Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Balancing Different Roles as an Independent

What I really want to do today is write and then organize my loft. I have a bunch of manuscript ideas I want to start (or finish). It seems that would be an obvious choice for any writer.

I should write. I'm a writer. This isn't rocket science.

Except it isn't so simple. As an independent author I can't just write. I am responsible for all aspects of publication. While rewriting and editing aren't so bad (I know - some people cringe even thinking about editing), other things are more harrowing.

Formatting for print, for example, makes me want to throw my computer through a wall. I am not the kind of person who takes delight in repetitive meticulous tasks. If I can make something easier for myself, I will. I'm of the work smarter mind, not harder.

Of course, once I have a plan for how to tackle formatting, it becomes relatively painless (if annoying). Other pieces of independent publishing, like PR are much more intensive. I have to think about connecting with bloggers, producing media materials, producing guest posts, determining ways to connect with readers (like Twitter and Goodreads), and even maintaining this blog.

My intuition tells me this part of publishing can become second nature (or at least most of it) though I'm not there yet. I'm still working on habituating myself to the marketing role of the independent author. It makes me think of herding mustangs or even worse, feral cats.

In the mean time however, I need to come up with ways to balance these roles. As it is, I have one book that is at an impasse (ANDREW) and a few non-fiction pieces that have the writing largely finished and only need some research (not the fun part of writing...well, not the most fun part). I need something else to balance out all this hullabaloo and keep me sane. I need another fiction project.

If I had another short non-fiction project that required little research on my part I might be able to handle finishing that. But it would have to be able to be finished quickly and without too much hassle. I really might be crazy.

The thing is, I know what I need. I need to be able to write while I'm finishing some of these other things. I need to have a balance between the writer and the PR specialist. The only reason I've educated myself about PR is in order to write, so it makes sense that even on days when I need to work on PR, I should have a little happy writing in there. I'm tempted to start Book 4 of KHLOE. Hmm. We'll see.

If you're an independent writer, how do you stay sane? How do you balance your different hats? Share your strategies! I'm open to suggestions!

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