As a writer, people often ask me, “When is your next book coming out?” My first instinct is to shout, “You want to read another one of my books? Yay!!” Instead, I refrain, act cool, and explain that I’m currently on a six month 55 city cross country novel music tour with my husband and son, which means I have almost zero writing time. They usually nod, wide-eyed, and start to back away from the crazy lady who took a 4-year-old on a half-year tour. I throw out, almost as an after-thought, that I do have two more books outlined and started, and I hope to get first drafts finished by the end of this summer.
Both stories are contemporary women’s fiction set in the music industry, just like my current release, ROCK MY WORLD
. One is more comedic, the other is a love triangle, and I cannot seem to decide which will come out first. I also have no clue how to go about carving out the necessary writing time while touring, but it MUST be done. That is what I learned the first time around: make time.
As every writer surely understands, making time to write is often the hardest part. For my first novel I had to learn what my process was, how to justify writing when it wasn’t making any money, and passing through the crippling fear stage when I compared my work-in-progress to literary classics, only to deem my own writing unreadable. But surmounting all of that was nothing in comparison to figuring out ways to assuage the guilt about spending time away from my family, away from managing my husband’s music career—time I should be spending doing a myriad of other more “important” things, like paying bills and booking tours.
This time around I have some advantages. For one, I know how I write, how to ask for
the space I need, and how to keep myself from procrastinating once I get that time. Along with the added advantage of having earned some money from my writing, further encouraging me. And yet, I find myself being sucked into the social networking, marketing, and researching vortex that is the Internet. The days blend together in a blur of radio and TV interviews, book signings, house concerts, blogs, emails, photo editing, shooting videos, and coming up with new marketing ideas to help ROCK MY WORLD
find as many readers as possible. And some of the time I feel like I’m doing a decent job getting it all done…and then I see a post by another author who’s releasing their fourth book of the year and I feel my heart seize in panic.
Finally, I calm down and come to the inevitable conclusion that I’m me, not them, and remind myself that I can only do as much as my life allows. My path is my own—to figure out, to meander, to enjoy—and that time I just spent comparing myself to someone else could be much better spent writing. So now it’s time for me to get back to work. What about you? What are you writing?
Sharisse Coulter, originally from Lake Tahoe, started with a smidge of college in Paris (not Texas), a dash in Australia and, voilà! A master’s degree in Anthropology framed and placed lovingly on a shelf, never to be dusted off again. Instead, she took the clear path to success, marrying a musician, becoming his manager and touring the country playing gigs, taking photos, and making music videos. Finally, she had a son (and subsequent identity crisis), which fueled the completion of her first novel (soon to be released) ROCK MY WORLD. Now at work on her second and third novels, she’s concurrently embarking on A Novel Music Tour: a 5 month 55 city national music/book tour while perfecting the art of Lego and enjoying her addiction to reading novels on her iPhone. It’s a wonderful life for an insatiable wanderluster.