Let me tell you a secret about publishing: things never go the way you think they’re going to go. Even when you’re a published author. That waiting period before you hear from anyone important? It still happens when you’re published. Not as long as when you’re not, perhaps, but waiting is a part of the deal. And it’s as excruciating, no matter what stage of your career you’re in.
Over the last three years, I’ve learnt to plan my way through this.
Now, this might be unsurprising coming from me. Planning is how I work through my anxiety issues; it’s also the way I stay productive. At the moment, my calendar is planned through to the end of this year. Which might seem extreme (oh, who am I kidding? It is extreme.), but this is how I balance working for two publishers. The problem with this though is that often, I can be a slave to my plan. If something doesn’t go the way I’ve planned it to go, I panic. Based on what I’ve told you about publishing, you’re right to assume that I’m panicking a lot.
But this year, I’d like to change that.
In the last month, I’ve changed my diary four times. I cringed each time. But I did it – because along with courage, I am, apparently, trying to be flexible this year. Or perhaps not flexible as much as making sure that I don’t have an anxiety attack every time there’s a delay outside of my control. The point is, when you’re in publishing, you have to plan. The more significant point is that you have to be prepared to plan again. And again.
Regardless of how those plans look – writing goals, word counts, blog posts – an essential part of being an author is being consistent. It doesn’t matter what that consistency looks for you – writing once a month or every day; writing 500 words or 5000 – it’s a required skill to be in this career. So, take a deep breath with me, open your diaries, and plan.
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