Friday, March 23, 2012

The Fine Print

Back yonder, when I was ten, my vision of what it meant to be a writer was quite clear...

You write.

Seemed like a safe assumption, eh?

But as is the case with lots of careers--and virtually anything in life--there's fine print under that job title. Lots and lots of fine print.

For example, I never knew my gig as a writer would have me racing towards a finish line much like a jockey. But for anyone who has had a deadline looming (Susan) recently, that's exactly what we do, isn't it?

I never knew I'd have to get in front of people (sometimes lots of people) and be a public speaker. Which, in the event you missed the "public" part, means you do this out loud (to real people). Heck, one of the reasons I became a writer is because I'm quiet by nature.

I never knew I'd be a businesswoman. But I am. I've had to learn about website promotion, the most effective forms of marketing for my books, how to read royalty statements, etc.

I never knew I'd have to be a travel agent of sorts, either. But I am. Every time I travel for a signing, I'm looking for the best deals on airfare, hotels, and rental cars, while simultaneously researching the particular city I'm visiting so I knew where I'm going.

But the one "fine print" addition to the whole writer thing that's shocked me most has been juggler. Because when you're writing multiple things all the time, juggling skills are a must. And sometimes there are a lot of balls to maneuver over your head. For me, right now, I've got six: 1) editing a book that's due out in October; 2) writing another that is due on May 1st;  3) prepping for the launch of my latest mystery on April 3rd; 4) securing events and strategizing for the brand new mystery series I've got launching in June; 5) working with my weblady on a complete overhaul of my website; and 6) writing gobs of guest blogs to coincide with the April 3rd launch.

I'm sure I'm missing a few "fine print" additions that some of you can point out and I know they'll be far funnier than mine, but I'm also curious about those of you who have a different career. Tell us about your fine print additions.


  1. And yet, as we sat at Panera's so many years ago, you never warned me of the juggling I'd be doing after selling my first book.

    Writer's write, don't they?

    Great post. Now, to find a pen so I can make today's to do list...

    Looking forward to reading Hearse and Buggy!

  2. You nailed it--juggling is what all writers have to do. It would be heaven if all we had to do was write.


  3. Suspect that life is what comes with fine print.

  4. Laura, thank heavens I finally got that book done! One less thing to juggle, although there are still plenty! I am trying so hard to pare down and spend more time on the writing and less on other stuff...but even when I pare down, there's still so much else to do. How does that happen? All I can say is you do it all very gracefully, chickie! You're a great example for others to follow. :-)

  5. Well, you know, I think every job/career/life is the same song: when is it completely what you pictured or defined it to be, right? I used to work in IT and that job was different than I'd thought. Friends who are docs tell me their job is different than they imagined while going through school, etc. Even non-job jobs give you reasons to always revamp your vision--how many parents out there ended up right about what that "job" meant? Seems to be inescapable.

  6. Lynn, as I was fairly new in the game myself at that point, I wasn't aware of the extent of the juggling, either. :) So get arms ready!

    Oh yes, fine print is everywhere. Makes life more interesting, that's for sure, Vicky!

    Susan, it is very tough to pare down at times. And it does seem as you master it in one area, stuff creeps up elsewhere.

    Liz, I suspect you're right.

    Marilyn, just write? That's what I shall do today. I think... :)

  7. Don't forget about preparing for Malice and worrying about what evil questions your panel moderator will ask. :)

  8. And thanks, to Aimee, there's another ball in play. :)