Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of the Fifth Month

Five months of self-employment in the bank and what have I learned? Well, first I truly LOVE working for myself. As if that's any sort of news flash, right? I was talking to a friend who recently left my former company, and I was telling her it takes a while to de-program from the pace we used to keep. Our jobs were BUSY. We were on a constant merry-go-round of deadlines, publication schedules, editing, writing, designing. It was nonstop. We loved it, but it was a lot to manage. For me, it was doubly complicated by the thriving writing career that cropped up from something that started as a hobby and turned into something more than I ever could've imagined. As the fifth month ends, I think I've succeeded in deprogramming. I don't think about what I SHOULD be doing for the day job at this time of year anymore. I've stepped off the merry-go-round. I'm still a little dizzy because merry-go-rounds make me sick, but I'm better than I was.

I've learned that I'm not quite as disciplined as I thought I was. After working at home for 13 years, I figured, hey, I've got this covered! Turns out that when you don't have 27 co-workers and their needs framing your day, it's easy to forget that you are supposed to be WORKING right now. It's me vs. the computer and sometimes me loses. I've learned that's okay. You can't force the creative process. If it ain't happening, walk away and do something else for a while. The words will come back. I've learned that I need to compartmentalize. I'm fortunate to receive quite a lot of reader mail every day. I've learned that each email does not have to be answered the minute it is received. Now I save reader mail--the nicest part of my day--for the end of my day and that seems to be working out well. I can take an hour or two at night and veg in front of the TV and answer emails.

I've learned to not let my accounting and bookkeeping slide. I update my business accounts every day rather than twice a month. Of course I hate that part of self-employment, but it is a necessary evil. Luckily, I have an accountant who does the true heavy lifting, so all I have to do is provide the info. That sounds easier than it is, especially if I let it slide. I'm trying to be more disciplined about that. What's funny is my mother was a bookkeeper by trade. She would've taken care of the accounting books before the other books, you know, the ones that MAKE the money? :-)

I've learned that it's okay to take a day off every now and then, and I've learned it's fun to take a day off just because I can. I recently worked 12 straight hours getting Season for Love ready to go to the copy editor. That night I was making dinner and it occurred to me that I could take the next day off if I wanted to. The day after that, too. So I did. And I loved every minute of my two days off, even though I worked for a portion of both days. "Work" these days doesn't feel like at all like work.

Finally, I've learned that it's okay to exhale. Eighteen months after I self-published my first book, my business is booming, I'm writing a lot, I've got plans for books that will take me well into next year and things are good. Breathe... For the first time in YEARS, I feel like I can breathe...

I'm thankful every day to the readers who continue to make my lovely new life possible. You are among the true blessings in my life, and I am grateful for every one of you.

Now for some book news:
Reminder that Fool for Love, book 2 in the McCarthys of Gansett Island Series is on sale for 99 cents for a brief time. Get it while it's cheap! You will enjoy it more if you read book 1, Maid for Love, first.


Joe Cantrell, owner of the Gansett Island Ferry Company, has been in love with Janey McCarthy for as long as he can remember. At the same time, Janey has been dating or engaged to doctor-in-training David Lawrence. When things go horribly wrong between David and Janey, she calls her “fifth brother” Joe, one of the few people in her close circle who lives on the mainland. Janey decides a few days with Joe is just what she needs before she goes home to the island to face her parents and family with the news of her broken engagement. It was bad enough for Joe loving Janey from afar, but having her in his house is pure torture. Will he take advantage of this opportunity to show her what they could have together? And what will Joe’s best friend and Janey’s protective older brother Mac have to say about it?Get Fool for Love here:
Kindle: amzn.to/KYoYWO



Apple:  


11 comments:

Tanya Frost said...

Congrats on your new journey! I had no idea when I stumble on your Gansett Series that you were so 'new'. I use the term loosely because I know you've been writing for-EVER!

I am such a fan, keep the pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or you know, whatever!

Tanya

Tanya Frost said...

Congrats on your new journey! I had no idea when I stumble on your Gansett Series that you were so 'new'. I use the term loosely because I know you've been writing for-EVER!

I am such a fan, keep the pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or you know, whatever!

Tanya

Rita Oberlies said...

I was lucky to sit in on a session at NECRWA where you spoke very openly about your journey in self publishing. Your insight and honesty were very helpful in deciphering the benefits and potential risks of choosing that path.

Joe and Janey were two of my favorite characters so I hope readers grab a copy of Fool for Love while it's still on sale!

Anonymous said...

You are such and inspiration! You probably hear that a lot but you make it seem possible that one day, we might actually have our own books published. I have started on my own story and have finished the first chapter. I work full time and I am a full time mom so this project will be on "as I have spare time" basis.
Thanks so much! I enjoy reading about your success and also like the tips on your self-publishing blog.

Marie Force said...

Hi Tanya,
Thanks so much! I'm not "new." I've been published for four years now but I was working full time while I was writing, until I left my job on Dec. 31 to write full time. I couldn't keep all the balls in the air anymore with two teenagers to wrangle too! So glad you're a fan! Thanks for your note!

Marie Force said...

Hi Rita,
It's great to hear you enjoyed the sessions at NECRWA. I loved doing the keynote (okay, I was nervous, but I guess it went okay!) and the self-pub session was great with so many awesome questions.

Glad to hear you enjoyed Joe and Janey's story! I love them! :-) Much more from them coming in Season for Love, out in June.

Marie Force said...

Anon,
Congrats on starting your writing career! You're at the beginning of a very special journey. I hope it brings you much joy and little heartache. :-) I worked full-time and had two young kids when I started writing, so I feel your pain on the time crunch. My best advice is to stay focused on your writing whenever you can and keep pushing forward! You'll get there! Thanks for your note.

Musing Sallie said...

I have much respect for self published authors and you are truly one that I enjoy above most others. You seem very personable - and thankful - and it shows through your writings whether it's your blog, Facebook fan page or website.

Marie Force said...

Thank you, Sallie. I am extremely grateful for all my readers. It's nice to know my gratitude comes through loud and clear! :-)

oklanannie said...

I thank my lucky stars each day that Ryan Sanderson caught my attention on the cover of "Line of Scrimmage" on a bright day in September 2008! That's the day my amazing journey began with a new-to-me-author named Marie Force.
Each and every book has brought wonderful hours of reading pleasure and too many characters to count that are now like family members to me.

But most importantly, a new friendship was born that means the world to me. Your generous spirit and graciousness towards your readers is more than any of us could ask. Thanks author lady for all the great books, talks, and fun times. May the FORCE be with you as this new journey continues.

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much Anne! You've been with me all the way! I'm so glad Ryan caught your eye so you could come along on the wild ride with me. :-) All my new friends is the very BEST part of my life as an author!