Dying for a Deadline

IMG_1610By JL Simpson

Last year I decided to take on a new role. Not only was I going to be the author of my Daisy Dunlop mystery series, but I was also going to be the publisher. Gone were the days of typing ‘the end’ and then sending it off to someone else to do all the other stuff. Now I needed to sort out an editor, a cover artist, learn to format the finished masterpiece, set up accounts with Ebook retailers and finally to upload and publish the books. The feeling of power when you’re master of your own destiny is amazing. I can give books away, change the price, advertise where I want, and do my own thing with the plots, provided the readers still enjoy the story.

This was all positive stuff. I love power, it’s a heady drug. But with the positive comes a couple of negatives. The first, if my books fail I only have myself to blame, and the biggest negative of all, no one is cracking the whip. I don’t have anyone to set deadlines for me, and that can be a real problem.

From my experience people fall into two categories, those who are self-motivated and 19386145_snormal people. Self-motivated people are the ones who set their own goals and meet them. You seem them out running as the sun’s rising. Meanwhile, normal people are flailing an arm out from under the bed covers in a desperate bid to hit the off switch on the alarm clock whilst mumbling “coffee” into the pillow, hoping their spouse will rise to the challenge and get the much needed caffeine fix they require to jump start their brain.

19117412_sSelf motivated people nibble on a salad, whilst normal people inhale doughnuts swearing they’ll get back to dieting next week. Self motivated people stride down the confectionery aisle at the grocery store without so much as a sideways glance, because chocolate is not on the list. Self motivated people have organised desks, tidy houses, color co-ordinated wardrobes, their whole lives are planned, and everything runs like clockwork. They don’t forget to pay a bill, or realize they are out of milk after the stores are shut for the day. They’re not the ones running around the shopping mall on Christmas Eve looking for gifts.

If you want to be an Indie Author then you need to keep working. I’ve just read a book called, “Write, Publish, Repeat” and it’s brilliant. It says the way to success is to keep getting books out there. The more books you publish the easier it is for readers to find you. So you might think, seeing as I have only two books to my name, I’d be writing up a storm, but you’d be wrong.

I have the curse of being a normal person. My desk is cluttered, as is my mind. My house is clean but untidy, my color co-ordination is hit and miss. I forget my glasses. I lose my keys. I even forgot my son when he was a new born and left him parked at the meat counter in the supermarket until the girl at the checkout asked when my baby was due.

My day job is deadline driven. As a tax accountant their are lodgement dates that need to 36965961_sbe adhered to. Miss one of those and the tax office let you know about it. At work I’m organised and regimented because big brother is watching. With my writing no one is watching. I used to write to publisher’s deadlines. I used to have a critique partner who read along one chapter at a time telling me to hurry up and write the next, but her career took off and I was lost in the madness of it all. Now it’s all down to me.  Time marches on. Days, weeks, months fly by with little progress.

I may never stick to my diet, wear clothes that go together, tidy up my desk, empty my inbox, remember my sister’s birthday, but if I ever want to make something more than an on-again off-again hobby of writing I simply have to get a grip. And the best way to do that is set a deadline. I know that if I’m ever going to focus and finish book 3 in my Daisy Dunlop Series I need to set a publication date and book an editor. Maybe I should set a date for just before Christmas, but that still leaves the question, ‘which Christmas?’

JL Simpson

Where mystery and mayhem collide.

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Is It Me? Is It Me?

By JL Simpson

Eek…you know that horrible sinking feeling you get when you think you should have done something, and you didn’t. The butterflies in your stomach. The damp sweaty palms. The horror! The horror!  Last night sitting on the couch I wondered who was supposed to post on Thursday. Curious, I checked the list and yeah gads, it’s me!!!  However, it’s all under control. Nothing to see here. Move along people. Being late isn’t a problem, because I’m a time traveler. No, not Dr Who. He’s a time lord. I, on the other hand, am naught but a simple Aussie. So Thursday to me is Wednesday in most of the rest of the world, and I made it in time. Phew!!!

Now that I’ve sorted that out  I guess I had better do the introductions. Hello blog audience *waves*. I’m mystery author, JL Simpson. I answer to Janet but never Jan. I’m a diminutive English rose, or some might say British bulldog, who fell in love with a tall, slim, hunky Aussie and emigrated half-way around the world to seek my fortune, and the much elusive sun.

By day I crunch numbers and explain to people that, despite our wishes to the contrary, you have to pay taxes, although I do my level best to make sure my clients don’t have to pay more than their fair share. Sounds glamorous doesn’t it? Okay it doesn’t. I’m an accountant.

To balance the boring nerd factor of my job I needed a creative and outrageous alter ego. I thought about becoming a trapeze artist, but I’m scared of heights. Fire breather, like my youngest son, but I’m fond of my eyebrows. So, what I really wanted was a safe outlet for the endless voices in my head. And voila….JL Simpson….humorous mystery author was born.  One day I hope to be able to say I’m an author who moonlights as an accountant, but for now it’s entirely the other way around. However, I live in hope that my Daisy Dunlop series will make it big, or that I have such a huge back list the dollars just start to roll in. Then when I tell my family I’m busy writing they will leave me in peace and go and find their own missing socks or favorite pair of underpants…and don’t even get me started on the demands of my two crazy poodles.

Thanks for reading along, and I hope you enjoy the blog.

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