As I start to write this blog, I have to wonder how quickly I'll be able to finish it. Lately I've found myself struggling to manage my time well enough to accomplish all things. My day job, I don't get paid enough as a writer not to have a day job, is keeping me phenomenally busy to the point that I've put in several hours outside of my normal work hours to hit my target deadlines. This obviously means that I have had less time to spend with my wife, our kids, my friends, or even my video games.
Of course, if I'm not spending time with any of the things I hold dear when I'm not working does that mean that I'm spending that time writing?
I wish but no. It seems that marketing for myself as an author and my books takes significantly more time than I had expected. Steady social media updates are important so I have to constantly create content, schedule future content, and try to find ways to keep it all relevant. Blog posts are another big thing which take time to write, edit, schedule, edit some more, promote when they get published, and then do more editing. And then there's the ads. Figuring out which posts should be boosted, which ads to run on different platforms, and so on. It all takes an incredible amount of time.
But let's not forget that as I'm working my day job, trying to manage all of the aspects of my social media, and spend time with my family that I'm still working with Newman Springs Publishing to get my next book out. This means reviewing editing updates, provide feedback, rinse, and repeat until happy. Then it goes into typesetting where it is a repeat of the editing cycle where they send me a version to review, I send back feedback that may include changes I want/need, they make the changes, they send it back to me for review, and so on until I'm happy and approve that part. Then we go to cover design. I have to provide the publisher with cover art notes of what I think I want the cover of the book to look like. They use their tools and resources to create something as close to my description as they can. That is sent to me for review and then we go back through the same repetitive cycle as with the previous steps until I'm happy.
One might think that is the end of it but it isn't.
Once we have the editing done, the typesetting done, and the cover art done, the publisher sends me the final digital draft that includes all of the components in a single file for submission to the printer. Once that's approved, the books goes to the printer for a test print. It can take a few weeks for the test run to be delivered but then I have to review the printed work to make sure I'm happy with everything so I can approve it for final retail distribution. Sadly, with the first two books I found errors in the print that required us to back up a few steps and go through it all again until the print test was deemed worthy of my approval.
With book 3, the book currently in the publishing process, I just completed the typesetting review and approved that stage. Now I'm waiting on the cover art but that usually requires 2 or 3 revisions before final approval.
One might think that I could do some writing while I wait but now I have a monthly newsletter I need to work on getting ready, networking to do with other authors to find new sales leads, a wife who I love dearly and want to spend time with when able, and an aging body that finds it harder and harder to stay up late day after day.
I wrote most of my series The Ascension Legacy while traveling for work. For months I spent many nights in hotel rooms with nothing to do but write. I had nothing published, nothing in the process of being published, no social media to worry about, no sales to focus on, and nothing else to distract me from my writing. I have a number of books left to write now that I've finished my epic series but it seems that my time will be unevenly split between the rest of my life with a new-found focus on promoting what I've written and less on what I want to write.
But I suppose I should be happy. I'm published. I find writing fun and something I want to do more of but I guess if I want to have any level of success then I should embrace the new responsibilities of creating something new for the world to enjoy.