It was two years ago today that I was fortunate to leave a day job that I hated, and begin a second career as a full-time writer. Looking back at those two years and ahead at the years to come, I can see what I've done right and what I could have done better. And what I want to do as I embark on my third year - and beyond.
As soon as I left the day job, I was determined not to waste this chance I'd been given to do what I loved all day, instead of snatching bits of time writing romances in the evening or weekends. I wrote several books and novellas for my publishers as well as jumping into the indie waters. I also ended up with aching wrists and anxiety from learning the business end which is not at all my strength. I watched some authors soaring up the charts and tried to follow the steps to follow them. Instead, I burned out a bit and because I had promised myself I would not let my new career become as stressful as the one I left behind - in my second year of writing I cut way back...
And only completed one new short story. I had edits and re-released a couple of old stories I'd gotten the rights back to. I made lots of plans but didn't follow through. I told myself it was because I didn't want my writing to become stressful, but partly, I think I needed to refill the well after that crazy first year. But I also think I was intimidated by all those successful authors who were writing 10K a day and releasing a new book every month. And I knew I couldn't do that. So I didn't do much at all.
I know it's wrong to compare. I know I need to stop doing that. Just because I can't write 10K a day (my wrists would never let me even if my eyes and brain would) it doesn't mean I can't write 1 or 2K. I don't need to be a best-seller (although it would be nice) but I want to find new readers because I love my books and characters, and I want other readers to experience their stories too.
So this year, I need to find a balance. I want to write the stories I enjoy. I want to find a sustainable word output that won't burn me out, but allow me to finish all those books I have in my head. I want to remember the joy of writing and not forget that I GET to do this. I GET to write the stories that move me. This year I want to complete those books I've started. Polish them until they shine. And find a way to reach more readers who I hope will want to keep falling in love along with my heroes and heroines.
Here's to year number three! I hope you'll join me on the journey!
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The Cottage Next Door
Her Royal Masquerade
Bound to Surrender