I don’t know where you live, but here in Kentucky we’re hunkering down, preparing for some seriously cold temperatures, ice and possibly snow. We’ve known about this storm, Ion, for several days, with both The Weather Channel and local news channels updating forecasts every hour. In response to these dire predictions, there has been a mass assault on grocery stores. (Personally, I’ve closed down all unnecessary rooms in my house, moved my living into a much smaller space, and bought a second pair of Smartwool socks.) Why? Because we’ve known it’s coming so we’re planning ahead and preparing for survival.
As I’ve watch all the warnings posted on TV and driven past the full-to-capacity grocery parking lots, I’ve thought about my writing career. Yes, career. At this moment, I’m still pre-pubbed but that will change soon. And I’m realizing that I need to be prepared for that moment when I flip over to the Golden World of Published. I need to lay out a detailed plan for Book Two and Book Three. And Book Four and Five. I have no intentions of being a one and done writer, I want a career. So I’ve got to ruthlessly hack out time in my schedule for writing.
Since I’m choosing to go the Indie route, these plans and preparations are even more necessary. There will be no editor or agent pushing me to make deadlines. It’s up to me to want it enough to sit down and do the work.
There won’t be a staff of editors ready and waiting for the arrival of my manuscript. It’s up to me to schedule this weeks or months in advance. There won’t be cover artists on stand-by, either. I have to plan ahead and reserve a time slot.
Success in the Indie world is seldom an accident, it’s a planned effort. It’s a disciplined preparedness that keeps you at the computer working on the next book and the next book and the next book.
There are moments when having all the decisions in my hands is overwhelming, but there are also moments when it’s sheer joy, when I know this is right.
So if you’re considering this route, I encourage you to move past dreams and start planning. Prepare to face the mountains of decisions. Prepare to read marketing books till you’re cross-eyed. Prepare for the feeling of elation when you finally do it.
And buy some Smartwool socks. Seriously. They’re great.