The other path

Craig here today to talk about something most writers don’t discuss. We always write about our ongoing projects, maybe share a new trick we’ve picked up, that sort of thing.

Today, I want to talk about that other time in a writer’s life. I can only speak for myself, but I don’t constantly draft new material. When I do, I tend to hit it pretty hard, but I’m fast approaching that crossroads again.

Once I finish my draft, I’ll probably do some specific word searches and correct the simple errors before putting it away somewhere. I need distance to make my editing passes. This doesn’t mean I’m not working at the writing life, it’s just not drafting new material.

I have a cover and promotional artwork ordered, but won’t need it until it’s time to publish. The down time will give me some time to draft promotional posts. It may be months before I’m ready to publish, but there’s no time like the present to get the promo stuff written.

Then there is October. Don’t laugh, because it will be here before you know it. October has always been kind to me. I have several paranormal stories that work well for October promotions. I’ll need to figure out exactly what I’ll be doing then and get organized for it. I might do a free day, or pay for some advertising. No idea yet. These books have been promoted before, and I saved all of that data. I might be able to mine it for some updated posts.

I’ll also do some minor fiction projects in this time. I like to run out some micro stuff with a Halloween theme on my blog. These are just for fun, but I look forward to it every year. I need about four blog-length stories before then.

I have some projects I need to attend to as well. I joined BookBub, but haven’t done anything with it. I need to find all my friends, and transfer all the reviews I can. It seems like a good community, but I’m dragging my feet until I finish this draft.

Then there are the storyboards. I have about four at various stages of maturity. I need to put some imagination into those with an eye toward what I’ll write next. That could make a whole post on its own.

So how about it, gang, do you constantly draft new material, or do you need the down time for other projects? I’m always trying to learn, and I’d love to find out what others do.

53 thoughts on “The other path

  1. I need up-time. There is always something getting in my way of finishing my WIPs. I eventually finish them, but not in the time frame that I would like to. And I moderate a group of young writers as well, and that takes up time. So each of us need to learn how to manage our writing/down time.

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  4. I think the answer to your question will be pretty consistent across the board, Craig. As Indie Authors, we can’t simply spend all our time and creative energy drafting new material. We have to promote the works we already have out there and as you pointed out, prepare promotions for upcoming releases.

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  5. Hi Craig! I just finished the editing for book 2 of my Fantasy Angels Series, Son of the Serpent. I’m headed for Japan tomorrow, so I’ll tackle the formatting and publishing when I get back. After that, I’m looking forward to some down time to catch up with my reading. I joined BookBub a while back, but like you, I still have to do something with it. I’ll see if I can make some time for that. Truth be told, my mind is never at rest. I’m always thinking of new characters, settings and plots. 🙂

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  6. Several projects in the works, but need downtime to complete them and that’s always been a problem for me. Right now I’m planning to take off the month of September to finish my first haiku poetry collection. In 2015 I joined Nanowrimo in November to successfully complete the draft my first novel. I feel guilty when I take time off from supporting my online author/blogger friends… But, I’ve simply got to get over that. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder, Craig.

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  8. When I finish a book, I like to play with other projects that aren’t part of the series I’m working on. It’s fun to write free chapters for my webpage or write a couple of short stories. I play with marketing and catching up while I’m working on new plot lines. I don’t feel as pressured then. It makes me think about other things while I outline so ideas and characters can percolate more. I try to have an idea for the next book before I ever finish the one I’m working on. Just makes me feel more secure:) When I’m really frustrated, I take a few days off to cook and bake. You’ve been hitting it hard, though. You deserve a break.

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  9. I would think, Craig, it also has to do with idea flow. Do you always have a new idea immediately you finish a book? I did after I finished While the Bombs Fell because I got the idea from the research for that book. Nemesis is my biggest undertaking to date and, I must admit, I think I will need a break when I finish it. So that influences everything too. Fatigue and a need to lie in the sun for a bit.

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  10. I’m loving BookBub. Lots of benefits there. Haven’t really noticed a drawback yet.

    I don’t really have the luxury of downtime anymore. My not-so-new-anymore job pretty much assures I’ll always have something to be writing. And that’s in addition to promo materials, editing, and outlining. The nice thing is that I write many genres, so I don’t get tired of any one particular thing because I’m doing too much of it. If anything, I have too much to do and not enough time to do it all.

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  11. I tend to take a short break between novels. Whether that’s for drafting ideas, writing promo posts or catching up in other areas, it gives me time to recharge creative energies.

    I just entered a BookBub promotion for $10 and increased my followers by nearly 200 so far. It runs until the end of the month. Definitely money well spent. Now i want to spend time fleshing out my profile more by adding reviews, recommendations and favorite books. I think I’m gong to like it there 🙂

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  12. Like, you, Craig, I need the downtime for other projects. Also, after finishing a big novel, I can get a bit of creative burn out, and that’s when short stories work best for me. Good luck with your revision and your promos. 🙂

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