2016-04-03

Burn-out

Updates
I received the comments for Dragonverse Origins from my content editor. I have not yet opened the commented manuscript but the initial response from Lee is very positive. Yesterday was a very productive writing day. I wrote for hours early in the morning while my wife slept; At the bookstore; and again at home because my wife’s sister came over for a visit with her.

I have finished re-editing and reformatting (for Kindle anyway) Ishnef’s Revenge (book 2 of the Dragonverse series). I’ve been so busy doing re-editing and reformatting that I have not had time to look to see if I have the bare artwork for the covers for the rest of the books I have left to finish in my professionalization project. As of right now, I have the following left to do:
·       Reformat Dragonverse books 1 and 2 for CreateSpace.
·       Reformat Off Course and When Ships Mutiny for Kindle and CreateSpace (no re-editing of these).
·       Look to see if I have the artwork for the above books so I can redo the covers in my new format.

Once all the above is complete, I can upload all these books to Amazon. That will herald the completion of my professionalization project. If you’ve been following my blog, you might recall that I started this process back in September – over 6 months ago.

Now that Ishnef’s Revenge has been re-edited, I will begin working on incorporating the changes to Dragonverse Origins suggested by my content editor. I hope to have those changes done and the manuscript in the hands of my wife for her proofing pass. While she does that, I’ll begin work on Peacekeeper 3. When my wife is done with her proofing, I’ll put the corrections in place and then send the near final product to a fan in Germany for his opinion.

I don’t know if he remembers, but I promised this fan the opportunity to read my next book. Even though he’s German, his English is impeccable. My wife is very good at proofing but nobody is perfect. Having a second proofreader look at the manuscript before it’s released will allow me to have confidence that I’ve found virtually all of the errors. I will start looking for a cover in the next few weeks.

Speaking of errors: If you’re a writer, you should have had it drilled into your head that you need to have your manuscript looked at by an editor. A good editor is worth their weight in platinum. But, many self-published authors don’t have the financial resources to have their books edited by a professional. Good editors are not cheap! The best alternative then is to have as many people as possible look at your book. Find people who have no qualms about telling you what needs to be fixed. If at all possible, get people who know the difference between loose and lose, who’s and whose, there and their, as well as having the ability to recognize poor grammar. Releasing a book with one or two mistakes is okay, even large publishing houses do this. But releasing a book with a spelling or grammatical error in every chapter is unacceptable.

All of this intense focus on writing these past few months has come at a price though. If I have 30 minutes of free time, I devote it to writing. My wife has complained that I spend too much time writing and she groaned when I told her I would be starting work on Peacekeeper as soon as possible. Tiffany Trent (an author whom I met at Launch Pad) has written a very good article on author burn-out. If you have a few minutes, you should read it. Authors not only have to worry about burning themselves out, they have to consider the people they live with as well. Another author I know posted a blog about this very subject. I wish I could recall who and when so I could post the link.

I’m the type of writer who listens to my readers. When they provide me with feedback, I listen and I learn. It makes me a better writer. I think it’s high time I applied that same philosophy to my life. I’ve been listening to my wife and I’ve been trying to set writing aside when she’s around. I have plenty of time to write: In the morning when she’s sleeping and I don’t have to work; After work if she’s not home; At the bookstore on weekends. My biggest problem now will be cutting back on reading Twitter. I follow every person that I’ve met at Launch Pad (those that are on Twitter anyway) and a very few others. I read every tweet. Back when I only followed a very few this wasn’t a problem. Now, I follow 70+ people and it takes quite a while to keep current. So far, I’ve managed, but after this year’s Launch Pad I’m going to have to figure out a better solution.


That’s it for this week. Time to get back to work.