In hindsight, don’t buy that fancy desk

This month’s theme is “What nobody told you about being a writer” — being a professional/published writer is so different than I thought it would be that it was just easier to list all the differences…

  1. Grumpy Leah (via The Oatmeal's Dishwasher Lady)I knew that writing the first book was hard, but I discovered that I find each successive book tougher to write because I am convinced I have to make it better than my last. That I need to learn more with each one, which of course causes me to write slower and slower. And slooowwweeerrr.
  2. I figured write a book, send it to my editor, write the next book, send it to my editor, but in there, as Jodi already mentioned, is all the other stuff—the cover art forms, the blurb forms, the edits (which I actually enjoy! Although some of the deadlines – on some books I’ve been given 4 days to edit an entire full length novel—can be a little crazy.) and other behind-the-scenes discussions that can take time away from writing.Marketing (copyright ' )
  3. Why did nobody tell me what a time suck the whole marketing side of it is? Or how I’d need a degree to figure all this stuff like:
    1. Where it’s worthwhile to place ads – and then how you have to follow up to see if I made my money’s worth out of it. It has to be done regularly because a site that got me a lot of hits a year ago has folded or barely makes a ripple for the $60 I threw at them.
    2. Nobody told me I was going to need to become a graphic artist too. Because once I’ve decided where to take out an ad I have to make graphics for ads–and no one told me there is not one single site where they ask for the same size graphic as any other site, which means each ad has to be made specifically to their specs. Yes, I could hire someone else to do it but frankly I can’t afford it, so Photoshop and I have become frenemies. (Actually I like Photoshop, but again, time suck!)
    3. Book launches – arranging for blogs to host me when I have a book come out. It takes a lot of back-and-forth to find out IF a site will host you and what they want – and again, each site has different requirements. (Yes, I can mean hiring someone to arrange blog hops but I’ve lost MAJOR money doing that—and I’m not convinced anyone’s even reading blogs anymore) and then writing blogs for the blogs they’ve set up– it can take me 2-4 hours or more to write a blog post, now ask me to write 20 within the next week.
    4. Website coding — I’ve had to learn WordPress so I can maintain my own website because frankly I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it anymore, and yeah, I’m a bit of a control freak about what goes onto my site, and when I paid someone to maintain it for me I found myself spending more time sending emails correcting the stuff they’d done wrong as it would have taken me to do it right the first time.
  4. The whole social media check-in thing—first it was Twitter, then Facebook, then Tumblr, then Instagram…and the jury is still out on Ello and Tsu. Frankly while I preferred Twitter in its early days, it’s lost much of its charm and I’m finding myself on Facebook more these days, though I admit Facebook has ways of ticking me off (I mean, what’s with them flipping to Top Stories and showing me 3 day old posts that I’ve seen a dozen times already?) And as a relative homebody, my Instagram feed tends to be suspiciously similar photos of my #dogandcatlivingtogether or my #knitting (does anyone actually use hashtags for their search?)

Leahs-OfficeAnd last but not least, when I was changing out my eldest son’s bedroom to my private office after he moved out, I wish I’d had someone tell me not to make it into an actual “office” because I’ve discovered sitting at my desk actually puts me in a “business” frame of mind and sucks all my creativity away. I’m seriously considering selling my desk and trading it in for a lounger or day bed, and on the opposite wall I’d have a big screen TV I can hook up my computer to so I can stretch out while I write. By the way, that photo was taken the day my desk was set up — I haven’t been able to see the top of it ever since; it’s been so covered with receipts and mail and junk…even though I clean it off once a week, paper just multiplies like crazy. And each piece says “you need to pay me” or “you need to do [fill in the blank] before you do anything else”. Far too distracting. Instead I’d love to sit in this chair below with my laptop–preferably with a nice big window at the side I can stare out if I need to reflect. Of course, if the guy comes with it, he can sit at my feet and act as my inspiration. 😉 And serve me coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.Copyright: '

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Feeding the Flames

Sometimes your soulmate has been right in front of you their whole life. It shouldn’t take almost losing them to find them. Feeding the Flames by Leah BraemelVolunteer firefighter Zac Buchanan has been carrying a torch for Tabatha Morgan since…well, forever. A promise he made years ago backfired, sending Tabatha into the arms of another man, and him into a decade of heartache. Now Tabatha’s back in town, newly divorced, and the sparks between them are setting them both aflame. Tabatha would have bet her secret five-alarm chili recipe that her school girl crush on Zac had died out long ago. Except those slumbering embers reignited the moment Zac walked into her diner. Now each time she sees him—hears him, thinks about him—she can’t imagine her life without him again. But if their new-found love and sizzlin’ hot action in the bedroom—and living room, kitchen and bathroom—is to survive, Tabatha must also accept the smoke, flames and danger of Zac’s job. Or their happy-ever-after will forever be extinguished.

Buy the book or Read an Excerpt

FEEDING THE FLAMES is knock your bobby socks off sexy and worthy of a happy ending (and when you read it you’ll understand both those references)!

~ Slick Reads,Guilty Pleasures


In hindsight, don’t buy that fancy desk — 8 Comments

  1. Your list is as long as mine, Leah. These days I fantasize about having an assistant who could handle all the business/marketing/website/graphic stuff that I can’t do or don’t want to do. All I really want to do is write, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

  2. Hi Leah,
    Great post. So, so true. I can relate to Every. Single. Point. However, we’ve always had an office/computer room and that’s where I use to hole up to write. Now I prefer writing in bed or in my comfy chair in front of the fire. Comfortable surrounding is key!

    • “I prefer writing in bed or in my comfy chair in front of the fire” EXACTLY — that’s what I want to do, it’s so much more inspiring than the office. (Although then I’d need a pet wrangler because the dog and the cat insist on sitting on my lap if I’m by the fireplace and the laptop gets buried.)

  3. Yes, the whole desk thing. I have an office. Do I write there? No. I write next to a large picture window in a recliner with my feet UP. At least that’s where I’m writing for the current WIP. Who knows where I’ll be for the next one.

  4. Loved your list, Leah, and I’m pretty much with you on the entire list of “What? I’ve gotta do that?” :-) I also understand what you mean about the desk. Since I got a new laptop (that doesn’t have to stay plugged in all the time), I like to move around the house, rather than just sit at my desk. I’ve been in my office all week, mostly because I felt bad that I have this nice office and I wasn’t using it.

    • Hey Reese — I keep trying to do that, but my dog hates when the laptop is on my lap instead of him and whines incessantly, and the cat tries to sit on the laptop’s keyboard, so it’s a constant fight with the animals. I’ve tried going to write at the library (ended up with horrible back pain from the chairs) and a coffee shop (OMG I need a quiet environment)…I think I need to get one of those garden sheds turned into a hideaway where I can sneak off without the animals, LOL.

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