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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.