Serial Procrastinator

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(No, not that kind of cereal!)


How very clever I thought I was in January 2015 when I published my first novel as an e-book. A story that was invented in my teens and finally put down on paper (laptop) by 2004 which then required over ten years of editing; but finally I had done it! It was out there! I believed in this book – I’ve read some great novels and I’ve read a lot of crap – so I thought I was qualified to know mine was good. Quality will out! Now to sit back and watch as I hit the best-seller list and movie producers came clamouring at my door, right? Wrong.

The internet is littered with hundreds of thousands of e-books. And most of us who have gone down this road have since realised that our endeavours are akin to a lottery. I may as well start playing the bloody lottery because my chances of winning that are about as good. My book needs to be discovered, word-of-mouth needs to spread for anything big to happen, so I didn’t give up the day job. But now I am reading more and more articles that assure me the book-buying public are changing, ‘power readers’ have evolved – and their appetite for books is voracious. So a successful author needs to be churning out books like crazy to be noticed. Because what the ‘power readers’ like are serials…

Did I not just tell you how long it took me to write my first novel, how many years it took to get it right? What I didn’t mention was that within those ten years, I also managed to write two sequels. So I know what you’re thinking, I’m in the fortunate position of having a serial already sitting there in my lap. Wrong again. Those sequels aren’t edited, and if you’re anything like me as a writer, you’ll know that editing is the hard part. No, I’m not one of the privileged few who can afford an editor and I’m not sure I really want one – surely I’m the only one who really knows what stays and what goes in a manuscript? And if I did hire an editor, who’s to say that I would ever recoup that initial outlay? Some say if you really care about your book, an editor is a must – but those people evidently have more spare capital lying about than me. My family shouldn’t have to go into hock just so I can live my dream.

I love writing stories; I love how the narrative and dialogue formulate in my head and how excited I get about spilling that tale out onto paper. I write incredibly quickly – I have to or I’ll forget something. So yes, I can churn books out pretty fast, but I couldn’t think of publishing a book that I didn’t feel was as good as it could be. The next task is to painfully dissect the thing; take out or change anything implausible, inject my kind of humour, inject more of…’me’. Then cut out anything extraneous or repetitive. Never be boring. And then read it. And re-read it. And read it aloud. Put it into a larger font. Read it again. Realise that during your tampering, you have created more errors. Correct the errors. Read it, change it, correct it, read it, change it, correct it, oh my God I’m going to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon!!!

So as you can see, editing is not my favourite pastime (neither is marketing, but that’s a whole different blog post). But I guess that’s just what I’m going to have to do. Edit two books. Soon. Oh and while I’m doing that, I’ve got to continue to market the first one. And write my blog. Advertise that the blog is there. And go to work. And look after two children. Stop looking out of the window at that cat. And clean the house (I might dispense with that last one). I realise I’m saying nothing new – this is the problem for indie-authors the world over. We’re all struggling. But I love what I do and even if it remains a hobby that earns me absolutely no money, I enjoyed the journey – so that’s the main thing. But there are a lot of people in this game and I may have missed the boat. I always was late to the party.
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15 thoughts on “Serial Procrastinator

  1. Yeah, I stick to blogging because the 25 or 30 cents a day I make is easier on my ADHD than trying to procrastinate out a book. I have two out there and they were failures BUT, I learned that I just wanted to write. The audience shows up sooner or later, often later 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would be happy with 25-30 cents, I get nada! Are your books out there still (under your name)? I’d read them!
      But yes, loving writing has got to be the main focus or disappointment is on the cards! I’ll stick at it 🙂

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  2. If you love writing, keep writing. If you’re writing because you think it’s an easier way to make your zillions than your day job, I don’t know what to tell you. If it was so easy to crank out a bunch of words and sell them on Amazon, then all those “writers” hyping that method would be writing their books, instead of writing “how to crank out a bunch of words and make a zillion dollars on Amazon” books. Keep writing, get better, don’t buy into the hype.

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  3. I’m in a similar boat Adele. I’m on draft #3,928 of my (so I thought) one-off fantasy novel that I started in 1997. Now I realise that I’ll need to make it book one of three in order to stand any chance of readers being interested.
    Keep slogging away at that keyboard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jack – will do. It’s so hard to keep going over your manuscript again and again – then making big realisations like you have. But we’ve got to keep believing in what we’ve created. I hope for success for us both – I hope your recent book promotion went well 🙂

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      • Yeah, thanks for the Google+ plug Adele. In the end I had over 1,330 downloads of my short story over the weekend. Pity I had it up for free, as that would have been a nice bit of pocket money. I highly recommend using Freebooksy.com, well worth the $75 to get that kind of exposure, I did end up with three good reviews on Goodreads though, can’t complain. All part of building up my author profile for the release of the big novel. 😉
        Good luck with your book too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice post, made a great read, get those books edited, and get them out there! Who cares how long it takes, its your passion to write keep on doing it. I keep telling myself I need to get my butt into gear and sort more stuff out to earn money but then sat back and realised I don’t care if I don’t make a penny, if even 1 person reads my blog and enjoys it… I’ve succeeded.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Woody, (and thanks for following). I am in the lucky position of having one day off a week (excluding weekends) so I think it’s time to knuckle down every Wednesday and get the sequels done! And yes, it’s all about the enjoyment of writing – and if you connect with people along the way, great!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No problem, and thank you for following back 🙂 It is so hard to manage time and with my full time job Monday – Saturday the only proper day I get with the kids is Sunday, when am I suppose to write, It takes me forever just to write a blog post, never mind write a book, (which I would love to do but doubt I ever will) I truly respect you juggling life, a blog and writing a book. Brilliant. Keep up the good work. Will be borrowing my mum’s kindle and purchasing your book. Every little helps right? And judging by the reviews I’m sure I will like it 🙂

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