Okay, we all hear how someone hit the best sellers list and think, “Wow! That’s great for them, hooray!” And really, it is great. It’s amazing and thrilling and kinda makes, me at least, a bit shy! But, no one, at least that I’ve seen (I am in a hole by myself typing away frantically most days now….) writes about the pressure that puts on an author.
What pressure? How can that happen? Isn’t having a best seller a big sigh of relief for an author….? I mean, your name is out there? (This is my alter ego asking….the one that wants to go to the mall after work to look at those really cute shoes on sale atMacy’s)
Well, when you hit that number one best seller list, no matter where, there is pressure. Pressure to keep yourself in the reader’s mind. To be seen. To be out there — in their face so to speak. And that means, yes, you’ve guessed it, you need to have more books out there. Well, books take writing, and writing takes time. Balance with this the need to hurry up and get that book done, and you are in a fix if you’re not very, very good at juggling.
Juggling what? Oh, you know—life, the one with other people in it, with the life you lead through your keyboard. Let’s not even mention the need for food, exercise (ha!) and some kind of beverage that doesn’t make you have to use the restroom too often. I’m talking family. Those people that love you and want to spend time with you because they love you …or let’s be realistic, they want to eat, have clean clothes and hear your opinion on their opinion that they shouldn’t do homework before they watch a television show…..
Yeah. All that. J So, yes, a best seller is thrilling and exciting, but you have to learn to structure your life if you want to stay on top of your game. I have to set aside time for what I want done, when, and how I’ll do it tons more than I ever did prior than my pep talk with my publishers. Add to that my recent move to another country and I’ve created a bear of a problem if I don’t schedule my time correctly.
So, my days start out with coffee -anyone that doesn’t probably uses Mountain Dew- but coffee is, to borrow a phrase, my cup of tea. While I enjoy my java, I have an hour to read what I’ve written the night before. I do that, work out any kinks, then I have to get ready for my day job and help assist my mini me in clothing selection (uniforms are a blessing I’ve learned), shower negotiations, lunch prep, breakfast, maybe throw in laundry too, and then we’re out the door. Evenings are reserved for homework, while I read a bit more of my story – just once more is always nice. After that, we are both allowed to do our thing. She can play or watch one show, I get to put on headphones and write. One blessed hour if I’m lucky. Then bed time for her, glass of water, check the fan and make sure the door is open – then for me, it’s writing until I can’t keep my eyes open.
Shopping, leaving the house for long trips, and so on are always for the weekend, so I can write for half my day and do all that other stuff – groceries, fun stuff at parks, goofing off 101 with mini and so on.
Then the week starts all over again.
Not bad, really. I also bank on the fact that my day job is only 10 months out of the year and the other 2 are open for more writing, and fun stuff with mini. I have vacations too, but those are usually filled as well, with half writing, half fun.
I guess, hitting that best seller list though, was and is, worth it. I still write, I still love it, and I still want it to be something that others enjoy reading. So, all in all, while it’s moved into the #2 spot in my life– family is still in the #1 spot – it’s still as an important part of me. Mostly, the deadlines are moving me one step closer to my dream of one day being a full time writer. At least when I do hit that fluffy dream, I’ll know more of the reality of writing – really, truly writing for my work– and my pleasure!
Billi Jean on Total E-Bound
Billi Jean on Noble Romance Publishing