A lot of people travel during the holidays, and many of us focus on how efficiently we can get from point A to point B. How many times is the first question you get asked when arriving at a destination after a long drive, “How long did it take?”
It’s important to learn to not just focus on the ultimate goal, but pause to enjoy the journey.
The journey of writing is similar. About two years ago, I set the outrageously optimistic goal of releasing eight books in eight months. Not possible, even if I was just releasing ebooks. But given the fact that I also release paperbacks and hardcovers too, it’s simply not humanly possible. Dealing with the printer, getting proofs, waiting for shipping, etc alone takes more than a month per book.
I might have been naïve to the true amount of work required to publish as an indie writer, but I tackled the challenges with a determination to get there. Despite my eagerness to release books, I refused to skimp on quality to hit a crazy deadline.
Big surprise – I didn’t make my goal.
However, in the last 18 months, I’ve released five novels, won spots for two of my short stories in fantastic anthologies, and donated a third to an anthology raising funds to fight plagiarism. Not bad.
It’s been crazy-busy learning the ins and outs of running my own indie-publishing company, completing manuscripts, final edits, MS prep, interior formatting, cover design, giveaways, traveling to conventions, etc. Plus, like everyone, there’s still that pesky day job, family, kids’ activities, community involvement, sleep, etc.
Sales are building in the right direction, and hopefully this year they’ll reach a tipping point and take off. Until then, I’ll keep releasing novels, just on a more reasonable time table.
At times it’s been easy to get so focused on the next project, the next milestone, and my never-ending to-do list that I can forget to pause and enjoy the journey.
The end of the year is a great time to do so. When I take the time to reflect on the past eighteen months, I take a deep breath and enjoy the milestones.
There’s still lots of work to do, and that will never change. But I can enjoy each step in the process. And I can celebrate so much material being published and enjoyed by fans: