I received another new cover. For Heart's Ultimatum. The best thing about having so many releases so close together, is lots of great new covers to show off.
One of my favorite parts of the writing process is getting a brand new cover. That visual representation of the world you created is awesome. Before I get a cover I can have some nervous butterflies in my stomach, scared that the cover will not match up to my vision, but that has rarely happened.
While away at my company meeting I received this new cover for Snow Day, which is scheduled for release on March 15th with Whiskey Creek-Torrid and I was blown away. I love this cover. Gemini did such a great job. Its subtle and sexy at the same time, exactly what I love.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about commitment. What am I committed too? And what can I leave behind?
Some of the answers are easy. I’m committed to my family, to my little fur babies I love so much. And I’m committed to my writing. After that it gets a little more difficult. I’m committed to my day job because it pays the bills, but certainly not to the degree that I am my writing. I’m committed to the company I work for, only because I hope their committed to me, by keeping me employed and finding me to be a value to the company.
This last week all of that was thrown into uproar. My day job is suddenly not as stable as it once was, which is leading me to question, if I had to, could I commit all to my writing? Would I be willing to take a chance and commit myself entirely to my writing?
I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing, that I didn’t want to be an author. I don’t think I could stop writing if I wanted to. It’s a part of me. But I’ve never been able to commit myself fully to my writing. There were always many other things going on in my life. School. Work. Both. And I don’t know that I’ve ever wanted to.
Completely devoting yourself to writing is a hard life. It is lonely and scary. Never knowing when the next royalty check will come in. Focusing on your work twenty four hours a day. Getting rejected over and over again, for something so close and emotional to you.
Yet I can’t help realizing that my fellow artists have to do the same, they don’t have a choice to live a separate life while making their art. Yes, musicians and actors can have day jobs to pay the bills, but they have to be ready to drop them at a moment’s notice to join the tour or go on location for three months. They have to take time out of those jobs to go to auditions and spend just as much time practicing and taking classes as I do writing and reading.
So is it just a perk that writers can easily get done what we need to after work and on weekends? Would we all be served better by truly committing ourselves to our writing the way musicians and actors do? Or is that too much pressure for our art, forcing us to produce plenty and not submit the heart and love we need?
It’s just a little bit of what’s been running through my head these days. As the future becomes increasingly unstable for me, and the present is a tangled mess. I can’t help wondering, exactly how committed am I? How far am I willing to go for my writing?
I know I’m a little late on this one, but I really wanted to analyze the year before I decide what I achieved.
On January 10th last year, I made a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2011. And I think I did pretty well.
-I wanted to blog more. Definitely did that.
-I wanted to submit something every month. I only got six submissions in last year, but that was still a huge improvement of 2010 where I only submitted two. And this was on top of getting two releases edited, and promoted.
-I wanted to get three more works out (I basically did this. I had three accepted, but Heart’s Ultimatum won’t be out until February).
-I wanted to read over 50 books during the year (I finished my 51st on December 31st).
But by far my biggest achievement of 2011 was getting healthier. Thanks to the Romance Biggest Winners, I managed to lose 35lbs in the last six months. I also went to see all my doctors and the dentist, which I’d been putting off for far too long. I’d been ignoring those necessities and putting myself last for a while, and I’m thankful I finally got the kick in the butt I needed to take care of myself.
I’m very pleased with how 2011 turned out. I made a connection with a few great publishers, that I plan to work with for quite some time. I took a few classes and read some books to improve my skills, and hopefully produce even better books for all my readers to enjoy. I took some strides to step out of my comfort zone of the Contemporary story with some Historical, and Paranormal, and I’m even working on a Sci-Fi idea now. Something I’d never thought I’d be considering.
Could I have done more? Of course. The day I think I couldn’t do more is probably the day I’ll retire. But I’ve done awesome and the good news keeps coming. I already received a contract this year for my short story Snow Day. And I’m sure that’s only the beginning of the good things to come in 2012.
My December Close Out plan is officially over (yes I know it’s January, but since I was still on vacation it still seemed like December to me) and I’m back to work at the Evil Day Job today. Though I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to this December, I’m still proud of how much I did accomplish.
-Finish the Midnight Mirage book trailer
-Revised and submitted two short stories (Snow Day and Serving Madame, my first ever F/F story). Still waiting to hear on both those works if they’ve found a home.
-Started and finished my edits for Heart’s Ultimatum, moving it that one step closer to release.
-Completed character charts for two stories, Foolish Desire and my so far untitled superhero novella.
-I wrote 5k words on Foolish Desire and another 500 on the superhero novella
-I set up ten blog spots for Heart’s release.
-I met my goal of reading 51 books this year (I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but finding time to read between real life commitments and writing ones is pretty hard).
I originally had hopes of revising one more short story and submitting it, and create another book trailer (either heart’s or naughty list) but all and all I think the progress I’ve made is great, and hopefully it will lead to some more contracts, sales and fans coming my way.
As far as my full time writer’s vacation, that didn’t go as well as planned. I did pretty well in the beginning getting in my time (though I did have to do some adapting to get the pacing and energy of the day right). But after Christmas there were so many family obligations it was hard to get the time in. I did the best I could, but I don’t think I got 8 hours every day. I plan to do another writer’s vacation some other time in the year when there isn’t as much going on, we’ll see if I can improve this program more by then.
My attempt at being a full time writer for a week definitely taught me it’s a lot harder writing for a job then I thought it was. But still worthwhile and, for me, much more fulfilling then my current day job. I have huge respect for anyone that writes fulltime, and that respect has only grown over the last few weeks.
Now that January is upon us, and the year slows down some (at least here in the Northeast, since we tend to hibernate during this time of year). I’m sure my writing will slow some too. I want to use January the best I can to get other projects moving, seeing as how February will be consumed with promotion for Heart’s Ultimatum. I’d love to finish Foolish Desire or the superhero novella, but only time will tell if that’s possible. Until then I’m just going to keep pushing forward.