Jennifer talks about her writing life…
Lots of people ask what it’s like to be a writer, and I usually answer that question with all the work that goes into getting a book published and out in front of readers. It’s a lot of work, and can feel like you’re in the middle of a thunderstorm—deluged by to-do lists, rattled by deadlines and illuminated by hope that all will go well on release day.
But what about afterwards? What’s it like to be a writer on those other days, after the book has been released into the world?
Well, for me, it’s filled with emotions and requires time management skills. Once my book has been released, I’m monitoring sales, tracking reviews and of course writing. Monitoring sales can be frustrating, since I personally don’t get an accurate daily picture and usually have to wait until my publisher posts them on their internal website for me to see. While people tell me they are buying or have bought my book, I’m never sure until I see the numbers. This time around, sales seem to be good, although they’re better for Addicted to Love than In the Moment.
Then there are the reviews. No matter how much I beg, I don’t get many. And when I do get them, there are always a few that aren’t great—after all, reading is subjective and not everyone will like everything I write. I take comfort in the fact that I do get positive reviews, and any negative ones I get don’t complain about my craft. And I develop a thick skin. J
Finally, there’s writing. Even though I love to write, I get distracted—by life, by the crazy world and by my family. Writing is great because it offers me an escape from the politics and fear out there. But it’s also hard to concentrate on writing when the craziness gets overwhelming. And as much as I like getting away from the stress, sometimes my stress gets the better of me and I can’t sit still. Added to that are the doubts—maybe I’m not really as good as I should be; maybe this story is going to be terrible; maybe that reviewer keyed into something I just can’t fix. To combat that, I try to divide my day into chunks—I have my early morning time where I get ready for the day and make sure the world is still turning; my time to get errands done for my family; my time to do book marketing and blog writing; and my time to write and edit. I try to keep my focus on the task as much as possible. Some days are easier than others. Some days I realize why I fall in love with my heroes. And some days I console myself like Scarlett O’Hara—tomorrow is another day.
If you're looking for a Halloween read, my book, Skin Deep, has a great Halloween party, thrown by the costume department of a hit TV sitcom. Check it out here.