Saturday, January 16, 2010

Commitment To Making It As An Author...

Commitment to making it as an author (when you have a fulltime day job) - AKA – Sleep is for the meek

By Claire Thompson

Ok, so it’s Thursday, and Devon asked me to please have this to her as early in the week as possible. Like all rocky roads, mine is no exception, paved as it is with good intentions! But good intentions don’t write books or sell them either. Good intentions don’t get things done.

So, I have a bunch of kids at home (the number is always rotating, I can hardly keep track, they are all over sixteen, none of them fully independent, all of them money-sucking slobs), a disabled spouse who doesn’t work, two shedding dogs, a cat and one bathroom. I work a fulltime job for a school district, and then there’s my real career – writing!

Oh, oh, oh, I am a lucky girl because I love to write. I don’t just enjoy it or do it well (though I hope I do!), I freaking love it. No. Love isn’t a strong enough word. I eat, breathe, sleep, dream and wake it. I couldn’t not do it. Writing is what I do, a part of who I am, a very key, core part. I couldn’t imagine life without my laptop, my dirty mind and my stories.

I follow a lot of chat groups and blogs where folks are lamenting the fact they have no time to write, or they have been polishing up that one manuscript for the last five years and know that soon, soon, they are going to work up the courage to submit it. You know what I say to this?

Just do it.

Gosh, that sounds easy, but I have always maintained, and still believe, once you make a decision, the rest is just details. And once you decide, damn it, I am going to be a writer—a published writer!—that is the key. The rest is details. Admittedly there are lots of details.

The main number one thing, up and above any kind of blogging, advertising, chatting, posting, dreaming, is to write. Every day that you can, every spare minute that you have, sit your ass down and get those fingers flying. Buy a digital Dictaphone so you can tell yourself your ideas while driving or in the cereal aisle at the supermarket. Skip those stupid TV shows and all the time-wasting crap you do after work (Dishes? Laundry? Making dinner? Delegate, baby!). If you’re too tired after work to write, get up early (I aim for 4:30) and write then, when you are fresh and the world is still.

Yes the marketing is important, but not nearly as important as you might think. The real key is getting with a publisher who has a good distribution network, and getting your name out there by getting your books out there! The old adage – “write your story and the market will find you” IS true, at least to a point. If you have a good, compelling story to share, and it’s distributed where folks who want that kind of story are hanging out, it will sell!

Yes, it’s good to blog and chat and post and all that stuff, but only to a point. If that’s what you’re spending your time doing, instead of writing, you are missing the boat! Do that stuff after the book comes out, and even then, limit it.

What about advertising on review sites, stuff like that? I have personally found that advertising does not make much difference. I have tracked a book before and after an ad went up, for example, and noticed no difference in sales. Good reviews do cause a small increase in sales for a while, though I haven’t noticed that bad reviews negatively impact sales (not that I ever get them, ha, well, hardly ever! Groan).

The main thing is that you have a good book to sell, and a place to sell it. Sounds simple and guess what, it is! With ebooks and the Internet, the world has been split wide open and made hugely accessible. There is still lots of room for a good writer to break in, and pretty easily.

So, all you aspiring authors, stop reading this blog right now and go write! (and don’t worry, I wrote this during my day job, so I’m not taking time from my writing! (and don’t tell!))

Respectfully submitted,

Claire Thompson

Claire is a multi-pubbed erotica and erotic romance author with over 50 titles in ebook and print. She recently went "indie" with her imprint, Romance Unbound.

You can connect with Claire at:

Romance Unbound
Yahoo Chat Group
Claire's Blog
Twitter CThompsonAuthor


  1. Hello, Claire,

    Welcome to the Grip! Thanks for telling it to us straight!

    It's easy to make excuses. But the bottom line is, if you don't write, you're not a writer. And I appreciate your comments about putting promotion behind the actual writing, since promotion to me feels like such a black hole.


  2. You definitely have to take it off your TV time.


  3. Claire,

    Brilliant advice, not just for novice writers but also for those of us who've been doing it a few years.

    Thanks for the verbal kick up the backside :-) It's much appreciated.



  4. Hi Claire welcome to our blog.

    Its true there is no substitute for paying in yoru time at the keyboard. Noting else works.


  5. Thanks for the comments! This is a terrific blog. I love reading it and it is an honor to get to write something for it!

    Ok, ok, back to my manuscript! Grin...

  6. Great advice! I've had people tell me after I write something to sit on it and then go back and do more edits and then more edits,'t listen. lol Once I have it done...I send it on. The first time was the hardest, but after has to be done. The worse that can happen? They say no. :) It isn't the end of the world, even if it does feel like it. :)

    Happy writing Claire. :) I'm off to do some edits. :)

  7. OK, my behind now officially is smarting from the kick it received!
    It's bedtime now, but tomorrow nose to grindstone and backside on pillow.

  8. Jeanne! I hope it doesn't hurt too bad! Grin. Seriously, this post was meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek, that is, I am the kettle calling us all black. I spend too much time messing around, we probably all do. In the end it's the product we have to sell that gets us out there. No kicks to any bottoms were intended! (though if you read some of my stuff, a nice, sensual spanking can be...uh, stimulating!)

  9. I consider myself stimulated... sorry for the belated comment, but I was busy writing! ;)

    Thanks for coming on OGG, my friend. It was a pleasure having you here!

  10. Great article. I agree with your points, and also sympathise. I don't have any kids, nor do I intend to, but I do have a full time job and it's difficult enough to cram all my various writing jobs in the time I do have, and still have time for friends and family. Crazy lives we lead! :)


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