When the Work Piles Up

ChronometerBoy, I haven’t had much time for working on trade books lately–which is, actually, a good and bad thing.

On the bad side:

  • I have lots of books I want to write!
  • What time I HAVE had for trade books has been spent on projects already in the publishing pipeline. In other words–projects that have already been acquired. I’ve been working on revisions on one project, title brainstorming (quite a lot of this) on another project, and reviewing of sketches on two different forthcoming projects–one that is going really well and I’m super excited about, and another that is not going really well and that I’m getting nervous about.
  • I took part in ReFoReMo, which I love every year, and I have read tons (well, OK, about 60) picture books in the past couple of weeks. And I’m so inspired! I’ve done some plot analysis (plot is what I really need to work on right now), and this weekend I typed out the texts of 10 or 11 of the ones that had plots that resonated most strongly with me. But the frustration is that I want more time to study these texts and really analyze them deeply.

On the good side:

The reasons I haven’t had much time for trade books recently are good ones:

  • I’ve got a lot of work-for-hire work right now, which is nice for the bills that need to be paid. That includes writing some ELA lesson plans and a whole bunch of passages this month.
  • As mentioned above, I’ve been working on books that will be coming out in the next couple of years–yay!
  • I’ve been launching a book with a launch party and various promotional tasks.
  • I’ve had several speaking events this past month and coming up, too, including a poetry workshop online Wednesday night.

The other small positive byproduct is that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Or at least more eager! Not having the time to work on a couple projects somehow makes my brain even more eager to work on the storylines and plots and characters of the very books I can’t work on. It’s like a pressure cooker of motivation. That usually means that when I DO have the time to write, the words will spout out at an alarming rate. (Whether they are good or bad words remains to be seen, of course.)

It’s always, always a balancing act when you are trying to write for both love and money (almost always on different projects). It definitely helps me to step back and look at the long view. There’s almost always a positive side, even to the things that are so frustrating!

Happy writing!


About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
This entry was posted in Laura's Writing Life, Making a Living, Writers in the World and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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