Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting Busy

After a year of interviewing first-time authors at NON, I've begun to notice a pattern. Okay, I've noticed several patterns, but the one that's important for this post is the pattern of busyness. First-time authors are either people who are lucky enough to take time off of regular work and focus exclusively on pumping out that first novel, giving themselves a limited amount of time, and therefore a great sense of urgency, or they're writing as a second career, squeezing time in between work and life. Either way, their free time is just about tapped out.

Then they sell their novel. And now they've got to market a novel and write the next one. While the first novel may have taken years to perfect, they're expected to get another one on the shelves a year after the first one is finished, which means writing the second novel in less than a year while marketing the first, going to signings, getting their website in order, and doing all the other things that don't seem like they're going to take that long, but they do, because suddenly they're not just writing: they're running a business.

The authors who I get interviews from right around when their novel releases have very specific requests about how their interviews are handled, tend to be faster to return them, and, in general, are more focused. There's a lot on their plates. The ones that I don't find until months after their first novels are released are more relaxed about the whole thing, having gotten into the groove of being a published author.

I don't completely know what to do with this realization yet, other than enjoy the free time I have right now and remember something I learned the hard way at a previous job: always take time for organization. It's saved my butt more times than I can count at previous jobs, at current jobs, and even with little things, like NON. So when that busy time comes for me, I plan to have my organization in place to help smooth the road from self-motivated busy (I'm writing because I want to) to deadlines and committments busy (I'm writing because I need to).

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