A few months ago, I was able to interview author Karina Fabian about her comedy/horror series Neeta Lyfe: Zombie Exterminator. Karina’s newest book in the series, entitled I Left My Brains In San Francisco is now out.
To celebrate, Karina is putting on a blog tour, and I’m only happy to host her. Karina sent me a blog for today based on making priorities as a writer.
Prioritize by Karina Fabian
Writing can be a weird profession—many people make a good living at it—yes, even with fiction—while
some struggle their entire lives trying to make it work. I’m not here to tell you how to be a full-time,
money-earning writer. I’m still figuring that myself. I would, however, like to talk about priorities.
We all know the cliché of the tireless writer pounding away at the keyboard in isolation for hours, even
days at a time, constantly obsessed with the state of their characters, endlessly diversing on theme
during the rare occasions they get out. My experience, however, has been that writers are parents,
people working full time jobs plus writing, or have other obligations that are as important or more
important than their novel.
For people like them—like me—prioritizing is vital. It helps you keep some balance in your life and stay
focused on your goal, and it keeps you from frittering away at busywork, just to discover a day, week,
even year later that you didn’t accomplish anything you really wanted. Here, then are some common
sense but hard-learned tips from my own experience.
1. Set writing goals you can achieve. We all dream of making the best seller list and we all aspire to be
published, but those are not goals. They are aspirations. A goal is something you can enumerate and
achieve on your own. If it depends on outsiders, it’s not a goal. So instead of aspiring to publish a novel
a year (unless you self-pub), aspire to write one a year, and to submit a query a week until it is picked
2. Know your priorities and put writing in accordingly. If you homeschool your kids and writing is not
a necessary source of income, you might benefit from thinking of writing as a hobby. Plan it for the
evening as “your time,” and remember that as they get older, they’ll need you less and you can write
more. (Something I wish I’d done better.)
3. Know how writing fits in your situation and remember that situations change. For many of us, it’s
easy for writing to become an obsession, and when those books get picked up, the amount of work
increases because now we have to add marketing to our writing schedule. Since writing is something
you can do at home–and since our brains work all the time–it’s easy to give in to the temptation to let it
take over our time and attention. However, it’s a temptation we have to resist. Writing needs to be in
its proper place.
Think of it this way–how many of you wish your spouse would leave his/her work at the office? I know I
do. It’s not always possible, but we appreciate it when they try. They deserve the same from us.
4. Remember that success is a very personal thing—define it for yourself and discuss it with your spouse
and those you are close to. Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a great series about success on her blog, “The
Freelancer’s Survival Guide”: http://kriswrites.com/freelancers-survival-guide-table-of-contents/. I
highly recommend reading it as you decide what success means to you.
5. Finally, make WRITING the priority for your writing time. Not Facebook, not marketing, not even
submitting your work. Dedicate some time every writing session for actual creation of the story or
book—and if there is a particular project you’re aiming for, make sure part of the time is spent just
for that. I have to keep reminding myself of this lesson. For example, I am working on the serial
story “Shambling in a Winter Wonderland,” which I’m going to run in serial in November to raise money
for Operation Homefront. However, my writing time this week has been articles, and Guild work, and
preparing the blog tour. (I’m writing this article in September.) Every day, this week, I’ve accomplished
a lot and written thousands of words, but none on the story. It not only has put me behind my hoped-
for schedule, but it leaves me at the end of the day feeling that, despite all the tasks I finished, I
achieved nothing. MAKE time to write your story!
Announcing: Are You the Next Zombie Idol?
Damnation Books and Karina are looking for someone to sing the theme
song she wrote for I Left My Brains in San Francisco. She has the words and the tune; but
they need a singer. They are offering prizes for the best singer, the most creative audition
video, and are giving one in ten entries a copy of the e-book. The details are at http://
Winner of the 2010 INDIE for best Fantasy (Magic, Mensa and Mayhem)
and a Global eBook Award for Best Horror (Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator), Karina
Fabian’s writing takes quirky twists that keep her–and her fans–amused. Nuns working
in space, a down-and-out Faerie dragon working off a geas from St. George, zombie
exterminators—there’s always a surprise in Fabian’s worlds. Mrs. Fabian teaches
writing and book marketing seminars online.
Find Karina at:
Google +: https://plus.google.com/103660024891826015212
Find I Left My Brains in San Francisco at:
Damnation Books: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727643
More about it at http://zombiedeathextreme.com