So last night, right before bedtime, I finished the last of four short stories tied directly into my novel SEVEN FORGES. They’re freebies. They’ll be going up soon on different sites within the Blogosphere and hopefully they’ll generate a little interest in the novel and…you get the idea.
I mention them because before I could send them I had to write them (and a huge thanks to Allison Pang, my hero, for editing them on the side and doing a mighty fine job). That’s four small plates to spin. Before I could spin those four, I had to finish the first of four parts of a novella. Before that I was working on my ALIENS novel. And while I was working on the aforementioned novel, I was doing line edits for SEVEN FORGES. And at the same time I did multiple interviews for that very same novel. I did them and gladly (and I will always do interviews gladly) but each interview, each revision, each work in progress, each proposal for a series, is another plate. Before I did the line edits for SEVEN FORGES, I was doing the line edits for the ALIENS novel.
I spin a lot of plates for a guy with a full time job.
Now that all of that is out of the way, I will start my next novel, the sequel to SEVEN FORGES, tonight. After I get done with the day job. I’d do it now, but I’m busily writing this essay. Yep. Another plate, that one’s weekly. It spins; it spins. I have the next part of that serial novella to handle. I have another novella to write. It’s already sold, so, you know, kinda gotta get to it pretty soon. Charles R. Rutledge, my co-author for BLIND SHADOWS and the forthcoming sequel CONGREGATIONS OF THE DEAD, is currently doing the line edits on CONGREGATIONS. He’s glad to, because it’s still relatively a new thing for him. He works a full time job too. I can’t guarantee that every one of my fellow word-whores has a second gig, but I’m pretty sure that most of them do. Keep in mind that I consider raising children responsibly yet another full time job and suddenly I don’t seem nearly as busy as most of them. When I’m done with THE CHOSEN (That’s the sequel to SEVEN FORGES) I have another novel to write with Charles. He’s being patient with me. We’ve been planning to write this for a while. Speaking of patience, there’s Christopher Golden, who had to wait most of a year for me to finish my part of a novella that should have taken me three weeks. My mind kept skipping away from it for reasons that I’ve discussed elsewhere.
Planned for the near future: FROM A LOWER DEEP, has to be written (Another sequel, this time to DEEPER) and BOOMTOWN needs to be finished (Remember those two novellas I was talking about, the ones I’m writing by myself? Yeah, they’re sequels to BOOMTOWN so I really should get that finished for the long time followers of Jonathan Crowley, whose the main character in all three.), I have two separate proposals to finish and send off to my agent, I have a novel called FRESH KILL to finish. Like BOOMTOWN and my novella with Christopher Golden, FRESH KILL was put on hold because I simply could not write it at that time (Just to summarize, the reason for the delays pertains directly to my wife’s passing. I never stopped writing, but I put certain projects aside out of necessity: they simply hurt too much for me to think about.). I also have a novelette to write for V-WARS: BLOOD AND FIRE. That just happened in the last week. Know what else happened? A wonderful, rare chance to deal with a couple of friends and associates doing their thing at Dragon-Con. I didn’t actually make it to con, but I dropped by and had dinner, just met up with some folks and did a little business.
Sounds like a lot? It is. But managing my time makes a big difference. As I have said before I am a full time writer. That means I write full time. Most weeks that’s at least 30 hours in addition to the 35-40 hours a week at the daytime job. Some weeks it’s a lot more. It was that way when I was married and it’s that way now that I’m a widower. I still manage to set a little time aside for socializing. Heck, when you get right down to it I was socializing when I went down to the con. The con is ending today, by the way, and I am planning lunch with one of my fellow word-whores as she heads back to her home stomping grounds. If we can work it. Then I go to the day job (I’m actually helping someone else out so he can move to a different apartment—I never said I was smart. Smart would be telling him “no” and moving on, but I try to be a nice guy and he has a family to move.) When I’m done with job, like I said before, I’ll write the first few scenes of THE CHOSEN. I already know how it starts. I’ve been waiting to write this for a while. Other projects to finish first. All things in their time.
Spinning Plates. That's what it comes down to for me. Get the plates up on their sticks and balance them and keep them balanced by continuing the spin. Different sizes, different speeds, but ultimately all part of the pattern you've designed by intent or accident.
Remember what I said before about Jeffe? It still stands. She gives awesome advice. All I can add to it is simply this: If you want it badly enough, you’ll make the time. You don’t think that’s possible? Then you should pay attention to the articles that pop up this week on this site, because I suspect they’re all going to have examples like Jeffe’s and mine. Seriously I doubt any one of us ever thought we’d be this busy all the time. I also doubt a one of us feels less than horrifically guilty if we’re too far behind on schedules. No one ever expects to be insanely busy. Sometimes it’s the only option. I mean I could quit writing if I wanted to. No, really, I could. I managed to quit smoking and I survived. And I’m only a little over a hundred times more addicted to writing, so how hard could it be?