Saturday, March 14, 2015
The lull before the storm....
A very topical title for very different reasons; I live in New Zealand, in the South Pacific, slightly down and to the right of Australia if you're looking at a globe. As I write this the winds are getting up and the clouds are coming over very dark and grey; it's the very outer reaches of cyclone Pam popping into our weather pattern. Pam was upgraded to a level 5 on the cyclone scale, and has inflicted massive damage on the lovely island of Vanuato over the last 36 hours; dark clouds, a spot of rain and a heavy breeze in the trees here, no comparison.
Anyway, my 'lull before the storm' has a very different meaning, mine is purely to do with writing.
My 'writers pot' is empty! There have been a lot of necessary personal expenses lately that have pretty much emptied the bank account, and certainly stripped available funds away from any editing or proof reading, or cover design - the whole lot. And I am absolutely sure that every Indie writer has been in this same situation - if not yet, I'm pretty certain most will be.
However, this is not a reason to be gloomy as I am just as certain that better times lay ahead! In this situation my focus for the foreseeable future has to be to ensure that I am ready for that time, when it arrives. My attention turns back to unfinished works, using the time to polish, and re-polish. I'm looking for that time when I can send three or maybe four stories to Judy to start to work her magic.
I consider this an Indie Authors most vulnerable time. This is where the temptation to take short cuts is at its strongest, it plays tricks on the mind; I mean, really, do I need to actually pay someone to edit my stories? I've been writing for nearly three years now, surely I can do this by myself right? I want to keep publishing my stories because I'm sort of developing a bit of a reader base and I don't want them to forget about me, so maybe if I put one.... just one story, it can't hurt, can it?
DON'T DO IT!
Your reputation as an Author takes a lifetime to achieve, and one split second of madness to destroy. Yes, the temptation is there, of course it is, but it is never worth the risk.
Utilize the time to expand your presence in other ways - social media, local groups, on-line discussions (although please remember the warnings). There is so much that you can be doing during these times of financial hardship that will help you on your path, don't do the thing that will cause irreparable damage, don't cut out the editor because they are the one person that will make your story stand out on a professional level.
It is a fact of life, peaks and troughs. So, I'm off to reread one of my manuscripts because I'm pretty sure there will be improvements I can make - especially on 'Elementals' because that one will be huge once it's published.
That storm I mentioned, that's the point where finances are back on track and the pressure shifts to Judi as I submit a torrent of stories for editing and publishing; I know she'll be ready.