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Writing: Take Your Time to Love Your Writing

This Writers’ Wednesday, Pauline Baird Jones, an award-winning novelist who writes romance, action-adventure, suspense, romantic suspense and comedy-mystery, as well as several short story collections, offers a timely reminder not to lose track of the sheer joy of writing as we pursue our self-publishing ambitions.

Pauline Baird Jones headshot

Writers, don’t forget to enjoy the ride!Pauline Baird Jones offers a rousing reminder of the thrill of it all.

This an exciting (and crazy) time to be an author. We have more choices and opportunities than any of us could have ever have predicted (even with our big imaginations).

But in opportunity, there is also chaos.

It’s like we went from managing a window box garden to dealing with acres and acres of crops. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the “you must do this right now or your sales will fall precipitously, bringing shame to indie publishing, and launching the  zombie apocalypse.”

Who wants to be responsible for that?

So we put our heads down and labor in our book gardens, managing rights, tending to keywords, promoting, learning and listening to everyone and everything—and we do it while writing what we hope will be The Next Big Thing, propelling us to riches and fame (and saving our brains from the zombies).

There is so much to learn, so much we can do, that I sometimes find myself spinning like a top, while my “crops” wilt from all the dust I’m kicking up.

And if I don’t stop, if I don’t quit comparing my progress to everyone around me, then I will crash into the wall—or turn into a zombie.

I take a deep breath.

Actually several of them.

And I remind myself that I am the Big Boss (and occasionally Evil Over Lord) of my acreage, wholly in charge of everything—and that includes ME.

If I don’t take care of me, then the Muse not only shuts down it kicks up a mini zombie apocalypse inside my head (how sad is it to eat my own brain?), and creates even more havoc to the book garden.

This is when I go back to the beginning when I did this for fun. That’s when I remember why I started this madness.

Cover of The Spy Who Kissed Me

This one definitely sounds like fun!

I go back to when I wrote because I loved it. When I wrote because I couldn’t not tell the stories bubbling inside me.

I remember what it felt like to watch the words spilling out of my head and onto the computer screen. I recall how it felt to get that first good review. And that first fan letter. That perfect moment when someone got what I wrote.

Happy sigh.

That’s why I did it. In the end, that’s why I still do it.

Yes, I am running a business, and I try very hard to run my business well, but if I only wrote for business reasons, well, there are easier, less public ways to suffer.

I chose to start writing. I choose to publish what I write. I brought this on myself, but…

…I get to choose how I do it. I get to choose how fast—or slow—I write.

My garden is my kingdom and I get to rule it my way. If I don’t want to do something, that’s okay. If I want to take off my business hat and get in touch with my inner child, or not write that book in the hot new genre, that’s okay, too.

Cover of Out of Time

In reality, indie authors have all the time in the world…

Because the other great thing about indie publishing right now? We have time:

  • Time to build
  • Time to connect with the readers who will like what we write
  • Time to stop, to start over, to try, to fail, and to try again

We can do it our way without bringing about the end of the world as we know it.

Really.

OVER TO YOU What do you love best about being an indie author? How do you keep it fun while staying focused? We’d love to know!

RELATED POSTS

Writing: The Role of the Writer and Why I Write What I Write

Why It’s Good to Beat a Writer’s Retreat

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7 Responses to Writing: Take Your Time to Love Your Writing

  1. Kassandra Lamb July 31, 2016 at 2:30 am #

    Timely reminder for me, Pauline. I set out to write 10 novels in my mystery series, but last year I started a new series that really excites me. I’d rather be writing that one. But I’m slogging away on Book 9 in the original series.

    I’m enjoying revisiting those characters (they’re like old friends), but my heart’s not completely in it. And since I have no agent or publisher to answer to, I can stop with this one. Yay for indie publishing!!

  2. Julie Day July 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    I like having control over what you write. You can write a short story, a novella or a novel, or all three (not in one go). I don’t worry too much about keywords and that, I just write what I want to write and enjoy writing.

    • Pauline Baird Jones July 30, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

      I do, too, Julie. I worry about keywords when I’m uploading and then I mostly forget them. lol

  3. clare Weiner July 27, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    This is very timely.

    I really enjoyed writing Baby, Baby, I enjoyed The Labyrinth Year less, … and I have been stuck on all the details of the Indie writing thing, on an doff, during this year to the detriment of getting on with developing Love You to the Moon – 3rd in a series.

    It’s all those articles about keywords, sales, covers, what sells, and how to do this and that which can spook a writer. And make it feel like hard work and up the stress – like , Is this worth doing, in a world of indie writer entrepreneurs who know all the ropes and the tricks?

    Maybe we all need to encourage one another more in our creative storytelling. And look at why we write?

    • Pauline Baird Jones July 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm #

      The business part can totally overwhelm the creative side, and yes, we totally need to encourage others (and ourselves!) to get playful with our creativity! If you’re not enjoying something, then why do it?

  4. Brenda Faucon July 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

    The weather has been beautiful where I live so I’ve made it a point in the last few weeks to take my notebooks and fountain pens to the garden, or take the scooter for a drive to an inspiring setting. I may sit on the bank of a river, or with my back against a medieval wall. Of course there’s the odd terrace for a coffee or a glass of wine but regardless, I’ve really enjoyed getting away from the computer to write longhand and let my imagination fly with the sun and a breeze on my skin.

    • Pauline Baird Jones July 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

      I’ve had amazing weather here, too. I know it’s helped calm my insides and has helped remind me to let my imagination loose.

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