I am delighted to welcome Tonya to the blog today! Her career is amazing to watch, and I admire how she juggles several series at once. In today’s post she gives us some insight into how she makes it all work.
If you know me at all, you know that for the past fifteen years, before I had written a single word…let alone a book…I’ve been super open with my readers. Wait. You just said before you even wrote a single word.
Yep! You read that right.
I wanted to write a book. I started a blog and talked about it. The entire time gaining followers. Which just so happened to turn into readers!
Then came Facebook! We all started to gather there on a private Kappes Cozy Krew page. As we say in the south, “it was all she wrote!”
Why am I telling you this? Not only is the Cozy Krew page still going strong, I feel like I can go to them about anything. We don’t only discuss all things books, we also talk about our life that includes all amazing good and all the awful ugly. We are our little tribe of family over there. When I was asked to be a guest here on Wicked Authors, of course without hesitation I went to my Cozy Krew. I wasn’t sure what to write about and I knew they’d know. So I asked them…what would you like to read in my guest blog.
Kimberly K O’Hara Nunez, asked, “I’d like to know the day-to-day schedule you keep in order to keep up with your publishing calendar. How do you deal with writers block? Have you ever fallen out of love with a character/characters when you are contracted for several more books featuring them? How do you deal with that?”
Her question got my juices going and that’s the topic I’m going to talk y’all’s ear off today about!
My day to day schedule is pretty much the same Monday through Friday. I treat my writing career as a full time job. The only difference is how I work from home instead of going to an office. But the process is the same.
I get out of bed by six a.m. It use to be around five a.m. while I was raising four boys. Now they are all adults and no longer live at home, so six a.m. is a good time for me. I have two cups of coffee while I do some spiritual/soul work. By that time, it’s around seven a.m. and I get my walking shoes on and walk a couple of miles. Most days I’m just enjoying nature while other days I’m listening to a podcast or two.
After my walk, I shower and get ready for work. That might include another cup of coffee and some breakfast, other days it’s just more coffee. I’m always at my desk by nine a.m. All of my friends and family know I do not keep my phone on me or if it is, I won’t answer it until the writing portion of my day is over.
When I sit down to my desk, I immediately open my current manuscript. I’ll also open youtube on my Ipad. I have a few authors I like to follow who do word sprint videos. These videos are authors who video tape themselves doing live write in with other authors. They spend a lot of time talking in between a chunk of time, like twenty minutes, where they just tape themselves until the timer goes off.
I will do two hour sprints a day and can write three thousand words a day. That puts my time around eleven a.m.
After the sprints and I’m satisfied with the amount of words I’ve written, I will move on to the business side of my job. I will check my email and zero them out. I will check and record my book sales or check to make sure my planned book sales are live. Every day is a theme or what is known as block schedule. Monday is always newsletter while Tuesday is social media, Wednesday is blogs, Thursday is reader birthday post cards, etc…this means that on Monday, I only work on my newsletter. If any of you get my newsletter, you know I put a lot of work into it. It’s not a typical newsletter.
When I say Tuesday is social media, it means that I know exactly every post and the time it will hit the social media sites. Remember, this is a business and it has to be run as such if you’re going to be successful. Everything I do, I ask myself, “how will this help my reader?”
Nothing I do is without a lot of thought and process.
I always eat lunch at one p.m. because I love Days of our Lives and I watch it. I also will return calls during this time. In the afternoon, I schedule any sort of appointments or friend time. If I’ve got nothing scheduled, I will work on the production part of the book, which a totally different part of the business. I check ads, create ads, touch base with editors, review team, etc.
At four p.m. I check email again, zero it out and turn off the computer. Eddy gets home about that time, so we cook supper and spend some time together before I go to my nightly Jazzercise class. I’m in bed by ten p.m.
I do this five days a week with little to no straying. This is my job and how we pay our bills and I treat it as such.
I have to say that I don’t believe in writer’s block. Don’t gasp or roll y’all’s eyes! I don’t. If during the time I’m writing and I stop dead in my tracks, I will jump up and take another quick walk to get out of my head, which gets my juices flowing and I figure out what the next written words will be. Or if I get stuck, it means that particular scene isn’t working and it needs to be reevaluated.
As for falling out of love with my characters with long contracts…you know, I haven’t. Currently I’m writing four different series. I’m fortunate enough to be able to switch between these characters so I don’t get sick of writing them. My characters have so much personality, I really do truly enjoy visiting with them every single time.
My question to y’all readers: Have you ever had to work from home? Did you keep a schedule? Or could you work from home?
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Tonya has written over 55 novels, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, a very spoiled rescue cat and grew up in the small southern Kentucky town of Nicholasville. Now that her four boys are grown boys, Tonya writes fulltime.
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