TL;DR – Pre-Christmas work pressure making writing hard, but about to hit 30k words on latest draft. Annual e-book sales at just under AU$1000 with no marketing effort to speak of, so that bodes well for when actual marketing begins. Throat getting better, singing easier. Learning to schedule via Joanna Penn, author biz guru. Band did a gig; sexy photo below.
Well, well, well, it is not easy being green is it? And neither is it easy MAKING green as this last week has proved to me as my work-for-money has done its damnedest to completely swamp my life’s work!
I guess it’s just that time of the year; in marketing spring is always nuts as clients come out of hibernation in winter and drive themselves (and me) into a frenzy leading up until Christmas, whereupon they all turn into pumpkins and leave me clutching the diamond slipper, wondering what the hell just happened 🙂
However, work is always teaching us things, and this year as I have been prostituting my skills out so that my children may eat, I have learned many things, all of which I am looking forward to applying to my new career as an author. The big thing I am implementing right now is actually scheduling my work out in advance. This is something I have resisted all my life, but a free video series from my author business guru contained a session on productivity that just made it seem so much less tiresome and difficult than I had always thought of it as.
Speaking of which, despite feeling the work squeeze this last week (or has it been two since I blogged? It’s all a daze.), I did manage to get my butt in the chair and push the first draft of my new book up to just under 30,000 words. I also kept working my Twitter account up, building a bigger following. I have actually had a Twitter account since something like 2008 but I never took much interest in it until recently when I started researching the author business and author marketing and I realised that writers are big on Twitter, so I started working it up. First goal is to get it to 1000 followers, which by anyone’s standards is not huge but it’s a start (the point being that as my products start to roll out, I am hoping that Twitter will help to sell books and engage with readers).
In music news I had a busy week, I found the time to visit my voice therapist again and I am glad to report that the problem with my throat, the one with the impressive-sounding but utterly unpronounceable name – Laryngopharyngeal Reflux – is getting a lot better. I completely quit caffeine a couple of weeks ago, as well as following the other dietary recommendations (low acidic foods only, so no tomatoes, no onions, no spicy foods, no alcohol, no fried foods … I know, right?). The result has been staggeringly impressive. I’ve made it through multiple rehearsals and two gigs with Creatures from the Bog now with minimal throat irritation (pain, weak/croaky voice) so I am stoked about that. Also involved in the recovery has been staying well hydrated and doing vocal exercises every day and before singing.
We played a set at a local festival here where we live in the Dandenong Ranges, a culturally inspired hills region just outside of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia). The End of the Line Festival was ace and here we are looking overly serious, which is odd because I remember having a good laugh so I guess a single image can be misleading! That’s me sucking on the microphone.
After the gig I even loosed up and partied on a little bit, which was a break from my hardcore self-discipline of 2015, but I think I needed it (and I didn’t go overboard). It was good to hang out with the night-time cockroaches, have a couple of beers and eat some (shock horror) steamed dim-sims at 1:30am, laughing as we walked back through the gum trees, but it was immediately back on the straight-and-narrow the next day. I am not deluding myself that I can ever return to my old habits without dire consequences to my health and state of mind and it will again be many months before I indulge as such again.
One thing that I am struggling with right now is the late night music schedule versus my preferred modus operandi of early to bed, up early to write. I am not sure how to deal with this just yet as I do not operate well on too little sleep, so if I do stay up jamming or gigging, the next morning, I don’t write. I suspect this is only a problem I can solve by choosing one or the other…
A last piece of good news, sold 5 copies of Psychedelic Meditation this last week for US$10 each, bringing my annual sales total thus far of that book to just under AU$1000. This is very encouraging to me because if I am selling that many without doing anything to actively market the book at all, then I know there is money to me made from my books as I roll them out with an actual marketing strategy. Can’t wait!