I write this post for authors. Forgive me, dear readers, for pulling back the curtain behind which you may or may not want to see. I don’t do it to garner sympathy–I don’t do that–I just think better on paper, so to speak, so this is my way of trying to work through an issue I know other writers share. Maybe someone out there knows of a solution I haven’t thought of yet. Never hurts to ask, right?
Last chance to close the tab before we begin…
Cool. 🙂 Read on.
I am learning a new business lesson this year: It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what you can delegate. Contrary to popular belief, successful people don’t become successful by working their asses off. They do so by investing money and hiring other people to work their asses off. Because you can’t climb the mountain if you’re constantly churning the mud at the base, and that is a huge reason why efficiency will tend to trump quality: People who love what they do, who take pride in every last detail of what they do, rarely look up long enough to realize they’re spinning their wheels in one place. It’s a beautiful place, which makes the labor one of love, but it won’t get them very far. Because “good enough” will never be good enough. The people who constantly leap ahead are the ones who take the lazy way out–find a faster, cheaper, easier way to do less for more.
That’s the gist of a general dilemma.
Now here’s my personal Catch 22:
I’m a stubborn control freak perfectionist. Vanity aside, I have the curiosity, the drive, and the technical ability to learn and execute anything and everything surrounding the art and business of being a published author. To my way of thinking, I can do it, I can do it best, and therefore, I should do it. Whatever “it” is. Unfortunately, what I can’t do is cram more hours into a day.
My problem is that I have outgrown my capacity to do everything on my own, but haven’t yet accepted that I need to and should delegate. See, it’s easy to shout out a book when you have one or two. But when you get to ten and more, you can’t apply the same amount of time and effort to all of them. So how do you pick and choose?
The obvious solution, you’ll say, is to hire someone to take over the marketing part of it for me. Yes, you’re right, and I’d dearly love to do that. But the problem is I don’t trust anyone else to put in what I do. I’ve spent too much time reinventing the wheel to get stuck in an assembly line rut with hundreds of other authors on the docket. My inner control freak perfectionist says that I can do that kind of automation on my own for free–and better–and anything more personally tailored to me would cost more than I can afford. Another Catch 22: Ya gotta spend money to make money, but ya gotta make it to spend it.
I always say that we each have two commodities to barter with: money and time. It’s up to us to decide which is more important and how to spend it. I’ve spent so much of my time to save money, I think it’s time to rebalance that equation. If anyone has suggestions on how to do that without going broke, I am all ears. No, really.
Anyway, that’s the hamster wheel my brain is stuck on lately. As a small book update, I am about two chapters away from completing Dearest Love, the second in my erotic romance novella series. I expected it to be done long before now (about 20k words ago, to be exact), but hadn’t counted on the history of these two to play such a huge role. It’s almost like each of the Rebels has a piece of Snow White’s story to relate… In a way, it’s like I’m retelling it through them. I love where it’s going, but would love it more if it could get there faster. LOL
The fantasy romance Prince of Deceit is also in the works at the same time. With the final part of the Dragonblood trilogy, the pressure is on to round out the story with all due flare, without going overboard. There is so much I want to say in this book, and it needs to be said just right. It’s slow going, but I enjoy the challenge very much.
I have also been asked about sequels and continuations for Wolfen and the Blood and Shadows series. My response to that is: I have no plans currently to continue either. I am 99% certain that Wolfen, in particular will remain a single title stand-alone novel for all time, for the sole reason that there is nothing I could add to the story to make it any better, and I won’t add to it simply to make it longer. It would corrode the original story and I don’t have the heart to do that.
As for Blood and Shadows, my certainty on that one is about 50% at the moment. When I re-published the first three under the new series title, the plan was to keep going, but I ended the larger story arc in Blood Hunt on a satisfying enough note that no more needed to be said. At the time, I was burned out on the story and so happy to be done with it, I put aside the 3 additional covers I’d made for future books and shoved it all out of sight and out of mind. But the subplot or two I introduced in that last book are still there, and so is their potential for continuing the series.
Do I plan to do that any time soon? No. I think I need a longer break from this world and its politics. Is there a possibility for future books? Yes. But I won’t go into it lightly. It’s likely that anything new I add will be darker, grittier, with an apocalyptic bend. They won’t be pretty reads–as Blood Hunt wasn’t–and I’m not sure of the wisdom of veering off the original path even more. In short, I guess I’ll have to wait and see. LOL
Until next time!