Friday, April 10, 2009

Deadlines and Procrastination by Chester Campbell

I can sympathize with the plight Dana described last Sunday regarding her efforts to coordinate a blog book tour for a bunch of romance authors. I'm working on one for only yours truly, but it has become a real time-consumer. If you're new to the breed, here's what is involved. First you need a blog of your own. I participate in three other group blogs like Make Mine Mystery, but until a couple of months ago, I didn't have one of my own.

It's tough enough to keep up with when I'm scheduled on various blogs, but with my own, it means writing something every day or two. In getting ready for the tour, I was encouraged to post something everyday. I did that for a month, sweating down to a pint-sized figure of my former self (just kidding, I haven't lost a pound). Since then I've attempted to compose something scintillating at least three days a week, something that would attract the attention of the casual reader.

My problem now is that I'm currently immersed in getting ready for the blog tour, which starts next Wednesday. I'll appear as a guest on 15 sites between April 15 and May 1. So far I have finished only six of the posts. Not a good feeling less than a week before the starting gun fires.

Not to worry. I cut my teeth in the writing business as a newspaper reporter. I work best in the face of deadlines. My wife, bless her understanding soul, puts it a little differently. She says I procrastinate. What could be further from the truth? I finished doing my taxes a few days ago. Haven't sent it in yet, but I've still got five days.

When writing a novel, the ideas seem to pour out through my fingers in an unending stream. I've done a lot of thinking beforehand, and the general idea of the book keeps me on track. For the tour, I set up a daily schedule with a subject to be covered in each day's post. They're all related to my new book, The Surest Poison, but some are tailored to the particular blog site. One wants an interview, another wants something on promotion. When I start writing those, I have a pretty good idea of where I'm heading. My tour schedule is posted here.

It's my other committed posts that keep popping up on a regular basis where I've begun to wrack my brain for subjects. After stewing around a bit for something to write about on my Mystery Mania blog two days ago, I came up with the title "You gotta Noah 'bout the Ark." I then proceeded to tap out a humorous piece comparing the building of Noah's Ark to pursuing the fiction writer's "story arc." It brought a few laughs.

The bottom line is that all this wrestling in the blogosphere, plus my other efforts to promote the new book, has left me no time to get busy on my next project, a fifth book in the Greg McKenzie series. Maybe if I live till May 1 I'll find an opportunity to write "Chapter 1" and start creating a new mystery. Anyone like to join me?


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Chester, I understand you!

Touring for TWO different books over the past couple months (and into May) has really sucked up some time. I used to do a lot more physical efforts, but many are just not cost-effective any more.

Just live until May 1!

L. Diane Wolfe

Morgan Mandel said...

I love promoting, but it does cut into my book writing time. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it's a must these days. Depends on your take.

Morgan Mandel

Chester Campbell said...

I agree, ladies. I'll just suck it up and keep on plugging away.

Vivian Zabel said...

I had some thoughts on procrastination, but I'll have to see if I can find them again, someday. *laugh*

Oh, I had my taxes for business and personal federal and state finished and in the mail or e-filed (could only e-file personal federal) earlier this week. Of course I started in January ...

Jean Henry Mead said...

Best of luck with the blog tour, Chester. I've had 3 books released since July 28 of last year, and I've had very little time to write. I completed what I considered a successful blog tour for my second novel, but I doubt I'll do it again anytime soon. It's fun, worrisome and rewarding, but it takes a lot out of you.