Nothing makes an author antsier than being without a contract. I haven’t found myself in that situation in a long, thank you, God. Because there are a zillion people out there vying for the limited number of contracts available, most authors have a tendency to say yes to every one that comes along. Steady work is GOOD.
Lately, I’ve found myself blessed. I’d already gotten a three-book contract with Grand Central when Harlequin offered a two-book deal for their Romantic Suspense line. Woohoo, I said to my agent, then my husband. Then the next day, surprise! Another offer from Harlequin, for a Christmas novella for Romantic Suspense. Woot woot, I said to my agent, then my husband.
I woke up the next morning and immediately felt a rush of delight. Contracts for six books! Belated Christmas/Happy New Year to me!
Then it hit me: five of them are due in a year. Wow.
I’ve written five books in a year. I’ve actually written seven in one year. But that was a long time ago, when I was younger. I’ve gotten comfortably (read: lazily) settled into a routine where I write two to three books a year. Can I kick it into high gear and get them all done?
The first thing I did was scribble out a calendar, covering every week for the next year. Then I figured how many weeks I need to write each book and added in one or two extra. I also had to include time to write proposals (a synopsis and chapters) for the second books on the contracts and, of course, a little sanity time. I’ve never done this kind of time planning before. My usual method was to schedule deadlines equally, giving myself, say, three months to complete each book. The first two months would pass with frequent reminders to myself that I’ve got a book due soon, then I would write madly for three to four weeks and finish it just in time to overnight it to New York. I always promised myself that the next time, I would do it in a more reasonable fashion, but I never did.
This year “reasonable” is the only way to do it.
Though I dunno. As I write this, it’s the second day on my 52-week schedule, and all I’ve written are blogs . . .