The Best Kind of Busy


Mayday! Mayday! Yes, Karen and I have both shouted it a few times this month as deadlines attack from all sides. As debut YA authors with a book coming to the shelves in July, we are crazy-busy. There are a lot of blog posts to write for the upcoming Camping Out Blog Tour. There are three books in this series, so there are obviously more stories to work on. There are novellas between the books, so we’ve got some writing to do there as well. 

Writing, of course, doesn’t mean plopping words on the page and calling it a day, either. We start by brainstorming. Spend a lot of time drafting. Work on revisions. Edit those revisions. Send it to critiquers and eventually to editors, all of whom weigh in with ideas and suggestions for changes that Karen and I debate over, think about, and make changes accordingly. The creative process is long and multi-layered.

J.K. Rock NewsletterThrough it all, when a book nears its release date, there is a lot of promotional business to attend. We are packing for BEA and are so excited to meet some fellow Scene13ers (pictures coming soon!). We have websites and newsletters to update, booksignings to schedule and promote, social media outlets to keep current, swag to choose and purchase, friends to contact for support… it’s busy.

But you know what? It’s the Best Thing. As writers, this is what we strive for during long months (YEARS for some of us!) of creating and hoping we know what we are doing on this journey. The road to publication is difficult and I (Joanne for J.K. today- you’ll hear lots from both of us on the blog!) slipped on it plenty of times. Before I started writing YA with Karen, I struggled to sell a book under my own name for years before I sold my first adult romance. There was a great deal of rejection. I wrote book after book though, determined that one day, I’d sell one. One day, someone besides my best friend would read my words! That hope and faith (okay, and stubbornness) kept me going   as I worked toward that goal of a first sale.

cb shirt swag 002So I never mind the busy. Sometimes I get stressed and overwhelmed… of course! But one of the great blessings of being in this business for awhile is being able to take the long view on things. Even if it feels like everything in the world depends on this one book, one review, or this one promotion- it doesn’t. I will never forget that, in my darkest months of feeling like I’d never sell a book, I would have given my right arm for the opportunity to be busy with deadlines. So even when my To Do list spirals out of control and I’m fielding two email accounts, managing multiple websites, monitoring tons of social media accounts and hoping, hoping, hoping I find time to work on my chapter, I can guarantee you that I’m smiling, too. I worked really hard to have this chance. And I couldn’t be happier to be busy. I wish the same for all of you ;-).

17371981***Some kinds of “busy” are better than others, I’ll admit. What’s your favorite kind of work in your day to day job? Your least? Chat with me today on the boards and I’ll send one commenter a fun, Camp Boyfriend Swag Pack (pictured above).

Interested in the Camp world? You can download our prequel novella, Camp Kiss for FREE now.


31 thoughts on “The Best Kind of Busy

    • Thank you!!! Looking forward to meeting you, too!!! At this point, I’ve got BEA on the brain so I’m not getting anything else accomplished… time to just get there and enjoy!!

    • Had to leave a new reply now that I’ve gotten to meet you…. thank you *so* much for coming to the signing and supporting us in our first-ever event!! Sending a big, campy hug your way!!

    • My sister is this way too… I tend to get stressed it I’m too busy, so I go to great lengths to convince myself my schedule is all very manageable and that I have it well in hand. Writing and self-motivation are constant head games for me!!

  1. My favorite type of work in my day job is coaching my basketball team. It is dying this time that I get to be more involved with the kids, and it gives me a different perspective of them. My least favorite is the constant new to have meetings that take you away from getting much work done. I especially dislike those that are ones where the information could have been decimated via email.

    I’m loving the swag for these books :). I’m so glad you worked doggedly to see your name on a book, Joanne. It was a gift to me 🙂 even though you had no idea who I was. I’m very fortunate to reap the rewards of your hard work. I’m glad you’re busy; just remember to breathe every now and hen. I wish I could come to BEA and see you guys. I’ll be there in spirit 🙂

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

    • Hi Paula! Thank you for checking out our new blog home and double thank you for the nice thoughts on my work! There’s nothing more gratifying- no list, no sale, no cover- as rewarding as connecting with the readers you hoped to reach all along. One of the reasons I started writing in the first place was because I loved the experience of being drawn into a world so deeply that I wanted to stay up all night and read. I still think that’s an amazing sort of magic. So now, as an author, when I get an email that says something to this effect– couldn’t put the book down, read all night….it’s truly priceless.

