May 30, 2016

Surviving the Day Job while Writing and Promoting

By Kristi Bradley

It’s not easy being a writer. It takes the three Ds…dedication, discipline and determination.

It’s also not easy transitioning a short story into a full-length length novel. If you’re like me and work a full-time job, it cuts into your writing time, so you’ve got to MAKE time. I may wake at four a.m., write until time to get ready for work, give up the lunch hour, work late into the night, and suffer chronic back ache from lugging my laptop everywhere in case I find time to write.

FREE time is now WRITING time.

Sleep? Phffft. Who needs sleep?

My first novel, Mysta, a paranormal romantic suspense, is due for release soon from Dark Oak Press. It started as, Mist, a short but tragic love story set in Celtic times. It haunted me constantly. “This isn’t finished,” my dead characters insisted. So I sat down at the keyboard, and low and behold, it wasn’t finished. My 5,000 word short slowly turned into a 90,000 word novel. Mist and her lover were reincarnated into modern times. Mysta must battle the demi-god seeking revenge for her role in its condemnation to the Underworld centuries prior. Finally I typed the words, The End…for now anyway.

But the game has changed now that I’m so close to publication.

It’s time to promote.

An introvert’s worst nightmare.

How the heck am I supposed to promote when all my extra time is spent writing?

I won’t sugar coat it. It’s not easy. You have to put yourself “Out There.” Bottom line, it comes down to organization and planning. Utilize whatever resources you can. Talk to people. Offer yourself as sacrificial book club speaker…whatever it takes. Get your name, or brand, “Out There.” Social media is at our fingertips. There is no excuse. Choose one, choose them all, but make an appearance and keep in contact. Don’t overdo the promotion either and make people sick of you. That defeats the purpose. I’m currently only using Facebook, but hope to expand soon. Whether traditionally or self-published, all authors must promote themselves. Get past the freak-out and become the organizational mutant you might normally make fun of. Put a plan in motion and stick with it.

And keep writing.


I have to promote the first book while I write the next?

Yep. Reorganize your schedule. Then rearrange again. And again if necessary. If you plan posts far enough ahead, it won’t take long to plug in a post, or ten, in minutes. Again, plan ahead. Cut and paste, baby. Set aside an allotted amount of time for promo work daily or weekly and then get back to writing.

If you really want to get your work “Out There,” you’ll figure out a way. With the three Ds, you can balance the day job, the writing and the promotion. It won’t be easy, but so worth the sacrifice.

Good luck!
Kristi Bradley was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, she disappeared into parts unknown after a brief marriage to a wanna-be-crime lord, lived under an alias while gaining self-defense and weapons training, only to re-emerge as a seemingly normal wife, mother of three, step-mother of one, grandmother of three, owned by three dogs and three cats, lots of threes to thwart questions about her suspicious past. She performs the duties of Vice President for Malice in Memphis Mystery/Suspense Writers Group and writes and paints her own versions of reality. You can find her short stories Murder in Midtown and Voodoo Village in the anthology Bluff City Mysteries published by Dark Oak Press. Another Bluff City anthology is in the works in which her ghost stories Rainbow Lake and A Haunting in Midtown will appear. Her short story Un-a-Were has been accepted for publication in the Carpe Noctem:  Truly, Madly, Deeply anthology to be released in 2016 by Charon Coin Press, and her first full-length novel, the paranormal romantic suspense Mysta is soon to be released by Dark Oak Press. She’d appreciate it if you would give her author page a LIKE on Facebook. She’d hate to have to hunt you down...

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