Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm on a new drug...

It's called PLANNING.

I must take a dose every single day or risk losing my ever-loving mind worried about my book release.

This drug isn't for everyone. There are some people who like nothing more than to fly through life by the seat of their pants.

I envy these people and their whole "hey, no worries," philosophy.

But, secretly, I want to take their head in my hands and smash their faces into my piles of paper that outline my "strategic" plan for success and say, "Drink, drink from the fountain of success, you foolish dreamer. Mwhahahaha."

Seriously, No Worries People, do not brag too much about how you take one day at a time and life is better for it. Those of us who plan do not want to hear that.

But, now hear this, just because a person likes to plan does NOT mean they believe they can plan for everything.

It's my biggest peeve, this perception that because I like to strategize I'm under a delusion that I can control and plan for every single possible circumstance.

I already know that I cannot.

What NWP's must understand is that planning is the drug we take to "calm down."

Bleh! I hate when someone tells me to calm down.

But that's another post for another day.

My point is, planning helps drive the jitters of the unknown away. Even if only half of my plans can realistically be implemented, I feel better knowing that I've thought it through.

A lot of talk about book promo has made its round, lately. Probably because I hang out in places where a lot of other debut authors and aspiring authors relax. And yes, part of us relaxing is fretting about the writing and publishing process. Leave us alone, we're happy this way.

Anyway, how much promo really impacts book sales is hotly debated. But the truth is, most authors feel the need to plan for it because it's better than doing nothing.

Doing nothing feels too much like you have absolutely no control over it.

And even though we DON'T have any (much?) control over the success of failure of our books once it's on shelves - we'd like to think we do. Planning is the pill we take to feel better about the stark reality.

The dangers of planning arise when it becomes overwhelming.

It's a balancing act.

Whenever the silence sets in (you know, no news from my agent or editor, simply because there is no news to be had), it's usually followed by this panic. This feeling of "I should be doing something."

When that happens, I have a few choices:

1) Let it drive me up the wall

2) Call my agent and whine

3) PLAN something, anything!

Nine times out of ten I choose #3.

Today, as I sat wondering what my pub would do with the recent batch of ARCs and when they'd do it, it began to incite panic.

I was pretty much on the edge of losing it when I thought - Well, wait there are some things I can do.

So I did a little research on outlets I'd like to contact once the book is released. I thought over some topics I could speak on to various youth groups. And immediately, I felt better.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't go planning all willy-nilly without intending to implement the plans. But some days the planning is more a calming therapy and less a hard-core bible to follow.

Some things I planned for when the book was still unsold are laughable now.

Some I've actually done.

Some may still have some merit, if tweaked.

What's important is, on the day I outlined those plans, it likely kept the demons at bay.

Some people say the best way to take your mind off your current finished project is to start a new one. And that's what planning is for me.


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