  2. As Kristine Katherine Rusch says, “Write, publish, repeat.” There’s always plenty of writing and publishing tasks to keep oneself busy!

    • And how!! I just wish I could hop back and forth between them a bit more easily… I tend to like going underground to write and there I stay. Then, when I’m ready to promo, I have my party face on and it’s tough to find the quiet mind again. Some authors can write in the a.m. and promo in the p.m., but my Muse must have some boundary issues .

  3. so glad to you two here! 🙂 I tend to work really well under pressure. I am at my most productive when I’m really busy, probably because I know there is no time to procrastinate so I just get things done 🙂 I’m lucky enough to have writing as my day job 🙂 so my favorite aspect of it is editing. First drafts and I don’t get along well, but give me something to edit and revise and I’m one happy little writer 🙂

    • Hello Michelle!! We’re so glad to be here too!! Of the two of us, Karen is more the Blogging Force of Nature and I think she’ll be here more often than me, but I’m a great go-to girl in a pinch, so I did this week while we were busy packing for BEA. Plus I love introductions, so I was glad to do the first post ;-).

      Your post made me smile since we are writing polar opposites!! I don’t like feeling overly busy (the pressure! the pressure!! <commence wailing and gnashing of teeth) and then, I LOVE the drafting process but get hives on the editing. Luckily, Karen doesn't seem to mind either, so when I start itching from the revisions I beg her to take a peek at the manuscript. I guess that's the nicest thing about working with a partner all around… their strengths can fill in for your shortcomings and you're always lifting each other up. Love that!! Which means- in the author-partner world- you and i would make a great team, Michelle ;-). Thanks so much for the warm welcome!!

  4. I loved Camp Kiss, and I can’t wait to read Camp Boyfriend! Unfortunately, I’ll be at my own summer camp on July 2nd, so I’ll have to wait even longer for it 😦

      • Hopefully my own camp boyfriend will be there waiting for me too 😉 haha thank you for responding! I really love how interactive you guys are with your readers, especially on tumblr and goodreads!

  5. I don’t mind some kinds of busy–my favorite “real” work these days is proofreading/line editing. My least favorite is probably housework, but that’s the kind that never goes away 😉 In fact, I believe I hear yet another load of laundry shrieking my name from the depths of the closet, alas 😉 Congrats on all the good busy, Joanne and Karen!

    • Agree on housework being LOW on the list! I know I’ll have a ton waiting for me when I get home from BEA tonight. But this has been so fun and worth it– our first ever signing as J.K. We had such a great time!

    • Hi Carole… you’re so kind to stop by the blog! We have a few print copies of Camp Kiss that were specially printed for BEA… so neat to see another cover and a book!

  6. I forgot to mention I love my job working with my babies for I have a home daycare, atimes its stressful when 2 babies are crying at the same time, but you just have to calm down and just do the job, I’ve held 2 babies at one time.

    • Awww… I can imagine that is stressful, but in the sweetest way :-). A baby’s cries sure to cut right through us- emotionally and audibly . I’ll bet you are verrrry good at your job!

  7. I feel your pain, Joanne. I too have books (pl) coming out, a series to coordinate, two websites to feed etc. But I remember the time when I would’ve given my right arm to be as busy as I am now. I remember it and then realize, if I had, I would’ve written bugger all.☺

  8. My favorite kind of busy? Hmmmm…. my two youngest and I made divinity and peanut butter fudge last night. Kitchen was a disaster but the treats were AWESOME!! Is it wrong that we’re eating that for breakfast?! LOL!

    • Catherine Mann, it’s only wrong that you didn’t ship some to my house!!! Sounds like a very happy brand of busy at your house. Hugs, my friend, and thank you so much for dropping by the blog! ❤

  9. ***Winner*** Sarah Van Cleve, you’re the thread winner of a Camp Boyfriend giftpack!!! Congratulations and huge thanks for coming by the blog! I don’t see a link for your name here, but I’ll give the shout out on Twitter, FB and everywhere else we go online… it’s never too late to claim a prize, BTW, so whenever you come back, just email me at with a mailing address and we’ll send the gift right out!

    Thank you all for the awesome welcome, BTW, and we look forward to posting lots more at Scene 13!!!

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