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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday - The Schedule

I often meet readers who think that an author writes only when they feel like it. They envision a romantic notion of the author sitting beneath a tree on a spring afternoon with pen in hand. Perhaps, they think, that occurs every now and then. The rest of the time the author is living a relaxing life of gardening, bird watching or some other pursuit.

With me, nothing could be further from the truth.

Once an author gains a following, it is important that books continue to be released on a regular basis. That means writing - regardless of whether the writer feels like it.

For me, it means being at my desk every day shortly after dawn. I spend the mornings working on marketing and promotional activities, which has increasingly been passed from publishers to authors as the publishing houses streamline. Then I spend the afternoons and often the evenings writing. This happens six days a week - and often seven days.

There are deadlines, among them:

1. the first draft
2. the revised version
3. on the editor's desk for their revisions
4. completing the edits recommended
5. the last read-through and final time for changes

Last year I was contracted to write three books in twelve months, which meant those five deadlines were met within four months for each book. This year, I currently have two books on my plate, which gives me a very long lead time - six months. If a third is added, that time frame will be reduced back to four months.

Once a book is out the door and out of my hands - for the cover design, typesetting, production schedule and all the things I am not involved in - it isn't time to rest. It's time to get started on the next one.

6 comments:

onespoiledcat said...

The life of a dedicated writer is not easy that's for sure. It's hard work - work that we enjoy but hard nonetheless. The fruits of our labor in the form of kudos, contracts, encouragement and royalties give us the energy to go on. But it's certainly NOT just that....it's that we HAVE to write - it's in our blood.

Pam

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment, Pam! You certainly know as much as anyone how much time, effort and sweat goes into writing. I love your books!

Kathryn Treat said...

Amazing how you write and are so organized. This is my first book and it is my story. Not sure how to follow that.

p.m.terrell said...

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment, Kathryn! I'd be interested in knowing more about your book and your story. If you're interested in writing a second story, I would consider the themes of your first book; which ones resonated with you; and how you can expand on those. What do you think?

bonbon3272 said...

I had something similar happen to me two weeks ago. I was contacted because an author was looking for an illustrator. But when I read the story, I was very confused. I asked the person who her audience was, among some other things. She said she didn't know but had "tested" different people to see if they liked it. Basically, her audience was too broad. The plot would have been sound if she just tightened a few things. But, of course, I was the "only person" who didn't understand her story.

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment, Bonnie. That's the problem with an author asking friends or family to read their book - even if they were confused, they probably wouldn't admit it for fear of offending their friend/family member. But if you didn't get it - and I know you - then I'd be willing to bet others didn't get it, either.