Greetings to all the Archer’s Aim readers. I hope everyone had a good Memorial day weekend. Everyone in my part of the country is dealing with the tropical storm and all the associated rain, so our weekend was a little up and down. Anyway, I thought that today I would share a little more behind-the-scenes of what it’s like being an author.
Many authors like me work a day job so we don’t have all day to spend on our writing. For self published authors, there are a lot of tasks that go into writing beyond merely getting words onto paper. We have to spend a precious allotment of time on other details including artwork, marketing, blogging and much more. So that can add a self published author’s plate on any given day.
Since I’m now dictating my newest books, my writing day begins with dictation into a recording device during my commute to work. I also dictate on my way home or if I go anywhere else during the day or the evening. This allows me to write several thousand more new words a day. If I actually get out of bed earlier, then I also dictate between the time of getting ready and actually leaving for work. At this point in my writing, making sure that I write every day is very important and relieves a lot of anxiety about getting it done. My books have progressed at a steady rate and I’ve been able to complete two novels in the last few months, writing well over 150,000 words.
So, dictation is an important part of my day as a writer. Transcription can take some time so I tend to use that function when I’m doing something else away from my laptop. If I eat dinner or go for a run or take a shower, I’m usually transcribing the files that I have dictated earlier in the day. If I find that I don’t have enough time in the evening to transcribe everything, then I wait and transcribe it while I’m at work.
Lunch is another time where I try to fit in some author-related tasks that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to do. I might go through my email and answer anything of importance, or work on some small marketing tasks. I do try to make a little downtime during lunch otherwise so that I’m not constantly doing something either writing or work-related.
Since I have several books now finished in rough draft, I spend my available time in the evenings editing. This is a bit more of a time-consuming task but it’s important that I keep it separated from my regular creative work because creativity and editing are rather exclusive tasks. I tend to stay in motion during the work-week, and try to fit in as much writing time on the weekends as there is available.
Last year, when I was out of work I was essentially a full time author even though it did not make as much money as I needed. I have continued trying to work even more on my writing since I have gone back to a regular job so that if the opportunity presents itself I will be ready to step into being a full-time author once again.
Being even a part-time author is a second job, and one which can be very time-consuming. But I enjoy the writing so I like spending my time on it. Now that I’m dictating I’m getting far more done than I ever have before so I’m excited that I will soon be able to begin publishing some new books.
As I mentioned above, authors frequently must spend time on other tasks if they are self-published. Since I’m under contract for an audiobook, I do have to spend time with the production side of things. Recently, that has meant that I worked on pronunciation audio files, answering a variety of questions about the book and providing as much detailed information for the narrator as possible. Additionally, since I contract out my artwork I have to be in communication with an artist over anything that comes up in that regard. If I am going to work with editing the project professionally, then I have to work with an editor and scheduling time for her services. I often receive other email about any number of topics so those can take up some time.
So that’s something of what it’s like to be a self-published author today. It can be very busy but also very rewarding. I love to hear from readers and reviewers about their thoughts on the work. It can be very exciting when contract offers arrive and other types of interest are shown in the work. The next several months will be just as busy as they have been recently and I expect to stay in constant writing motion over that time just producing the several books on which I am working..
I hope this helps readers and other authors know what my writing day is like and how much it takes to produce a book and then get it in front of readers. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks for reading today.