The Juggler

The Juggler: Jack of All Trades, Master of None

In The Writing Life2 Comments

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Do you know how to juggle? I don’t.

All this year, I’ve been trying to do way too many things at once. If you read this post, you know how it makes me feel (hint: like shit). It’s gotten to the point where I’d rather sit on the couch in yesterday’s pajamas than tackle any of the things on my to-do list. That list is contained in a Word doc titled “Injury-Inducing To-Do List.”

I’m not kidding.

It’s seven single-spaced pages long. Just thinking about it makes me want to get hit by a bus so I can have some downtime.

Just thinking about my to-do list makes me want to get hit by a bus so I can have some downtime.

Yesterday, my hubby started law school. His free time is about to be vaporized faster than a Nazi looking into the Ark of the Covenant. We talked about all the things there won’t be time for anymore: slacking off, watching TV, working on his car, etc. He knows, and he’s prepared. It hasn’t hit him yet, but seeing him gear up to make this change made me realize something.

If it’s important, you’ll find the time.

Working on his car is fun for him, but it’s not important. Finding a new career path is what’s important. Doing something he’s wanted to do since being a teenager is important. Looking at the things I spend time on, it’s time to figure out what’s important.

Something has to give because, damn it, Jim, I’m a writer, not a juggler.

Juggle This

For me, writing books is important. But I’ve buried it beneath a shitload of other stuff that isn’t that important: namely, social media and marketing research. I spend a lot of time reading posts, liking, plussing, commenting, and whatnot, and what do I have to show for it? A few Twitter followers, yes, and some very nice folks I’ve met on Google Plus. But do I have any books to show for it?

In all of 2014, all whopping eight months of it, I’ve released a short story. One fucking short story that I wrote in 2010. That’s it. It’s pathetic.

The things I can’t change are work and real life. I can’t change the need for a job. I can’t change the fact that neither the hubby nor I can support each other; we need two salaries. But I can change how much time I sink into social media and market research. If I never have anything to sell, those two activities are freaking pointless.

CJ Lyons has sold over a million books. Do you know what she says about marketing? Your next book is the best marketing tool you have. I am completely failing at this. The books have to come first. The readers have to come first.

The books have to come first. The readers have to come first.

And readers want to find out what happens to Natalie and Constantine more than they want to find out what I did last weekend or what I think about the Oxford comma. (It rules. There. That was easy.)

Dropping the Ball…On Purpose

What’s the answer? I hope it’s socializing less and blogging more, using this space to communicate instead of outlets like Facebook, Goodreads, or even G+. Do not get me started on the tyranny of the Goodreads website widget that needs CONSTANT updating so the feed doesn’t appear blank.

The hell with that shit. I have three degrees. Chances are I can design my own widget that doesn’t go blank if it doesn’t get updated within 48 hours. I call eternal bullshit on the never-ending hamster wheel of visibility that indie authors are called upon to ride. I only have so much I can give, and trust me, social media isn’t where you want it.

I call eternal bullshit on the never-ending hamster wheel of visibility that indie authors are called upon to ride. I only have so much I can give, and trust me, social media isn’t where you want it.

So. What on earth am I trying to say?

I’m still here.

I’m still working.

I’m still writing books.

I will try to do it faster.

Speaking of Books, What’s on Tap?

Thanks for asking! Here’s what I’m working on, bit by bit.

  • The Red Road (literary novel)
  • The Dante Deception (prequel novella in the Natalie Brandon series)
  • The DuBarry Diamonds (sequel to The Romanov Legacy, a Natalie Brandon novel)
  • The Night Witch (historical fiction)
  • A Vampire in the Vendee (sequel to A Vampire in Versailles)
  • The Cherbourg Bodyguard (sequel to The Cherbourg Jewels)
  • Untitled short story compilation (literary & historical fiction)

What would you like to see added to that list? I’m totally serious. Ideas, wish lists, settings, characters. I’m game. Leave your suggestion in the comments below. I’ll try not to get hit by a bus before incorporating them.

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About Me

Jenni

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I write thrillers, romance, historical fiction, tiara posts, and more. Right now, I'm working on a nonfiction trilogy: Grand Duchess Hilda of Baden, Grand Duchess Elizaveta Mikhailovna of Russia, and Princess Augusta of Brunswick.

Comments

  1. Jenni,
    Thanks. I’m fighting with this demon myself and I’ve only got one book out. Brought out in January. I’ve got 60% of the sequel done and nearly done with the first draft of a standalone [parallelequel, I decided]. But, have already spent 2 hours this morning on social media rather than writing! Grr… Argh… Closing the internet and shutting off WIFI.
    Rob

  2. I’ve basically stopped trying with social media. Not that I’ve given it a real strategy or anything, but it does get tiring trying to keep up with it. I’ve got to say though it makes me think there is something going to change soon. I think a lot of people are finding, that the only way you can keep up with content creation / networking is having people do it for you or making that your only job.

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