I have a cushy job, right? I set my own hours, spend a huge percentage of them living in a fantasy world, stare unblinking into space for days without anyone calling the little men with the butterfly nets. I’m a writer.
So with so many pluses, what do writers worry about? In the interests of education, I thought today I’d list a few of mine. Clearly I have forgotten some of them, but I won’t worry about that. Not with so much better material to occupy me.
- A quick perusal of Amazon today shows that while Sunset Bridge received 27 reviews, so far One Mountain Away has received only 17. Does this mean fewer people are buying it? Does it mean they have read it, but they are too kind to review it poorly so they haven’t reviewed it at all? Does it mean they bought it, but it’s still sitting on a shelf because they haven’t yet forced themselves (for a variety of possible reasons) to open and read it?
- How can I gently request that my readers review it without sounding like a relentless self-promoter?
- While going through the first round of edits on Somewhere Between Luck and Trust I’ve been forced (!) to make some changes. Will the changes somehow contradict something else in the story that I’ve forgotten about? Will my readers toss the book across the room because my character eats pickles in one chapter and renounces them in another. (Full disclosure: There aren’t any real pickles in this story. I don’t think so, anyway. Darn, maybe I’d better check . . .)
- My colleagues are busily putting books up on line. I’ve been busy moving. Will the big e-book tidal wave pass right over me as I unpack boxes of sheets and towels? Will my readers forget who I am if I don’t put backlist online by tomorrow?
- I haven’t tweeted in days. Furthermore I have nothing relevant to tweet. (Not that I should be stopped by something that minor.)
- I would like to send a Christmas email to my readers. Do I have anything worth saying? Can I say anything in 300 words or less? It’s not likely.
- I would like to send my editor and agent citrus fruit for the holiday. How many of their other writers are doing exactly the same thing? Dare I ask and spoil the surprise? Better than boxes of spoiling fruit?
- When, exactly, will I have time to tackle the new books I want to put online? Perhaps another Shenandoah Album novel. Perhaps another Ministry is Murder mystery. Can I squeeze more writing time into my schedule when I’m now living in the land of perpetual sunshine and opportunity?
Clearly none of these concerns are earth-shaking. In fact, as I list them, I have to smile. In the long run what really matters? I love what I do, and somehow things always get done in time. I think sometimes I just liketo worry. How about you?Try making a list of your own worries. You might find it helpful. Of course, you might also find it makes things worse. But don’t worry about that until it happens. You’ll have enough to keep you busy without it.