Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rue Allyn: Procrastination and the Author (well, this author)

     
I am honored to have fellow Michigan author Rue Allyn here as a guest today. She addresses one of my worst habits—procrastination!

Thank you very much Patricia for allowing me to share some thoughts with you and your followers. I like to slant my guest blog posts in the direction of the host’s blog. That wasn’t as easy as I expected here at Creative HodgePodge. I have personal reasons for not wishing to review other author’s books or even comment on them casually. I’m not a crafter (although I have done a crafty thing or two in my life). My lack of skill as a seamstress is only exceeded by my lack of talent in the kitchen. (I managed to scrape through with a D the sewing semester of Home Ec when I was in high school. I flunked the cooking semester completely.) I began to wonder if this blog would be a good fit. Then I noticed procrastination. Now that I am an expert at. So, Procrastination and the Author.

If you aren’t an author, or you’re just starting out, let me tell you that procrastination is a career killer. Publishing used to move at a glacial pace. An author would contract for a book with a publisher and it might be three years or more before that book made was released for sale. (Some publishers still operate this way, most have seen the electronic light.) With the advent of e-books and e-readers and the increasing costs of producing ‘paper’ books, publishing (and thus authoring) has moved into the 21st century and now operates at the speed of the internet. All of which means an author who does not have a large established readership may no longer indulge in procrastination.

Thank heaven I’ve been in this business to figure out what kind of damage procrastination can do before I contracted to write One Day’s Loving for Crimson Romance Publishing. One Day’s Loving is the first book I’ve ever contracted for before it was written. Yep. I signed on the dotted line with no more than a short blurb and 4 page synopsis to indicate what the story would be.
Crimson’s production timeline is extremely tight. I signed in February. They wanted to book for editing in June. Five months sounds like a long time right? Believe me it isn’t. I spent 30 days drafting the book. I spent sixty days revising that draft into shape good enough to send in for edits and I just made it. You’d think I still had sixty days left. Not so. In between drafting and revising One Day’s Loving, I went through edits on two other books, did at least three blog tours, took two short trips (2-5 days) with my hubby to show him I still loved him, and procrastinated (I discovered Jigsaw World on FB and I love Jigsaw Puzzles). 

I did turn my contracted manuscript in on time. However, I had moments—as I searched for the right piece to complete a puzzle—when I wondered if I was serious about my author career. It was that thought which got me through on time. I take my career very seriously. That doesn’t mean I never procrastinate. It does mean that I recognize my bad habits and allow for it when I schedule things. I knew that life activities and procrastination together would eat up a good two months of writing time. When I signed that contract for One Day’s Loving, I made sure I had a minimum of five months to deliver the book. By the way, procrastination isn’t bad (or not completely so). My mind is very active when I’m working puzzles which helps me work out story problems. What is bad is not understanding yourself and making commitments that you fail to fulfill as a result.

Leave a comment and tell me about procrastination in your life.

One Day’s Loving

Persephone Mae Alden is the invisible Alden sister, quiet, industrious, generous, kind-hearted, loyal and reliable.  The words used to describe Mae remind her of a well-trained dog.  She’s not happy about it, but what can she do?  She likes her quiet life and would be seriously upset if she had to defy convention like Edith or act on instinct like Kiera. But everything changes when necessity forces her to bravery and she must choose between love and family.
A horrifying bequest convinces Boston attorney James W. Collins V that Mae Alden needs a husband, and she’s just the type of wife he wants. The two of them will be a perfect match. Refusing his offer makes no sense, so why won’t the woman accept?

About Rue Allyn

Author of historical, contemporary, and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard her first story. She is deliriously married to her sweetheart of many years and loves to hear from readers about their favorite books and real life adventures.  Learn more about Rue at http://RueAllyn.com


13 comments:

  1. If not for the last minute nothing would ever get done. I'm ADD/OCD so I can 'selectively' ignore or obsess about things. I have to have a deadline for something to hold my attention long enough to gitter done. My life (and my counterspace) is filled with good intentions . . .

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    1. Nancy, thanks so much for visiting. I guess my counter space (or lack of it) is a great indicator of what's happening in my life!

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    2. Yes, Nancy, but you're so good at it. :) Thanks for visiting.

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  2. Another serious procrastinator here. My first novel took 15 years and 3 months to write. The second? A month, since I entered a contest, and so put myself under a deadline. Apparently, for me, deadlines are the way to go! :)

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Kristen! I agree, if it weren't for deadlines I'd have a difficult time getting anything done!

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    2. Kristen, deadlines are always helpful. Evidently I hate disappointing others more than I like wasting time. :) Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. Patricia, thank you very much for the chance to visit today.

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    1. I'm always happy to host a fellow Michigander!

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  4. I'm a huge procrastinator, esp. solitaire! But like you said, this allows your mind to flow into other things like the book and story. Now with a full time job and writing, I don't have as much time for things I enjoy, so I make a list. If I have a list, I feel better with things getting done.

    Congrats on your release. The cover is beautiful!

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    1. Good for you on finding a method that keeps you on track. Lists save my life when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'll pass the comment about the cover on to my publisher. Thanks for visiting.

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  5. I say living in Michigan is the best reason to procrastinate - there is always something interesting going on - basically the weather. :) I have to say "my life and counterspace are filled with good intentions" sums up my life. I LOVE that saying, Nancy!

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    1. I sort of agree. I'm a native Michigander and if you're in this state and bored at the same time, something is seriously wrong. That said, I'm old enough to want less snow, ice and cold in my life. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. As an unpublished author (except for self-publishing), I make up my own deadlines. My husband always says, "Why do you do that?" It is because otherwise nothing would get done. I have 15 finished novels waiting for the publishing world to let me know when they want to see them in print.

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