So this post is bound to be a bit… uh… scattered. I am 19 days into the official release of Aliens in the Soda Machine and Other Strange Tales.
This is not my first day at the rodeo in terms of Indie book releases, but I don’t remember being this scattered at this time last year when I released Haunted.
Then again, maybe I am blocking that memory. It’s been a fairly intense writing year for me. Since the release of last year’s Haunted, Devon Miller and I have started and completed the first book in a trilogy, I have started and completed the sequel to Haunted (which should be available in 2016.) I’ve started an sf novel and released a collection of short stories.
Perhaps I am due for a bit of scatter, a sort of forced slow down. But I think the issue is that I keep forgetting about all the things that have to be juggled when a book is released into the wild in addition to the day to day goings on in this particular corner of writer-land. Marketing and promotion is ongoing, but it is particularly intense leading up to a launch, and in the weeks immediately following. I’m still learning, still trying new things and doing things from the last big push that worked. I think when it comes to that side of this that will always be the case. The tools are constantly changing. When this is all happening I tend to forget how much time and energy it really takes and when current projects slow down my knee-jerk reaction is to wonder, “Why is the writing taking longer? What’s wrong with me?”
Yep. I know. Moronic right? I have to remind myself that my attention is also on other tasks that are consequential. I’m not sure why that is.
Another thing that’s happening is that I keep thinking about the next publishing project, and the one after that. There’s an impatience to work on those things. The problem there is that the sequel to Haunted needs to sit untouched for a while. I need critical distance before edits. (Some folks can dive right in, but I’ve learned what works for me, and distance is key.) To round out the tale of the McTutcheon sisters, there is already a third book percolating in my brain. Of course, writer brain wants to work on that, too. But that would be unwise, as I’ve begun the sf novel. This order of projects was planned, by the way. There’s a rhythm to these things. If I dive into the third book about the McTutcheon sisters before the second book has been edited, that sets me up for bigger problems with inconsistencies later. A book changes dramatically from first draft to final version. So, between those books, I’m working on the sf novel. My head is getting turned by other ideas, and maybe a bit of self-imposed pressure to get that next book out, asap. In the midst of it all, I’m thinking, “WHY AM I NOT GETTING MORE DONE!”
My own advice dictates that I’ve got to finish the thing I’m doing right now. My own advice also says that a rushed book is a shitty book. So when my head is spinning like this, I have to tell myself the things I would tell another writer going through it.
Worry about one thing at a time. Stay calm. Make sure you’ve got enough coffee.
How about you guys? How do you handle it when your head starts doing this?