me to sit on an unfinished novel for years, until a sudden spark of inspiration renewed my creative interest in it? I no longer have that luxury. Not if I plan to continue on with my ultimate dream of being a best selling author when I grow up. You thought I was going to say take over the world, didn’t you? Ha-ha, it’s okay, I know I give off that whole “evil mastermind” vibe…
So, how do you reprogram the creative side of your brain, when it’s so temperamental, completely unreliable and about as flighty as a six-winged bumblebee drunk on ambrosia-nectar? You don’t want your readers to lose interest while waiting for your next book to come out. They’ll just find another author they love, because there are
9,768,453, 210.62 ½ plenty to choose from! No, in order to keep the readers you have (the ones that actually like what you write) and hopefully gain more, you should probably keep a steady stream of new material entering the marketplace. Speaking of marketplace, I now have a ‘marketing budget.’ I never had that as an aspiring writer! Okay, it’s actually more of a marketing ‘expense’, the term ‘budget’ is just tossed in there to confuse the enemy…kind of like Federal Reserve.
The pressure to hurry up and write/submit is new and intense…albeit, mostly self-imposed. I know now, from start to finish, exactly how long it takes for one book to actually hit the retail shelf. About 18 months(!!!) give or take. In hindsight, I wish I would have submitted more books to my editor while The Zen Lounge was still in the earlier stages of its publication process, so I could have new books coming out every few months. As it stands, my next book won’t be for sale until about Mid-Winter 2016 (if I’m lucky, at the tail end of 2015). Once a year novels are great… if you’re J.K. Rowling – or the author of any other major series that has scores of people lining up worldwide just to pre-order a book you’re still writing!
The problem is that the pressure is causing my creativity to short-circuit. Kind of how stage fright might cause an actor to forget their lines, even though they’ve been rehearsing for months. I feel the time crunch squeezing in on me, suffocating the flow I’m already used to, every artsy brain cell defying against these changes I’m trying to impose. I know they’re for the best. I know that my writing habits haven’t been the greatest and that I’ve always let it ebb and flow naturally – but time’s short now. It’s precious and fleeting, so my creativity just needs to put her big girl panties on and suck it up!
Oh, hey, there’s a surprise…she’s not listening. Looks like there’s only one way we can get this done. Bribery – uh, I mean with some good ol’ fashioned elbow-grease and a healthy dose of habit-reconditioning! (Ixnay on the elfsay-isciplineday, change never happens when one realizes they actually have to work at it!) Oy.