This morning, for no reason at all, I had two epiphanies. I woke up, checked my alarm clock and then proceeded to have my brain bombarded with big ideas and clear reasoning. It was very strange.
All my epiphanies were about writing, seeing how writing is the main issue punding against my mind right now. Not only am I preparing to launch, publicize and promote my first novel, Elly in Bloom, but I am also trying to finish, edit, query and sell my next book, Queen of Hearts.
It's a lot. All this and it's the heart of wedding season. Yay?
My epiphanies came in a certain order this morning, like a wave of blessing.
First, I need to be writing more. At this point, I'm trying to write for at least four hours a day (Okay, let's be honest here: three hours with Pinterest and Facebook time. I mean, I NEED to look at that new recipe for Sour Cream Bundt Cake or BLT pasta, or see who saw Prometheus yesterday. These things are REALLY important, not so much for the world, but for my mental sanity.) 3 hours a day...that's not enough. The hard truth was presented to me - if I don't have wedding work, I need to be putting in about 6 to 7 hours a day writing. If I want this to be my full-time job eventually, I need to treat it as such, especially if I don't have wedding work (which, honestly, most days I do have at least a few hours of wedding work and the weekends are all wedding work.) I have made writing a big part of my life, but I think I need to make writing a bigger part of my life. If I want to say "I'm a writer" with a straight face someday and not follow it with a "Bwaaahhh!" and a self pitying sip of Moscato, I need to put more work in than the basic requirement of getting by.
Also, though it might not seem this way to me and Ryan and everyone who knows us, but we actually have a kid on the way. We don't know when, but they are coming, our little miracle adoptive baby, who we will love and cherish and treasure and hopefully not spoil before their 3rd birthday. When this little fabulous one comes into our life, I kind of want our life to stop - just for a little while. I want to be able to focus completely on this little baby. I want to bathe in the light of loving a child, of being the Mom that I can't wait to be, to watch my husband become the amazing father that I've always known he would be. I want to focus, and not miss out and not worry about anything other than being the best first time parent that I can be for those first few months. I want to be able to spend an entire afternoon just watching their facial expressions -
and I don't want to be worrying about finishing or editing my book (s).
This was part of the first epiphany: now is the time. Now is the time that I need to pour myself into writing. It is the sea, and I need to drown with salt water in my lungs. I need to devote myself fully to finishing and editing Queen of Hearts as quickly but professionally as possible. I need to set sail to that ship and get it on it's way. Especially because sneaking up beside me is the launch of Elly in Bloom. This comes with a lot of commitment. I don't want my book to fade into oblivion. Amazon Publishing will do it's part, but from what I've read and seen, the author's level of promotion, PR savvy and dedication is sometimes what makes or breaks a book.
(That, or you write some crappy fan Twilight fan fiction and call it 50 Shades of Grey).
Right now I'm also learning and thinking about promotion, book tours (maybe?), emailing, bloggers, Amazon, Goodreads, Interior Reviews, Cover Reviews, Proof Copies and Edits. I'm doing this and trying to finish my other book. That book is big and epic and I'm sure there are a million tiny plot holes that I need to cement over. So far, my writing routine has gone like this: Write book. Read book. Edit book. Send out to test readers. Have others edit book. Do final edit on book. Finish book. Send query letters. My second epiphany of the morning was this - really, they were one right after another: I need to be doing all this at once, to save time and to have better story continuity. Why am I waiting to start editing? I'm almost through the book - what is going to change so dramatically that I can't start editing the first chapters now?? And suddenly, an tentacled alien ship appeared on the hazy horizon, and Dinah was like "Oh crap, we're in the future!" Uhhh...no, that's not happening.
Of course I write with an old ink pen on ancient papyrus. Like, who doesn't?
Back to the ephiany - so, I can finish the story WHILE editing??? I can multi-task while I'm writing a book?? This idea is amazing!! Why didn't I do this before? Oh right, because I'm stupid and preoccupied by So You Think You Can Dance. So today, I got up, cleaned, fed the doggies and did laundry (my life is SO exciting, really) and then headed out to write. I finished the chapter that I'm working on and then I boldly went ahead and edited the first chapter. It was brilliant (the editing, not the story)! I'm in the mind of my later story, the voice and the pacing and it was much easier to edit it with that in my brain. It will make it easier so that the begining and the end of the story has that perfect symmetry. (It's harder than you think, especially when your book is topping 150,000 words. The end is literally in a different verse' than the beginning.)
So those are my two awesome epiphanies for today. To simplify: Write more. Multi-Task. And that was enough to blow me away. Honestly, it doesn't take much.
Author of Elly in Bloom and the upcoming Queen of Hearts. Reader of All the Books. Pop-Culture Nerd. Obsessed with Fondue and Showtunes. Lutheran and Proud. Clumsy and Not That Proud. Happily married to a very sweet man. Unhappily the slave of a very clever weiner dog.
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