Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Writing goal for 2012: sanity
There were a couple of reasons for this. One was that my new agent sold five books for me this year, compared with the seven sales agents had made for me over the last five years. I am still not a gazillionaire, but I'm making enough to constitute a full-time salary without supplementing my author money with copy editor money.
But I quit before we'd sold the last two books this year. It was book number three, The One That I Want, that pushed me over the edge. And it really wasn't a money issue but a time issue. If I agreed to write that book--very quickly, because it's out now!--there was no way I could have corralled my son while he was out of school all summer long AND continued to copy edit articles about nasal polyps.
This went down in April. So for the first third of the year, I was still copy editing a lot of nasal polyps. Despite this, I managed two write two and a half novels this year and go through the revision process on three. I've also written proposals, promoted my books, all that stuff that goes along with writing. Yet I feel like I haven't gotten anything done at all, like I have been very unfocused and airheaded, spinning my wheels. Granted, for years I mothered a toddler with my husband mostly gone to his third-shift job or sleeping during the day, I copy edited articles about nasal polyps, and I wrote novels whenever I could grab a minute. Great swaths of my first published novel, Major Crush, were written while I was on the elliptical machine at the YMCA. It was those levels of drive and panic that I was trying to dial down when I went from two jobs to one this year. It didn't happen.
Therefore, my writing goal in 2012 is to start feeling like writing is a job that I can go to each day, complete, and leave. I will then walk out of my office and do something else. I will get so much done in my designated writing time that I will not be revising a novel on Christmas day in 2012 like I did in 2011. (It's Such a Rush, it's coming out this July, and I will be able to show you the beautiful cover soon! I am so happy with it and I hope you enjoy it too, but I really could have done without it on Christmas.)
That's the goal, anyway. But after working as a full-time writer for eight months, I'm beginning to suspect that feeling insane and unfocused and airheaded may not be the product of my hectic schedule. I may actually be insane and unfocused and airheaded, and that's part of what makes my novels what they are.