Just a week ago, I was contemplating my retirement. I had dropped the ball with regard to marketing my books (I hadn’t even checked my Amazon pages in a while—I just discovered I have some new reviews! Yay!). I hadn’t written anything in weeks. I wasn’t sure I could write anything. I wanted to…it just wasn’t there, and I didn’t know how to fix the problem.
I did know the source of the problem: this old gray mare ain’t what she used to be. My focus is nowhere near what it once was. Just a year ago, my characters were living their lives inside my head 24/7. It was crowded in there, but I didn’t mind. Now, nobody’s home. Not even me, most of the time. Not only was I not writing, I wasn’t doing much of anything else, either…the housework, laundry and cooking weren’t always getting done. More than once, I’d end up scrambling to get Collin something to eat or wash his clothes before he had to leave for work.
Because I was online—sometimes five or six hours a day. By the time I got offline, I would be so drained mentally, I was no good for anything but sleeping or sitting in front of the TV. It should have been a no-brainer, right? Just cut back on the online time. I’m no internet junkie. I’m perfectly happy with a couple of hours online a day. But in my own defense, this has been discussed among my friends and fellow authors at Facebook on more than one occasion. Too much time spent social networking is cutting into a number of authors’ writing time. It’s an epidemic! Nobody intends to do it. It just happens. You start chatting with friends and the time gets away on you.
I’ve cut back because I have to, if I want to ever publish another book. No more email, Facebook, etc. after lunch.
But that’s only half the problem. Now to decide the direction I want to take. Do I still want to write fiction? Yes. But I’m not sure it’s in the cards. The projects currently in the works have been in limbo for a while. The nonfiction project, on the other hand, is flying along.
I’m not sure I want to bother with print editions in the future. They’re a pain to create and earn very little. In my opinion, they’re too expensive, anyway. I might sell half a dozen copies (total) of each novel—and those are usually to my friend Carolyn, who brings them to me for signing as soon as she receives them. My friend Shelly Arkon does well with paperbacks. I don’t. Ebooks are where I make my profits…so doesn’t it make sense to put all of my focus there?
I had a brief discussion with fellow author Rosanne Dingli on Facebook the other day. Amazon doesn’t allow us to separate our own books from used copies of our backlist books being sold from third-party vendors—for which we get no royalties. I’ve considered switching to a pseudonym so when anyone clicks on the page for my current books, those third-party offerings aren’t there to usurp my profits!
Before I close…The Unicorn’s Daughter is still available for free at Smashwords today and tomorrow. Just use coupon code SP26W!
Today, I’m promoting one of my own! I just released The Unicorn’s Daughter via Smashwords today, which means it‘s now available for all e-readers! From now until February 28th, it’s free! Just use this coupon code: SP26W
It’s also available in paperback (as well as ebook format) at Amazon, for those of you who still like their books the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, I don’t have the free book option for paperbacks. I’d even have to pay for my own copies!
Thank you, Evie, for sharing your new novel here!
Having read Penniless Hearts, I can honestly say it’s a wonderful novel. Anyone who buys it will not be disappointed!
Eve also has other works available on Amazon. Be sure you check out all of them….
There was a time I could write anytime, anywhere. I could write while carrying on a conversation. I always delivered manuscripts well ahead of deadlines–which actually worked to my advantage once in a disagreement with my publisher.
Things have changed. These days, I find myself unable to finish anything I start. I’ve been working on An Army of Angels for over four years now and getting nowhere fast. Not only is the story not always with me, as my previous novels were, I have trouble concentrating on it when I’m actually writing–or trying to write. I have five projects currently in the works and only one appears to have any hope of reaching completion. (Okay, Chasing the Wind took ten years–but they were ten years of active writing….)
It’s frustrating…and discouraging. There’s a part of me that wonders if it might be time to hang it up, to retire. Collin is now at the beginning of his solo writing career. Maybe I should be content with what I’ve accomplished in the past twenty-four years and move into the role of mentor to my son. He’s still young and has (I hope) a long life and career ahead of him.
Or maybe I should switch to nonfiction. I love blogging, and it seems to come easily–most of the time, anyway. I recently read a post on Author Media that suggested turning a selection of blog posts into a book. Do I have enough nuggets here for a book? Don’t know. I’d have to think about that.
What does one do when he or she discovers they just don’t have what it takes anymore? If only I could get paid to blog….
On second thought, I’m not arguing with HIM….
On this day in 1979, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran after fifteen years in exile. It was all downhill from there.
On this day in 1978, slimy film director Roman Polanski skipped bail and ran off to France to avoid a rape charge. And some people in the film community still treat him like a hero. Makes one wonder.
On this day in 1969, the Doors’ Jim Morrison was busted for exposing himself during a concert appearance. I wonder how many people in that audience could actually see it?
And on this date in 1981, a baby was born in Canada. That baby was my partner in crime, William Kendall. Yep, he turns 32 today!
I was going to do a This Is Your Life sort of thing for his birthday, but I couldn’t dig up enough dirt in time. Maybe next year!
Seriously…William has been the best friend and collaborator I could have hoped for. He’s tolerated my nasty temper, allowed me to drag him into my battles, and patiently waited until I remembered it was my turn to write a scene for our co-authored novel, Same Time Tomorrow. He edits all of my work because my eyesight’s too bad for me to pick up even minor errors. He does 90% of the work on our joint blog and never complains.
We met a few years back–summer of 2009–on an IMDb message board for the movie Angels & Demons. He liked the movie; I liked Ewan McGregor (okay, I liked the movie, too). We actually started corresponding that fall–October 23rd, to be precise. We send each other cards on that anniversary. How many men remember anniversaries of any kind? That tells you how special he is.
I knew he was a writer right away. There was so much creativity in his posts, it was that obvious. It took a bit of persuading to get him to show me his stuff (get your minds out of the gutter–I’m talking about his writing!), but once he did, I knew I’d been right.
I love being right!
Now, he’s on the brink (I hope) of publishing his first novel, Heaven & Hell. Having read it already, I can tell you it’s one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Yeah, I’m biased–but it really is THAT good! I’ve already written a review for it–just waiting for him to publish it. I keep telling him I hope he does it before I croak–the man’s such a perfectionist, he’s spent as much time editing and proofing it as he did writing it!
Happy Birthday, partner. My life has been made better by having you in it.