Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Writer's Week

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

Fatal Encryption is available through at and Taxed to Death can be found at

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