... It was one of my dad's favorite sayings and I have to admit, back in the day, I had no idea what he was talking about. But with age comes wisdom, right? Well, then I must be getting old, because these days, dad's words are making a whole bunch of sense.
They were really brought home to me yesterday when I realized how the clock is always ticking for writers.
Deadlines (official and personal), library appearances, bookstore signings . . . there’s always something that keeps us busy. Add to all that, of course, the day-to-day minutia of being a writer. Back in the day when things were handled via mail, there was always lag time. Get a note from your editor? You had a week or so to repond. These days with information moving as fast as lightning, editors and agents who send emails expect answers back quickly. There’s publicity to think about, too, as well as things like websites and blogging.
Yesterday I sat here as I do most every day, working on Pepper Martin mystery #8. It’s due to my publisher in January, and for now, we won’t talk about how far along it is (or isn’t). Let’s just say that so far, writing this book has been a whole lot like trying to do the backstroke in a swimming pool filled with chocolate pudding. Oh, I’m making progress. But it’s slow, so slow!
Then lo and behold, things finally clicked. Don’t ask my how. Don’t ask me why. All I know is that when it happens, I’m grateful. I wrote 13 pages, a huge daily total for me. And I knew I’d sit back down today and just take off where I stopped.
Until the page proofs for Pepper Martin mystery #7 landed on my doorstep. They need to be read and returned.
And I heard that the revision letter on the first button mystery is due to arrive today. That, too, will need to be dealt with, though until I see what my editor would like changed, I don’t know how big or small a project we’re talking.
So much to do, and not enough hours in the day to do it all!
Not that I’m complaining or anything. Sure, it can be stressful. And yes, I sometimes toss and turn at night thinking about all I need to accomplish and how little time there is to do it. But at the same time, I remember when I used to dream about having these problems. I’m grateful. Believe me, I’m grateful for every deadline and every revision letter (well, most of them) and every email from every reader who tells me how much he/she is enjoying my books.
Now if only I could just pack a few more hours into every day.