When author business gets in the way of writing

I haven’t touched my WiP in six weeks.

First it was simply a case of a sudden trip north to catch up with family when an invite to Warren’s great niece’s eighteenth birthday arrived. And even though I took my laptop, I was busy being social after being trapped in my own state due to two years due to Covid.

So, when we returned to Sydney, I thought I’d get straight back into working on my new novel. But with all the other nasty bugs floating around which aren’t Covid, I got sick.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

And I wasn’t well for three weeks.

At first, I had weird symptoms like unbearable muscle pain in my back. I couldn’t sit for long periods, but when I felt better a couple of days later, I accepted a restaurant invite. The air con in the establishment alternated between blazing and blizzard, causing another few weeks of illness.

But regardless of my sore throat and lack of energy, I worked. Not on my novel, but on other author business.

First off, I had to chase up the release date of my novel.

All edits minus the final proofread had been done, and I hadn’t seen the cover art. After several emails I finally knew it would be scheduled late in the following month. At time of writing this blog, the final edits have been done (which included some rewrites when I realised the proof reader was right – one scene had to be cut as it slowed down the pace), and I’ve seen and approved the cover art.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

The week of the final proofread, the final edit of a short story, also being released through my publisher, came through too.

Plus, I was working hard organising an author reading event for me and three fellow writers. An opportunity came up to be part of an important queer festival, so still feeling unwell, I organised promotional artwork through a friend overseas, created different versions of promotional copy, wrote a press release, created a marketing video, and wrote a Fee Waiver Application so we wouldn’t pay the ‘non-author-friendly’ price to be part of the festival.

I had a three week deadline to complete all this.

And even though I did all the above with time to spare, there was a problem with the venue. We secured one but they weren’t on the festival’s official list, even though they were going to be. But time was running out if we wanted our event in their printed guide.

So I had to change venues. The manager of the initial venue understood my reasons and still invited us back for other author reading events. And I got to meet the Event Manager of the new venue face to face, who was equally keen to host us.

On top of this I was creating marketing for my upcoming release.

When I didn’t have the finalised cover and an official release date, I couldn’t create graphics, so I did the next best thing. I already had an official trailer waiting for that illusive product shot, so I also created two teaser trailers with the words ‘Coming Soon’ at the end. These teasers contain free stock footage from Pexels, so could be scheduled on my socials ahead of sharing the cover and sending out Advance Review Copies of my novel.

While I’m feeling a lot better, I still get tired easily. But I’m recovering. And ahead of me is the promotional period for my new novel. I’ll be reaching out to radio and podcast interviewers, as well as finding any other possible ways to market this book.

I’m also pimping a manuscript to potential publishers as it is not suitable for my own queer-specific publisher. Another project which takes time and effort.

And all the while, my husband has tried to converse with me.

He looked after me while I was bedridden, so as soon as I was well enough to finalise the live event or rewrite scenes for my upcoming releases, he was desperate for someone to talk to. He’d organise our social life or chat about our finances as I was reading through the proof reader’s notes or doing some other author business.

The reality is, I’m at that stage of my indie author life where writing the books is becoming secondary. My upcoming novel will be my eleventh release, and this December marks ten years since my first book was published.

Now to find time to get back to my work in progress.

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