The Worst Kind of Month

Despite all good intentions, getting through the second draft and rewrites of the second book in my Shig Sato mystery series has  been much more time-consuming than I expected

Such intentions led to a writing schedule, churning out 1,000 words a day, monitoring my (still very) anemic marketing for book 1, keeping track of meager sales, but the main thing I realized: getting it all done was a lesson in itself. I’m still learning, still striving, still adjusting to the fact I have to put in A LOT more hours than I am right now. Full-time job? Who cares. Home? Kids? These aren’t problems, they’re excuses. Everyone has things in their life that must be dealt with, If creating a writing life was so easy, everyone would do it.

Then came a death in the family.

The moment I knew I had to stop my life and go be with my family, travel from home for a week and tear my attention away from my job and my writing, was when I realized it should not take a death to sharpen my focus and get the job done. Every moment I spend with my family is precious, and I am glad for the time I spend with them. I wish I could spend more time with them. These thoughts made me think about time, and how I wasted it – days, months, years wasted when I didn’t put in the hours to make my dream a reality.

Being away from home to deal with a family tragedy forced me to realize that despite not knowing how much of it I have, time is the one thing I can choose how to spend. So how will I choose to spend my time? Watching a ball game on TV or staying up late and watching a movie on my tablet? I know I don’t read enough, write enough, spend nearly enough time on my indie author business. It’s the irony of our lives – time is the one commodity we have control over and yet we don’t know how much of it we have. That’s why it’s such a crime to waste it. When I arrived home, I realized I didn’t know how much time I have — but I know how many hours there are in a day, and what I do with them. So I must use them wisely, and make every hour count.

This writing life that I embrace has been a mixed bag of writing, stopping for years, writing some more, sending work off to magazines and agents, getting rejected, stopping altogether, then writing some more. It’s only been in the last seven years that I’ve put in the time to warrant saying ‘this is what I do’ and go flat out.

I’m not worried about the marketing, the sales — I know I will get into that more in the months to come, and that will come along eventually. For me, right now, the writing is the thing. Putting in the time is the thing. Focusing on getting the job done is the thing.

My goal for this year was to write and publish two more Shig Sato stories. One is nearly complete and may be out by December. The other is half-written, and needs a lot of work. I did not put in the time to meet my goal. I know that now.

So now I need to manage my time better, and get some more writing done.

How about you?

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