The Time for Creativity

If you’re new to the blog, you’ll see how I sometimes talk about the writing life or give an inside look into the publishing industry. I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, creativity, and work, so today, you’ll read about the business of writing and what I’m learning about how to stay creative as a career author.

What most people don’t know about publishing books is the business behind it all. Usually, you focus on book marketing for at least six weeks after your book releases. If you work with a traditional publisher, you’ll work with a marketing manager and a publicist who help you with anything from social media, mailings, and interviews on podcasts, radio, and sometimes television. With Moody Publishers, you’ll enjoy many radio interviews since they own 71 radio stations. This time around, I’ve received more requests than with any other book for radio and podcast interviews, so when I’m not teaching at Penn State, grading, or meeting with students, I’m normally taking on 2-3 radio or podcast interviews a day. This doesn’t include in-person speaking engagements and lots of travel.

It might sound glamorous and exciting to aspiring authors, but it truly is a lot of work. And you might not like all of this work. I don’t say this as a warning or a discouragement; I write to tell you what to expect and how to survive. And here’s how to survive:

My best advice for staying creative when you’re also promoting a book (or any creative project of yours) involves two vital tips:

1. Remember you’re a writer. That’s who you are. Writers write. Which leads to #2

2. Start as soon as you can on your next writing project. This keeps your mind free from the entanglements of sales and ratings. Start dreaming. Send out proposals. Write, write, write.

If you’re a writer, and if writer’s write, go ahead and give yourself permission to build a writing life, and keep your creative life as a priority. It’s not so much a matter of time as it is a focus of your heart and mind. You’re a writer. Writers write.

So that’s why I blog every day and keep my notebook of ideas for the next project right beside me. If you’ve just completed one project (and you don’t want to drown in the marketing of it), start on your next great idea.

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