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15 Writing Tips From a Pro So You Can Start and Finish Your Book With Success

Cats going whichever way If you don't herd the cats, the cats will herd you.

Any working pro has dozens of big and small jobs waiting to be done. If you’re making a living from writing, you don’t get the luxury of tackling a book at a time.

Right now I’m juggling: A) starting Through Fire – which is under contract with Baen books, B) promoting A Few Good Men, which came out in March from Baen books, C) starting promotion for Noah’s Boy, which comes out in July, and D) trying to revise my old short stories and put one out a week (failing miserably at this). I also have five short stories due at various anthologies. For my sins, I am also cover designer for Naked Reader Press, a venture in indie publishing in which I hold an interest.

I’m also wife, mother, cook, and bottle washer of this household.

I’ve also got rights back to most of my books that weren’t published with Baen. My first priority is to re-release The Musketeer’s Seamstress, then the four other sequels one a month, and then to write the seventh book for which people have been waiting years.

When I’m completely exhausted from doing everything else, I go to bed with The Musketeer’s Seamstress on the Kindle Fire (which is surprisingly good to edit in using Documents To Go).

This week, the schedule got a little crazier, as I was requested to do an interview for my publisher to promote Noah’s Boy, and I got back the page proofs to Noah’s Boy, with a short turn-around time. I also vetted cover copy for Noah’s Boy which took a whole afternoon as I had to search for reviews of the other two books -- for cover quotes.

If this looks completely insane – it is. When I take a break from an activity it is by doing another.

However it can get crazier and probably will. I hear from friends who have been in the field longer and who are now publishing indie as well as traditional. Most have added to the insanity by managing paper-book distribution of their titles; arranging for audio versions; and negotiating for the sale of rights/selling rights to movie companies. (This last is something I aspire to, since, crazy though it is, it pays well.)

So most of the time, what is hard for a career writer is not to stop rotating the cat, but to keep juggling all the cats without dropping one.