Thursday, August 9, 2012

We Got a Great Big Convoy

One of the notable things about being in that post-book deal but pre-publication stage is the sheer amount of gear switching that’s required on a regular basis. And it’s not just me. I’m part of some wonderful writers groups, and I can tell you this experience is common across the board.  
One might be, for example, finished with the first round of revisions on the sold manuscript and awaiting further editorial feedback. In the meantime, most writers I know are working hard on book #2 and/or putting a bit more time and energy into blogging and other social media and/or attempting to actually make contact with long lost family members in the household who may not have seen Mom/Dad/Spouse/Significant Other since the beginning of the revision process.
When the next round of editorial feedback comes in, gears have to be shifted once again: it’s back to editing and the writer’s cave seclusion it generally entails.  Then the (hopefully improved) manuscript gets sent back, and the author is faced with a backlog of old and new tasks to be completed.
Are you starting to get the idea? In essence, it’s a constant state of re-balancing and finding the right gear at the right time – sort of like driving a semi on variable terrain, I’d imagine.
Am I complaining? Not at all. Selling a book is a wonderful thing, and learning to shift gears effectively is just one more skill authors need to learn in a new and different way once publication looms.
So, how do you do it, writers? How do you find balance amid the chaos that is writing, submitting, marketing and editing?
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Nicole McInnes is the author of BRIANNA ON THE BRINK, a Contemporary YA novel which will hit the shelves in Spring, 2013.
Find her online at www.nicolemcinnes.com

7 comments:

  1. Lordy, lordy, I'm a gear-shifting fool because I'm writing in two genres. My spring/summer has looked like this:

    Round 1 ALIENATED edits
    Work on romance #3
    Round 1 edits on romance #2
    Back to work on romance #3
    Round 2 ALIENATED edits
    Back to work on romance #3
    Copy edits on romance #2
    Draft blogs for romance #1 tour
    Back to work on romance #3

    Oh, and I'm expecting round 3 ALIENATED edits to appear any day now, then copy edits. Not to mention promo for the release of romance #1 in October, and then deadlines for romance #3 and the sequel to ALIENATED.

    But these are good problems to have. :-) I keep reminding myself that.

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    1. Well, Melissa, you're making me feel better about my own gear shifting. Wow! Good luck handling all that.

      :-)

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  2. I go from loving my idea and my WIP to wanting to take it out in the desert and blow holes in it. And then back again.

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  3. Oh, Liz. Don't I know how that is. I've been taking the axe to my WIP on a regular basis lately, and I think I finally have it cut down to the bare essentials.

    :-)

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  4. Sometimes I don't think I am handling it as much as I am merely surviving it. Thanks for the post, Nicole!

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    1. Me too, Elsie! Just trying to keep my head above water as I try to shut out the noise and immerse myself in Book #2. Not complaining either, though! One thing I have learned: Some things have to be dropped. I can't do everything, and sometimes that means turning down other work.

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  5. I've had just a taste of that lately, since I've been working on revisions with my agent in preparation for submission. It was hard to shift gears at first, and I'm sure it always will be to some extent, but one thing I discovered is that it takes about three days for me to really get my head back into a project. Now I just tell myself that, and make myself work for three days straight. Once I've done that, it's a little easier to focus on whatever I'm currently working on.

    Of course, I say that now, on day one of shifting focus back to revisions on my newly-completed WIP. Must focus! :-)

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