Ten Years and Still Learning


Last week was a little rough. Joyful, but rough

I’ve been writing much of my life. I’ve been publishing for ten years. This year everything ratcheted up a notch.

I recently read something from Virginia Heath. She said, “Being a professional writer, I always have a new story on the go and at least another working its way through the publishing pipeline.” I have heard other authors speak and describe a similar or even more intensive process. I think she may have understated it. She left out the one already out demanding promotion and the ones backed up behind the one in process in the pipeline.

Every book has numerous phases envision, plan, develop characters, draft, rewrite, send to beta, rewrite again, work with editor, publish, promote. Ten years ago I would focus all my energy on one story from beginning to end, and then rest for a period before starting the next.

As a creative process, that works. As a business model, it doesn’t. The thing is, I’m not just a writer, I’m a professional.

By the time book two came to light, readers forget book 1, or at least have to refresh their memory. Also, sales drop between books. Every new one sells backlist. Eventually I began to overlap them slightly. This past year, I’m closer to the multi-projects at once model. This year? I’m on the moving publishing train. Three to four books at various stages at all times.

But it is exhausting. One big challenge is planning for time off. Next year I may slow down. Maybe. I have five books in my head that haven’t even started yet.

This week I have one to rewrite and get to beta readers, one to promote, and one to plan. I also have a novella to polish and format for a Bluestocking Belles Collection—the social season in York, anyone? But first, coffee.

IMG_0370-1024x768 But First Coffee

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