by Megan Lowe
A Day in the life of Megan Lowe.
I’ve spoken a lot about how to be a writer, what it means to be a writer and the joys, and downfalls of writing, but what is it really like to be a writer?
To be honest, it’s a bit different than what you might expect. I know the title of this article says a day in the life of, but for the sake of making this interesting, as well as giving you an accurate snapshot, I’ll cover a week.
First off, there’s writing.
Not as much as I’d like, but I do get stuff done. On days where I can devote my full attention to my WIP, I set myself a goal of 10 pages (which equates to about 1500 words.) This may not seem that much, but I work part time as well as look after a blog and my family so my time is limited.
Second, there’s housekeeping.
And I’m not talking sweeping or doing the laundry. There’s a whole heap of things that pop up in the course of being a published author.
Blog takeovers, which are great for getting exposure and interacting with readers and bloggers alike.
Following up after takeovers. This is a pain! So many people get so many Facebook notifications, so it’s easy for someone to overlook one telling them they’ve won and ARC or gift voucher. You have to be strict and give deadlines. It’s not fair on you, or the other people who entered, to be chasing someone for a week. I usually give 48 hours.
Applying for takeovers/reviews/spotlights. I’ve lost count of the number of google forms I’ve filled out. Copy and paste is a great thing!
Posting on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. Thank God you can now post on one and it will post on the others automatically! Still, you need to keep people engaged. The more likes or retweets, the more people will see your posts. As well as this, it’s important to remember that your posts can help to increase your followers too. And if that’s not enough, you may want to look into sites like Nitreo who can help you to further grow your numbers organically – you can learn more on nitreo’s website here. Every little helps, right? Remember, hashtags are also your friends! You may think you look like an idiot hashtagging everything and everyone, but it does get your post noticed.
Participating in Teaser Tuesdays/ Thirsty Thursdays/ Man Crush Monday/Wednesday/Fridays. I’m not sure how many people actually look through all the comments these posts garner, but you’ve got to be in it to win it right?
Posting in groups. Again, you’ve got to get out there and get noticed. Sure, these posts may not get much attention, but it only takes one.
Tagging in contests. My author group and I are constantly tagging each other in spotlight contests. In addition to that there’s also cover and banner contests. People can say I spend too much time on Facebook, but as an indie author, it’s your best place for promotion. After all, what excuse do other people have for spending so much time there?
Third, publisher stuff.
I do have a publisher. They’re called Hot Tree Publishing and they’re great. I fully recommend submitting to them. Even if I don’t have a release coming up, they’re always working hard to promo the authors on their roster. So I get emails all the time about this contest or that promo opportunity.
Fourth, my newsletter.
I do have a newsletter. You can sign up through my author page. I don’t send one out very often, but I try to do one at least once a month. I’m not the most technologically gifted person, so this was a little bit of a mountain for me to climb, but I did it and I think I did it okay. I’m actually really proud I figured this out, but it does take a little bit of time for me.
The editing never ends. There does come a point where it no longer matters because your book has been published, but I’m always thinking or tinkering or wanting to change things.
Six, other writing.
Like this article for example. I also try to write for my blog but it is suffering a bit.
I am a blogger as well, so that means I do get ARCs I need to read. I try to devote a few hours after I get home from work to this. I have also devoted the weekends to this as well. It not only gives me a break from my WIP but is something I enjoy immensely.
Eight, Beta reading.
As well as a writer and blogger, I’m also a beta reader for Hot Tree. This has helped me with my own writing a lot. But it’s also nice to be able to provide some advice to someone who is in my shoes. I admit some of the reads I’ve done have driven me insane, but I can only hope my help results in a successful book.
This is on top of working and my family. There’s a lot that goes into being a writer. Some of these may not apply to you, but a lot of them are part and parcel of being an Indie writer. I understand now why PAs are worth their weight in gold! Unfortunately that’s something I’m going to have to put on my wishlist. There is always something to be done when you’re a writer, and writing is only a small part of it. It’s the heart of it, but writing and being published is a business. I didn’t realise that at first. I get it now. The idea of being a brand, or having a brand, was something I thought was reserved for JK Rowling. It’s not. Even us little guys need to be thinking about all that. It’s crazy but it’s reality. In the end though, it’s the love of my work, and what I do that drives me.
Megan Lowe is the author of the Rocking Racers series.
Book One, Breaking the Cycle and Book Two, No Place to Hide are out now.
Book Three, Breaking Away will be released in August, 2017.