The beauty of a writer's schedule is in it's unparalleled flexibility. As an independent writer with no deadlines, I can work whenever and wherever I want. Unfortunately I can also not work wherever and whenever I want. I can blow it off and go to the beach, go for a bike ride, or sit around watching TV all day if I want to. Nobody is stopping me.
One of the biggest struggles for many an independent writer is with self-motivation. Some people have an easier time with this than others. Some writers are just driven more to pound out the work. Others are drawn toward a more leisurely pace.
I suppose I fit somewhere in the middle. I can often be lazy about it, distracted by outdoor activities or even just surfing the web, though I do try to put the time in every day, often seven days per week. Being my own boss gives me that flexibility to decide when and where I write, but if I'm not producing anything I'm not earning any income either.
Looking around, I see that the independent writers who are really making a living at it tend to be the ones who are the most productive. My first two books did relatively well, but sales tapered off dramatically after four or five months with each title, which means that if you want a steady income, you really have to crank them out.
My latest novel Natalia has taken me more than twice as long to finish as I'd expected. It has now been exactly a year since my last book, Sweet Ophelia, came out. Part of that extended time is of necessity since I need to let these plot lines and character developments percolate in my subconscious to sort themselves out. Sometimes if I rush it, then it just doesn't come out right. Then again, I know I could have finished this much faster if I'd pushed myself a little harder.
But that great flexibility is part of the reason I aspired toward a career in writing fiction in the first place. For the past few weeks my sisters and their families have been visiting California from Denver. How could I pass up a day at the beach with my sister and my nephew, or taking him to his favorite, In and Out Burger, for lunch? I'm grateful that my time is my own and I can spend it with them if I want to.
Now the last of the visitors has headed off to the airport and it is time to get back down to the writing! I'm very close to being finished with these final revisions; maybe a week or two away. No more distractions, it's time for me to get to it! Hopefully by the time I make my next post here, it will be to announce the launch of this latest novel! So, time to get busy... ;-)