After the hectic book buying frenzy of December and January I was pretty worried about what February would bring. It is true that the I-got-a-Kindle-for-Christmas frenzy has definitely calmed down but I can't complain. February's numbers won't match January but they are still really good – a lot better than I ever expected. This new increase in book royalties is making me a little dizzy and, while I'm not sufficiently confident to think it will last indefinitely, I'm going to try to make the best of it while it lasts.
One of the thing every aspiring author dreams of is the day when they can live on their book income and devote their time to writing. Of course learning to manage that is something we never think about. This isn't the 1920s in Paris and none of us are Hemingway (no kidding). I remember the first time I read A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's brilliant essays on his early years in Paris. Oh how I longed for that life. Getting up early and walking to my little writing room or favorite cafe. Writing for hours completely absorbed in whatever I was writing over a café créme and brioche. Celebrating when the day's writing was accomplished with a demi blond and an order or two of oysters. Spending the afternoon strolling around the Louvre with Fitzgerald or browsing books at Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Company. Then going home to a devoted spouse and spending the evening at 27 Rue de Fleurs with Gertrude Stein or hanging out at one of the Montmatre cafes with Ezra Pound and James Joyce. Sigh.
The reality is more like getting up early and grabbing a quick shower while the coffee drips. Checking email and Facebook while drinking coffee and wolfing down a bowl of hot, wheat-free cereal. Checking book stats on Amazon and making the rounds of the review sites and book promotion sites in between answering phone calls. Updating web sites, answering emails, responding to PMs, posting to internet readers' forums. Plugging in Kindle so it can recharge. Taking a break to heat up some leftover soup and eating that while reviewing most recent writing. Turning off phone's ringer and settling in to write for a few hours, resisting the urge to check email again or see what's new on Facebook and Amazon Discussion Groups. Finally transferring the day's writing to my Kindle so I can read it there later. Running to the market, post office, and/or package store. Quick dinner. Do some cleaning up and general housekeeping. Read day's work on Kindle. Go to bed. The glamour is shattering.
But it's good. It's very good all things considered. I tend to alternate writing days with work days because I still need to do work for clients. But at least I'm making progress on the writing projects instead of waiting for the weekend to work on them.
Depraved Heart, my latest novel, is with an editor/proof-reader. He tells me he thinks it is very good. All the charts have been drawn and the photographs taken for The Mermaid's Garden Shawl knitting booklet – now I just have to write it. And I'm on the sixth story for The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall collection of Marienstadt stories. Plus I have 2 novellas waiting for me to have time for them. These are all good things. When I want some entertainment I play around with additionals drafts of the covers. That is the most relaxing part of my job.
So we are a few days away from March and February has been sufficiently successful with book sales that I'm encouraged that maybe I really am a writer. I keep working at it and that's all that matters.
Thanks for reading.