Since I have a day job and a family, I often find myself wondering if I’m doing enough as a writer. Am I working hard enough? Concentrating sufficiently? Making progress? Sometimes the best way to answer these questions is to take stock of the week’s tasks.
This week I managed to write a little every day, which doesn’t happen often. I resumed working on a short story I hadn’t looked at in over a year. I started plotting the fourth mystery in a series I’m still marketing to publishers. The first two books are finished and the third is a work in progress which I’m putting aside for awhile. It’s not often I get to plot a novel. Truth is, I spend maybe 2% of my writing time plotting, 5% writing the first draft and the rest is all rewrites and editing.
Between this week’s writing spurts I queried my local Chapters about doing a Meet 'N Greet this fall and queried a publisher who’s had my manuscript for fourteen months. Their guidelines state that they might keep a manuscript up to a year, so I waited patiently and queried after thirteen months. Five weeks later, I wrote yet another follow-up letter on Thursday. Is it any wonder so many writers give up finding a publisher?
I also worked on a proposal for giving a presentation this fall, and prepared a letter for libraries also regarding presentations. I drafted up a review and wrote my weekly white-collar crime blog. When there wasn’t much energy left for thinking, I visited MySpace, GoodReads, Kindleboards, ebookgab, amazon discussion groups and tweeted.
I’m a writer who believes in reading anything and everything as much as possible. I read an hour a day. Is it enough? I doubt it. Is any of the above enough for a week’s work? I have no idea. I remember attending the Surrey Writers’ Conference a few year books and listening to two successful fiction writers discuss earning six-figure incomes from their writing. Both of them put in more than ninety hours a week on their craft: twenty-five new pages each morning and editing at night. Could I do that? No. Would I want to do that? No. It’s all about balance, I think, and trying not to berate myself for not doing more.
To read excerpts of Fatal Encryption and Taxed to Death, visit http://www.debrapurdykong.com/.