Monday, February 3, 2014

Under Pressure

Good morning. Let me just say how much I miss you all. I've tried getting around to the blogs every so often, but it's a hit or miss proposition. Trying to get the latest book wrapped up, starting on the new one, dealing with school... it's just been too much.


I know a lot of you are dealing with enormous pressure on an everyday basis -- kids, jobs, husbands, housework. It's enough to make you explode.

But then, on top of all that, you're writing, revising, submitting, querying, polishing, beta-reading, all for the sake of the thing inside your soul that if you gave it up you would die.

Now there are some bloggers out there who blog every day, with phenomenal content, who have thousands of followers, who get tweeted and retweeted, and are just the bomb. They also have kids and lives, and their own reality to deal with. I envy those people who can do it all.

I'm not one of those people. I can barely keep up with the blogs I read, never mind write a coherent post for one day. Then there is the pressure to Tweet, keep up with LinkedIn and Goodreads, keep up with the marketing and publicity for my books.

And now that I have so many books out, that pressure becomes ten-fold. The guru's say to get a lot of content out there, keep writing, keep producing, more more more. That's the only way to make a name for yourself. And on top of all that, market, publicize, get your name out there, keep it up, more more more.

It's hard. Damn hard. And let me tell you how many times I thought about chucking it all. Just giving up writing and going out and getting a "real" job. A LOT.

But I didn't, and I can't, because I love writing so much.

Tell me -- Do you feel the need to "keep up"? How do you handle the pressure? What do you give up first?


Linda G. said...

I feel your stretched-too-thin pain. It's hard to keep up with everything, especially if you're a normal human being who requires sleep. All we can do is juggle the best we can and hope for the best, I guess. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. The pressure must be ten-fold on trad pubbed authors.

Yeah, sleep, who needs it? I just love the new color purple eyeshadow that's UNDER my eyes. lol

Sarah Ahiers said...

Eh, the need to keep up comes and goes with me. I keep the blog up pretty regularly, but that's just because i've made it part of my routine now

Maria Zannini said...

Like Sarah, it's routine for me.

I visit blogs because I enjoy it. I write them for the same reason. If I do a good job, it earns me more visibility, and that's a bonus.

But I try not to beat myself up if I can't put out a gazillion tweets and updates. Nobody is that interesting. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Now that I'm writing full time I don't feel quite as much pressure but I still can't keep up with some of those super bloggers.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I feel a lot of pressure but rarely from blogging since it's more of my release and entertainment than something I try to keep up with. I just do what we can, and somehow it works out. Eventually haha.

mooderino said...

I'm amazed by bloggers who post every day. Where do they find the time?

Moody Writing

Anne R. Allen said...

I don't think there's anybody who really "does it all". The people blogging every day may be blocked on their novels. The ones who are out there promoting 24/7 on other blogs may not have updated their own blog for months. Even an Energizer Bunny like Kristen Lamb has meltdowns every so often.

I think you've reached a point where you have enough titles that you can pull back and just work on one project at a time. If that means putting the blogs on hiatus, fine. I'll miss your comments on my blog, but hey, I know you'll be back when it's time.

I've been working pretty nonstop for 2 and a half years--and 9 books--and hit a brick wall. My mom died over the holidays and I started looking around saying "what happened to my life?" I'm living in the computer every waking minute.

Luckily, I established a "slow blog" with a permanent guest, so people don't expect me to post more than 3 times a month. But my WIP? Dead in the water. And you know, I think that's OK. Sometimes you just have to wait for the well to refill itself.

Cut back on expenses, and congratulate yourself and let things be for a while. Your income will pick up. For inspiration, read Elizabeth S. Craig's post this week on how her income has finally gone up because of unexpected revenue streams.

Chris said...

Hi Anne, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

Judith Mercado said...

Anne, it’s frankly a relief to hear this from someone who is already an established author, not rosy-eyed about instant success. The “pressure to Tweet, keep up with LinkedIn and Goodreads, keep up with the marketing and publicity for my books” seems, indeed, overwhelming. Your affirmation that it is worth it, despite all that, is a resounding confirmation that I am on the right path. I am a recently published author who took a year’s leave from the blogosphere to address pressing personal issues. On my return, I keep being reminded relentlessly to market, market, market, and to write, write, write. Your post has given me permission to catch my breath. Thank you.

J.B. Chicoine said...

I don't have the same demands on my time as you do, and I still feel the pressure. Some internal (gotta get the next project out of my head and on paper) and external (gotta promote and market and all that).

I've also learned how to pace myself a little better, which probably has more to do with my writing goals. No don't aspire to external greatness--greatness in the eyes of others. I just want to produce a good piece of writing that has challenged my abilities.

Just keep swimming!

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I have felt the need to keep up, yes, but the way I've dealt with it this year is to NOT publish or market for an entire year, and just write. It's helping already, reminding me why I'm doing this in the first place. I hope you can get to that spot because I'd hate to see you leave it altogether! Sounds like you don't plan on it, so that's great. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Sarah -- I used to have a routine but since I started volunteering at school, that's just blown out of the water.

Maria -- Twitter for me is a rare occasion these days. I can just about blog.

Susan -- Oh the super bloggers. I know. color me jealous.

Karen -- I know. Do what you can. I like the immediacy of Twitter, but the interaction with blogger.

Mood -- They must be from another planet. Or have super powers or something.

Anne -- Thanks. Yeah, it's a catch as catch can right now for time. If I had not taken the job at school I would have had the book written by now. Live and learn.

Hi Chris -- Thanks for following. Hope enjoy yourself here.

Judith -- I'm glad you could relate. I call myself a "Minimalist Marketer". (Kristine Katheryn Rusch has been writing a series on marketing that is fascinating. And if you haven't read it yet, do. Her link is on the sidebar.)

Bridget -- I think if I actually found the time to write, I would procrastinate. Somehow when there is a little pressure I do better. Totally not saying I could do this with a trad publisher. That kind of pressure would kill me.

Michelle -- Yeah, sometimes I really do think about leaving. Once the series is complete. But then I figure, no other job in the world could be so much fun.