Tag Archives: swamped

Susan Speaks: The July-August Crush


The cover for the anthology in which Pink Snowbunnies in Hell appears because August is the month it was chosen for inclusion.

No one’s been able to explain it, but historically, July, August, and September are my busiest months of the year. My theory has to do with vacations, wanting to get the book done so you can not worry about it while you’re gone, but September?

At any rate, I’m so swamped right now that authors are clamoring for me, the $75 rush fee that I charge when you want to skip to the head of the line has kicked in, and more than one client is paying it. That has me working crazy hours and too many days a week.

And I love every second of it. My clients are sending me truly strong, well-written manuscripts that make the hours fly and consistently have me looking up and wondering where the day has gone. So much for that bike ride I’d promised myself! That’s got to happen after dinner — which the kids make because I’m in here, working.

Of course, all of this is a great way to say that right now, I’m being crushed with work. And that I love it. And to keep it coming. I can maybe kinda sorta see the end of the queue, and to be honest, I do like it when I can see a longer stack of manuscripts waiting for me. Job security. You know how it is.

I have a million things to talk about, and I’m keeping careful notes and drafts that I’m not fully satisfied with. Just for now, keep sending your manuscripts. Keep telling your friends about me.

And, of course, submit more for The Featured New Book Spotlight and Lines of Distinction. In amid my crush is the simple pleasure of taking a few minutes to schedule a post highlighting some of the great books being written and published of late.


Behind, Falling, Drowning


No pithy words of wisdom, no writing advice, no ties between real life and writing this week.


Because I’m living the example. E-mail’s been piling up — all of a sudden, eight million clients want me, and I love it, love to chat with my writers and friends, but welcome to freelancing, where life is either feast or famine — and I’ve got a ton of Featured New Book Spotlights to post for you. (Feel free to add to the queue, or to send in some Lines of Distinction for yourself or a friend!) And Rocktober over at The Rock of Pages. And I’ve had reason to dig through the archives here and discover the weird coding that popped up when I changed hosts earlier in the year. Oops. The editor’s website isn’t pristine. On my list to fix, I promise!

And then there’s real life. School. Activities. An upcoming life cycle event and optimism that a source of stress will soon be put to rest. And I’m writing like a fiend, trying for 1000 words a day but really, other than last night, when I had a township meeting, I’ve been getting in no less than 1400. School meeting two nights ago, and another one tonight. I’m not sure I’m going to have time for dinner; guess the kids are cooking.

Been busy. Feel like I’m behind in everything (have you SEEN my kitchen? Me, either. It’s buried under dishes, clean that need to be put away and dirty that need to be washed.) Falling off a cliff with no safety net. Drowning in everyone’s need for me.

And at the same time, it is exhilarating.

This is what success smells like, feels like, looks like. It’s that people have faith in me, so much so that my favorite clients speak up and tell me when I’m starting to go off the rails with stress. It’s that new clients come to me, seeking my help. Yes, there’s room on my schedule: November dates are currently up for grabs, although those unanswered e-mails? A lot of them are asking for November. Start thinking December, folks and yes, I have time for new people. Always. And yet, I’ll find a way for my existing folk, too. You all mean that much to me.

So… it’s nose to the grindstone right now. This is a huge part of the writing life, that time when you realize the only way to get it all done is to sit down, or maybe lift the desk into standing position (thank you, Varidesk! And oh, no! Look at that new desk that’d be perfect for my family room writing sessions…) and be like an old Nike ad campaign. Just do it.

As summer turns to autumn, as we all do what needs to be done, remember to head out to a nice grassy field, take your shoes off, turn your face up to the sun, and recharge. If a disc happens to be flying overhead, take a second and watch it there, hovering, falling gracefully into the hands that charge right at it, awaiting its arrival, stretching to make the grab, one-hundred percent left right there on the field with the turf beads or the dust from the lack of rain. Take a deep breath. The work awaits.

Be your best.


Public Service Announcement: Susan’s Swamped


avatar S RED

I can’t blame being swamped on Rocktober. Jett’s got a firm control of that over at The Rock of Pages, and if you aren’t following along this  month, you’re missing out. Jett’s been having a great time, although I have to send her a guest post that she needs to get up.

So, yeah. The title says it all, doesn’t it? I’m working on an edit for one of my favorite clients and it turned out to be more extensive than I’d expected. I’m sure Steve (we’ll call him, since my last client was Stevie) is swooning as I read this, so let me take a few seconds and wax poetic.

Like all my clients, Steve is learning and growing. Signs of a newbie writer in the first two books are a lot less visible here. He’s even taking a risk or two with this new one, and I’m glad to see it. He’s pulling it off.

So why is the work more extensive if it’s so good? Well, because now that Steve has  more experience, I can push him into deeper places. Expand here. Give me two words there to polish this sentence. Explore this. Don’t you think the character might feel this? How about this? Just think about it and decide for yourself… it’s YOUR book, after all. I’m just here to … well, do what I’m doing. Give you ideas, stir your creativity, show you options.

I know Steve’s waiting both patiently and impatiently. On the one hand, I’d hoped to have this done last Friday. But he knows I’m taking my time because he’s going to wind up with a better book at the end. I know he doesn’t want to see how bad I think it is (and, like all my clients’ works, I don’t think it’s bad. This guy is a master plotter.), or how many comments I’ve made (lots). But I also know he’s dying to hear what I think (love it, which contradicts the backhanded compliment above of not thinking it’s bad, but if you knew the dynamic between me and Steve, you’d understand that’s not nearly as backhanded as you may think it is) and he’s dying to start to make the changes I’m suggesting or some that I’m demanding (dude, you gotta spell cloud right. You just do. And that’s why I’m demanding that particular change). He’s dying to get this book out into the world, and I don’t blame him.

There’s a certain subset of the reading world that’s going to love this one. Hopefully he’ll stop in and do a Featured New Book about it when it comes out and I can preen about how he did the hard work I asked him to.

But first, I gotta finish up. I have clients in the pipeline waiting for me, a ton of e-mail to answer — including a new Featured New Book, which will run next week (Sorry, Client Named Stevie who’s not the same Client Named Stevie from my last post about a Client Named Stevie) and yes, I’m pushing myself hard. Why do you ask?


Dance with me


Wasn’t there some song in the 70s or 80s that started out like that? Dance with me/I want to be your partner/Can’t you see…

Yeah. I remember it.

Anyone got a title and artist for me? (If you know it and want a free download of something from my backlist, holler. What the heck; it’s a Smashwords coupon and a memory like THAT ought to be rewarded.)

The dance today isn’t some veiled sexual comment, like the song is. It’s a happy dance.

Dudes, I am SWAMPED. A big editing project, a couple of samples, a Last Look edit, some PR, some real-life people to connect with, some books to edit for that big name review company who pays me to tell them what I think of a book or two… SWAMPED, I tell you. I’m so swamped, it’s hard to know which project gets top priority and my full attention at any minute of the day.

And I am loving every minute of it. (I’d love it more if the auto-schedule feature were working right ’cause I’ve got cool posts that I’ve been too swamped to hand-post!)

Bring it on. Keep it coming. It may mean less of me on social media. But it means an income, and it means I’m happy and a happy Susan means more good fiction coming your way, as well.

And while I’m this swamped, go visit Jaidis Shaw. I’ve got a Featured New Book spot I need to get up for Monday, so stop in and see what she’s about. Whet your appetite so when she’s here, talking music, you’re TOTALLY into it.

Keep the good stuff coming, guys. It’s magic, and I’m loving it. May it only get better from here.