A few weeks ago I realized that there was no way I could keep up with my weekly character blog Payne In the Blog and write books through the summer – with the little kiddies home from school. Since both my boys are under five years of age they require constant attention, so finding time to write is almost impossible during the day. Then once night comes around and they are safely tucked into bed, I am so exhausted, most nights I just end up passing out right after I tuck them in.
Very recently I discovered a small publisher, that has some authors I like, has an open call to submission for steamy romantic comedies. Right up my alley, is all I can think. A day later I see another BIG time romance publisher has a contest with Wattpad, for 10,000 words of a 55,000 story.
Did I do the sensible thing and snap my fingers going, “Oh shucks, wish I had the time, but I don’t.” HELL NO! What am I stupid…don’t answer that.
No, I decided to do both at the same time. Am I crazy for doing this? Well, if you have read my blog or any of my books then you will know that, yes, I am very much crazy. I shouldn’t even be spending what little time I have for writing, writing a post about what little time I have for writing. And yet I am.
Luckily, I have a few manuscripts I started last year and never got past the beginning of them before setting them aside. So I broke out two that I have always wanted to finish, tweaked them a bit (the publishers like 3rd person, so I had to adjust that) and finishing them for the submissions.
I think it helps I already know how the plot will go and understand the characters like the back of my hand (I have had a year to think about them). What is hard is getting up at five in the morning everyday so I can get some work done before the kids wake. That is taking a lot to adjust to. Also, writing in third person has its advantages and disadvantages for me.
This is a good exercise for me. It forces me to work on time management and I am trying to challenge myself to write in the parameters of what the publisher expects. They like their books a certain way, which I understand. They have loyal fans that make them money. I would be a fool to think they only want the most creative work out there. They want what sells, as they are a business after all.
I like the challenge of fitting my ideas to their formula while still retaining my voice. My self-publish stuff is my 100% creative me doing what I want how I want. The stuff I send to a publisher is partly them and partly me. They will (hopefully) pay me so I can put that money into the 100% me stuff.
Some authors are of the mindset that you should only write what you want to write and never cater to ‘big brother’. I think that’s great! If they can afford to do that, more power to them. Unfortunately, I have a family to feed and we have been struggling for years. I am a new author trying to make it and need some income soon. This allows me to make money (probably not a lot, but some) while doing what I love. To me, this is a gift that a lot of people never get to experience in life.
Therefore, I am happy and excited with the challenges I face over the next two months, while at the same time I am not looking forward to the exhaustion.