Long before the New Year burst rudely upon us, I had already planned on being a better person. I made spreadsheets for various things, have a schedule with my writing partner, and created weekly “to do” lists in my planner.
The fly in the ointment: I’m lazy.
The only thing I’ve stuck to so far is my every-other-day jog/walk in the neighborhood and that’s only because I lost my bikini body somewhere between red velvet cupcakes and entire loaves of golden pecan bread (the DeKalb Farmers Market is the devil). But I digress.
Although I’ve been a published writer for over ten years now, I’ve always taken a sort of haphazard approach to the business side of my writing career. With each book release, I go into a frenzy of promotion and intense love for these new characters, poking sleeping bloggers in the wild and trying to get them interested enough in my latest book to share it with a few thousand of their closest friends. Between releases, I stay in my writing cave (aka the café down the street) and crank out the next thing. That routine has been put on fast-forward with the addition of a new writing persona (and genre) with little time for taking breaths. I actually loved that routine. Until I realized that until I make the multi-thousands necessary to hire an assistant, I’ll need to do regular marketing (not just on release days) to get the word of these new and beloved characters out there. Enter the whine heard half way across the universe.
Ergo planners and weekly meetings and the urge to procrastinate like a boss (who makes no money).
It’s been slow going, as one can imagine. My writing partner would say something like “slow and steady to win the race” but she’s terminally optimistic about most things.
I’m so bad that I even procrastinate about things I’m really, really looking forward to. Like this two-month trip to southern Africa I gave myself as a birthday present. I leave in less than two weeks and I’ve only just arranged for my lodging the first week there. (Side note: The place I finally settled on has great reviews from other solo travelers so I’m psyched to get there to start exploring and writing about all the things I experience.) On one hand, I enjoy the loose schedule that traveling solo allows, on the other hand, I’ve heard people say having a plan is a good thing, especially when doing unfamiliar things in unfamiliar places. But what do those people know anyway?
Writing and traveling are the two things I’m most passionate about. Probably to an insane degree. When I think I have nothing better to so, I wonder what my life would’ve been like if I’d ended up in a career I didn’t love. Would those insurance forms ever get filed? Will those spread sheets change anything about my daily habits? Am I the only one of three thousand employees without a year-end bonus? Luckily, these aren’t questions I have to answer right now.
As for the main one I do have to answer – will I finish this latest novel on time? – stay tuned to find out. It’s due on Friday…