I received edits back for Good Intentions and Life After the Undead within a week of each other. While I don’t mind doing edits, it takes me at least a week to get through each novel, and the editor and I go through it twice before it gets sent to the proofreader. Being focused on these meant that I didn’t have time to work on the biography, which made me feel guilty because I want to get it done. However, they are one step closer to being ready for release, so that’s a bonus.
My middle grade book The Ifs Return came out in May, and I had to get some promotional material for that done. I didn’t get nearly as much done as I had hoped, mainly because I was busy working on other things, so I felt guilty for not promoting it the way I should. I got a children’s workshop flyer drafted and mailed out, but I feel like I need to do more.
I’ve been doing some Facebook takeovers here and there, and writing some blog posts for other sites, which is a lot of fun, but I feel guilty for not participating in more and reaching new audiences.
I was also working on submission material to propose turning Life After the Undead into a movie. I had to come up with a movie pitch and about 10 pages of a screenplay. Never in my life have I done a screenplay, so there was a learning curve. I got that sent off last week, but I have no idea if it was what was needed/requested.
After finishing edits, I finally got back to working on the biography.
This is all in addition to working a full-time job, taking care of a family and two puppies, along with cleaning my house and doing laundry. You know, life stuff.
My fur babies playing.
Guilt has consumed me because I feel like I’m not doing enough to promote the books I already have published. I feel like if I don’t keep them in the public eye, people will forget about them. But at the same time, I just don’t have the time or the resources to promote them how I really want. It’s a case of knowing that there’s always more I can do, but being unable to do it, and that tears me up inside.
Recently, I was talking to my book manager (hi, Pam!) about projects I have planned for the future. Here’s my short list:
1. Another zombie novel with a male protagonist—I already have some of the chapters done (they came from another novel I was working on), but I want to change it to YA.
2. The Road to Salvation series needs to be expanded. Katie’s story is not finished.
3. A third YA zombie book that goes with Life After the Undead and Death to the Undead.
4. A third Ifs book for my boys.
But before I can work on any of these, I have to finish what’s already on my plate. I also feel like I should take some time off just to promote my published works instead of working on something new. In a way I think that it’ll alleviate some of that guilt, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily true. I feel like no matter what I do, it won’t be enough.
All of these thoughts have been swimming around in my head lately, and they’ve been hard to deal with. So, over the weekend, I decided to take a break—well, as much of a break as I can take with family coming to visit and housework to do.
Anyway, my spouse and I watched Zombeavers and Love in the Time of Monsters. Both of these are completely mindless movies with very little plot and awful special effects, but they were a lot of fun.
And they reminded me to stop taking myself so damn seriously.
No one has enough time during the day to accomplish everything they want. Everyone has to find a way to balance the things they want to do with the things they have to do. I think I do a pretty good job of it. I find time to take care of my family and still write. Even though I could always do more promoting, I do what I can when I can. I don’t just sit around and hope it will take care of itself.
Writing is supposed to be fun for me, not a source of stress. And if I’m not having fun, then why do I want to do it? If I want to work on my other projects, why can’t I? If I want to take a break, I can do that too.
It was incredibly freeing to have these thoughts, and it helped put everything into perspective. I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing and have fun with it. Life’s too short to do anything less.