Friday, August 1, 2014

YA Guy... Just Writes!

With the release of Survival Colony 9 less than two months away, pressures are building.

I've got a podcast interview scheduled for Monday. A Skype interview for later in August. Several blog interviews I have to write. Another several guest posts. Keeping my website updated about reviews and events. Inviting people to the launch party. Ordering food, decorations, and door prizes for the same. Making travel arrangements for a couple conferences where I'll be signing books. And so on.

Don't get me wrong. These are all nice pressures. I'd be a fool to complain about them. But they're pressures nonetheless.

And there are other pressures that go along with debuting that aren't so nice. Worrying about pre-sales. Checking Goodreads numbers and Amazon rankings. Wondering if and when my second book will sell.

These pressures are self-inflicted, of course. I don't have to check rankings or worry about numbers. But trust me, it's hard not to.

So today, I decided to take a break from all that stuff and do the one thing I most love about being a writer. Can you guess what it is?

That's right. I wrote.

I just wrote. I didn't open my browser until I'd finished a chapter of my current work-in-progress, the final installment in the YA science-fiction trilogy that begins with Survival Colony 9. (As it turns out, that was the book's final chapter, so I only need to add the epilogue and I'll have a complete draft.) I didn't worry about how well Survival Colony 9 might be doing in pre-sales, or how many cupcakes I have to order for the launch, or whether reviewers are going to like or hate my first book, or whether my editor is going to make an offer on my second. I just wrote.

All writers--and, perhaps, debut writers in particular--feel the pressure. Writing might seem like a carefree, glamorous life, but it involves lots of hard work and worry. Again, it's work and worry I'm more than willing to take on. But when you're stuck in the middle of it, it's easy to lose sight of what all the work and worry are for.

So my advice to writers? Every once in a while, just write.

Take my word for it. It'll do wonders.


  1. I hear you on this! So many things to worry about -- good things that need your attention -- and the self-inflicted worries. Numbers. Comparisons. Doubt.

    And since I gave up teaching, I feel extra pressure to produce something new that will sell. For the past 2 years, I've written nothing except the Eighth Day books. And now I need to come up with something new. And the thing I was working on? I'm stuck. I haven't written new words since Saturday. It no longer seems fresh or original or fun.

    So last night and then again this morning -- I opened up 2 old dead projects and just wrote. For fun. For practice. Not caring if they are sell-worthy. Not caring if I ever finish them. I just wrote.

    I feel better.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Dianne! I love the idea of going back to old projects to get oneself out of a rut, or just for the sheer joy of creating. When I finish book 3, I think that's exactly what I'm going to do!

  2. The business side of writing can become overwhelming if you let it. Worrying about ranking and sales can be paralyzing. Good for you for turning back to basics and remembering what got you into this in the first place. You'll need to do that again and again as the career progresses, because without new material, there are no readers, events, cupcakes, ranks to worry about.

    1. Oh my gosh--you mean it gets WORSE? Well, okay. Deep breath. I can deal. Just write!