9.08.2013

I Need a Manager

This is not a job posting. It's a position with a candidate ready to fill it when the time is right My husband aches for the day when he can leave his 9-5 to help me manage my career once it becomes profitable enough, only I'm not sure he realizes just how busy he's going to be.

Right now, I'm running this ship on my own, and it's only in the last year that it has started feeling problematic. It doesn't always seem like I have a bunch going on, because I set my own hours and I work in my pajamas most days and spend FAR too much time goofing off on Facebook, but despite what people might think, this is indeed a full-time job all by itself. I know there are people in this world far busier than I am, and I am not interested in comparing notes or daily to-do lists with anyone, but suffice to say, my job keeps me busy and I haven't even begun to explore the space of what it means to be a working writer yet. One thing I'm discovering is if I quantify the amount of responsibilities I have, there are not quite enough hours in a day to fulfill them and remain caught up. It might be possible if I didn't also have a household to run and kids to raise, but then if I didn't have the lovely distraction of their sweet faces, I would probably be some twitching insane person rocking myself in a corner after the first week. I have no desire to be a workaholic, but I can certainly see how people wind up that way.

Apart from just writing books and stories, I'm also publishing a lot of my own work and taking on about 100% of the production aspects of that. This means everything from writing the actual drafts, implementing edits from beta readers, designing the covers, formatting the files, generating the metadata, getting the books uploaded onto Amazon and then maintaining and updating those files as needed. This was easier when I had four or five stories up, but now I have about 18 as of this writing, and it's becoming a wee bit cumbersome.

After that comes promotional stuff, which I wish I had more time to do, but can't because the next project is always calling. Because my novels take a bit longer to finish, I try to release a short story every couple months in order to keep the small audience I've cultivated engaged as well as bring in new readers. At some point, I am going to put together a publishing imprint, but I haven't had much time to put my head into the minutiae of that. I will, though, when I start delving more into print.

But wait, there's more!

I also maintain my blog on a semi-regular basis and try to keep up a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter to interact with friends, fans, and peers. Then I co-host a weekly podcast (Creative Commoners), which is not so much an extension of my writing life but still serves to keep me engaged in the public. I'm also still working on planning out my weekly video series, The Sauce, which will incorporate other aspects of the writing life.

While all this is happening, I have to maintain relationships with my colleagues. That means serving as a beta reader and/or editor, as well as doing some meager part to help promote their work too. I've also recently found myself entering a sort of mentor role for a few talented new writers. And that's ALL before getting into doing the editing and promotional work I have to do on the traditional publishing side of things with Hobbes End and eventually some other companies, which will soon be taking more of a central role in my life once Strings and The Last Supper are out. Oh, and then there is Colt Coltrane, the soon-to-be centerpiece of my indie publishing line. I would like to publish at least a dozen Colt stories, as well as arrange my short work into anthologies once I have more novels out in circulation.

And of course, while doing all that, I have about four or five novels to finish and a half dozen or so short stories. Oh, and then there is the "boring" stuff like accounting for royalties and sweating over taxes.

When I sit and think about all I've done, all I need to do immediately, and the things that are coming right around the next bend, my head starts to spin and I get a little nauseated. It's hard to think of everything alone, and I know I'm not doing as well as I'd like in a number of areas, namely in promoting and proofing and formatting and accounting, because if I don't stay on top creating the things that need promoting and proofing and formatting and accounting, then none of this will have a point. This is where the need for a manager comes in.

So the goal and the hope is within another year or two, all these seeds I've been planting for the last couple years will start producing a far more sustainable bounty of fruit, and it will then be possible to look at my husband one day and say: "Honey, you're hired."