Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons I Make a Schedule

Chess Board - TwitterYesterday, I mentioned having deadlines for my writing. Today, I’m going to list my top ten reasons for why I have a schedule:

  1. A schedule lets me know where I’m going. For those of you who haven’t figured it out, I’m all for spontaneity as long as I have a map. Let me wander freely, yes, but tell me where I’m going first.
  2. A schedule pushes me to complete things. A lot of us (not all of us) like to have a deadline to work toward. I love deadlines. I do my best work with deadlines.
  3. A schedule gives me an excuse to make lists. I also love lists. Schedules are just detailed lists.
  4. A schedule helps me not forget anything. Have you ever finished a project only to realize you forgot the cover? I never have, but I also have a schedule that clearly states when the cover needs to be started and finished.
  5. A schedule reduces tension. Because I always know what I need to do or haven’t done, I can stress less about the process and just worry about the writing.
  6. A schedule lets me tell other people where I’m at. If you have an editor, a formatter, a cover designer, or a publisher, they want to know when they get the next book. Unless you’re G.R.R. Martin, you should be able to tell them. Schedules make it easier to say, “I’ll have the book to you in a week for editing.”
  7. A schedule lets me feel productive. There are times when you’re deep in the bowels of the book, waiting for the whale to vomit you out to publication, that you feel like you’re not going anywhere. If you have a schedule, you know where you’re at and, therefore, you know you’re moving toward the next point.
  8. A schedule gives you more time. Ask any productivity expert: when you plan your day and work your plan, you get more done.
  9. A schedule gives me more time to goof off. Because I get more done in my writing day, my schedule gives me time to play the latest video game for six hours straight. Okay, not really, but I do get in the occasional binge watch of “Galavant” on Hulu.
  10. A schedule lets me juggle multiple projects at the same time. If you’re a one-project-at-a-time writer, then this may not apply to you. But if you’re trying to hit four-to-six books a year (and it is doable without being a hack), you need to juggle. Having a schedule makes it easier to not drop all the balls– at least not all at once.

Do you use a schedule? Why?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Reasons I Self-Publish

Chess Board - TwitterThere are hundreds (okay, dozens) of great reasons to self-publish. After some debate (meaning I went to the bathroom, then came back and made this list), here are my top ten:

  1. No rejection letters. True, it’s a form of rejection when a reader doesn’t buy your book, but you don’t get a politely-worded form letter when it happens. My ego can remain tenuously intact.
  2. Freedom! I can write what I want and not worry about #1. I do try to keep my writing relevant to the market (ie, deciding to try for a second Bobian book this year because my public actually asked for it), but otherwise I have a lot of creative freedom.
  3. Lifelong learning. I like to learn. I waste– er, gainfully employ hours on end learning new things that I might never need to know. For example, while the popular vision of zombies can only happen through a type of witchcraft or magic, there are parasites, spores, and other agents that might allow a type of zombie infestation. You wanted to know that, I know. You’re welcome.
  4. I get to keep all the moneys. While 100% of a piddling is a pittance, 30% of a piddling is pathetic.
  5. It’s all on me. I can’t pass the blame off on my agent, my editor, my publisher, or my marketer. Whatever happens with my books, I have to suck it up and take ownership. (Yes, I do consider that a good reason to self-publish.)
  6. I get to learn how to do it all. I am a reasonably good cover artist. Not the first time around; my first cover never, ever turns out like something that couldn’t be improved on. But sometime toward the end of a book, I get that spark and it seems to turn out. If I were traditionally published, I’d never get to touch the cover. Sometimes I wouldn’t even get to have a say in it.
  7. I run a small business. I’m a business Figment at heart. Since my pre-adulating days, I’ve always had a side gig going. Writing is just another small business. I like being an entrepreneur.
  8. I get to network with other indie writers. I like indie writers. They’re a different breed.
  9. I can flip genres at will. Admittedly, I’ve stuck mostly in the fantasy/ humor range so far, but there’s a SF book, a romantic comedy, something non-fiction, and a mystery in the works. Unless you’re a big name, traditional writers don’t get to do that.
  10. I have a stubborn streak and have always been labelled “independent”.

So, why do you publish independently (or want to)? Why did you choose traditional? Do you prefer to read one or the other?