Monday, March 05, 2007


My husband and daughter love that show: 24. Jack Bauer saves the world and we get it an hour at a time. I've actually never watched the show--only have seen snippets while walking from my office to the kitchen. But I know it's a hit.

I thought I'd give you an author's 24. Doubt it'll be as much of a hit but if any of you wonder why an author is 1) late on deadline 2) late on answering emails 3) late on posting a blog 4) late on responding on MySpace 5) late on posting to her Yahoo Group and 5) cranky... here's why:

An Author's 24

My daily To-Do list includes (priority depends on who screams the loudest):
1 - read business emails, such as emails from my editor, agent, publicist, fellow/sister authors and respond to same
2 - read fan mails and respond to same
3 - read fan loops and respond
4 - read business loops (RWA) and respond
5 - read business postings such as PUBLISHER'S LUNCH

This week also included:
1 - create/print two press kits complete with ARCs and send to the RT Publicity people for the upcoming conference. Create/pay for priority postage on line. Package. Send.

2 - drive to Orlando (last Friday) to teach an early AM Saturday workshop at an RWA meeting. That also required me to write and design a handout and print 35 of them. It also required me to WRITE my "lesson". I did the same thing two weekends prior for the Naples Press Club conference.

3 - order/pay for goody items for a book fair in Ohio

4 - teach/respond my on line class on CHARACTER TORTURE (create and post lessons, answer student emails, etc.)

What's not yet done but needs to be:

1 - send 100 bookmarks to a store that requested same
2 - finish the promo mailing to 200 indy bookstores
3 - coordinate my one-hour SFR party for RT with the other 9 authors

Notice I've said nothing about writing my book yet?

I also--and this may shock some of you--have a husband, two cats, one duckling and laundry. A daughter and son in law. An elderly mother and a father now in the hospital.

Notice I've said nothing about writing my book yet?

Being an author is, yes, writing a book. Spending wonderful time plotting and planning with your characters. But A LOT of being an author is running the business of being an author. A LOT.

If someone can figure out how to pack thirty hours into a day, please let me know. I desperately need it. And I'm now late for my physical therapy appointment... and my husband just phoned and said we're having out of town houseguests Friday through Sunday.

WHEN am I going to find time to write?


Welcome to my 24. Hugs all, ~Linnea


  1. Do you really want to know or do you just want to share our pain?

    1) Share Our Pain: "Yeah, tell me about it! I'm not even published yet and I can barely manage and I don't even have a duckling. I really want one though. And a cat named George Beauregard that I can pat whenever I'm stressed out. Here, have some cyber-chocolate."

    2) How To Do It: "Uh, nevermind. Not enough room here to go into detail. In a nutshell, I'm a stay-at-home (no hired cook or maid), homeschooling mother of four (one in Heaven and three on Earth) and wife of a pilot whose schedule is constantly changing. Uber-scheduling every minute of the day is the only way I carve out any time for myself."

  2. I just want to say I am in awe of all that you do. As a fan, I want to say thnak you. As a woman, I want to say I hope things work out for your family and that you are able to get some down time soon.

  3. Anonymous7:14 PM EST

    Okay, now I feel like a total under-achiever/time-squanderer. My options are now: 1. Wallow in guilt over my exceedingly poor time-management skills. 2. Bask in the relative luxury of my disgustingly non-frantic life.
    3. Say nothing at all so nobody will know either way. Oops, too late for that. I do stand in awe though, of all you uber-scheduling, hyper-active, high-performance authors out there. *bowing, gratefully and respectfully* And in my own defense, I do spend (wisely, IMHO) a lot of that so-called idle time of mine reading what y'all have written. =)

  4. I AM in awe of authors who write full time AND raise kids, and/or write full time AND have another career. Me, no can do.

    I'll say up front that I'm not the best time manager around. Nor am I organized. "Organized chaos" is a good way to describe my office. ;-)

    But I think for the most part, most readers are unaware of how much BUSINESS published authors are required to do. I know when I teach and mention that, students often go wide-eyed: "You had to draft and produce a marketing plan in addition to writing your book?"

    Uh, yeah.

    The other issue I have is I LIKE hearing from fans and answering their emails. I know how much it means to me to hear from an author or musician whose work I admire. So while yes, I know several authors who actually farm out their fan mail to a secretary to answer--I don't do that. I can't see myself doing that.

    So in many ways I'm my own worst enemy.

    My other issue is that I do a ton of promo (because if I don't, who will?). Not all authors do that. Many can't simply because of lack of time. But I do tons of promo AND speaking engagements and such. I feel it's important to my readers and to get the word out.

    It was far easier before I was published, quite honestly. Just writing--which took up tons of time--was enough.

    Did I know about the business end? Obliquely. I mean, I did run a successful investigative agency for ten years. But that's more...I don't know. Mechanical? It doesn't require the creativity.

    Running the business end of being an author eats away at your creativity. At least, it does mine. I can't be compiling my expenses for the IRS at 10am and then segue into character and being writing at 11am. I'm just not wired that way.

    I honestly do not know how published authors also raise kids and/or have other careers. My hat's off to them, totally!

    Kimber, ducklings are beyond cool. We're so enchanted by O.E.. :-)

    Brandy, thanks for the kind words! And have enough to worry about being a character in a book. You kill zombies very well, so don't fret it. ;-)

    ~Linnea, answering her own blog at 1236 AM because, yes, I am squeezing 30 hours out of a day again... :-)