Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.


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Self-publishing with RSI

The great advantage of self-publishing is, of course, there’s no deadlines other than those you set yourself–always a good new the inheritance coveridea I think. Well, usually. Sometimes? I have vague deadlines, usually short term ones like so many words per day or per week, rather than ‘I must finish this book by whenever’. My output has dropped a lot this year because I’ve developed RSI, and yes, I’m well aware I’m not the only one and I’m curious as to how other writers deal with it.

no-one coverI tried a hand therapist, who fitted me with a brace thingy–I hated it but it helped a little, I think. I found it very awkward though and kept looking. My son, another RSI sufferer, had successfully treated his problem using pressure on trigger points. You find the trigger point, which is not the place you have the symptoms at all, but elsewhere, probably in your arms, but could be in your shoulders as well. You use various balls, such as tennis balls, and press your arm against a ball, exerting pressure on the point.

That’s probably a very bad explanation but I did find that helped. I also bought a wrist support for the computer keyboard and my husband removed the arms from my chair–I think they made my wrists position badly on the keyboard. As well as all that though, I’ve also reduced my writing time to about half of what I used to do and try to break it up throughout the day, instead of all at once. It’s not easy but I’m getting used to it.

doglastkinblogI’m off next week to my old home town of Mildura for my mother’s 95th birthday. Mildura is a focal point in several of my books–the Red Dust outback romance series as well as ‘Dark Innocence’, so I’m going to take photos this trip and post them when I get back. You’ll find them in my Pictures of Oz page.darkamazon

My children’s book ‘No-one’s Good at Everything’ is free on 15th and 16th of this month, and ‘Last Chance’, for older children, on 19th to 21st. For adults ‘The Inheritance’ is free on 22nd and 23rd April.


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Self-Publishing and Deadlines

My posts have gone from weekly to fortnightly and now–hmm? When I can. I’ve been busy working on my latest novel and that has to take priority. If the worst thing about traditional publishing is the stress of deadlines, the worst thing about self-publishing is the lack of deadlines!

I’m heading to Vanuatu in October, just for a few days, for my son’s wedding. It’s not something that should have a great effect on my writing but I’ve set myself a deadline, to finish my current novel before then. Every morning I sit down and write for at least an hour and then again after lunch–I’m aiming for at least 1000 words a day, which is not much compared to some people but I know my limits. I’m writing another rural romance, of sorts; Stony Creek┬áis still doing very well. This one is kind of a road trip rural romance and the protagonist is a girl from outback New South Wales who first appeared briefly in Stony Creek.Stony_Creek_Cover_for_Kindle

A friend who’s a successful children’s writer said he only writes 500 words a day, which he’ll work at until it’s perfect, while another writer friend writes around 5000 a day. Some people work full time and can only write when they have a bit of spare time. The trouble is, if you don’t plan your writing time and you don’t have a deadline it’s far too easy to keep putting it off.

It’s essential for a self-published writer to be self-disciplined–we have to make a regular time to just sit and write, even if what we’re writing has to be re-written next day. Don’t wait until you’re in the mood. Just sit down and write at the same time every day, or, if you only have one evening a week, just make it a regular time. If you write on a laptop it’s probably a good idea to be in the same place as well, wherever you can get some peace and quiet.

I write on a desktop so I don’t have that option and it can be difficult at times but there’s only my husband and me here now–I could never have managed when my five sons were living with us! Self-publishing does allow for flexibility–if something comes up I can take a day off and the world won’t end. If I miss my deadline I won’t be in trouble with my publisher; if, on the other hand, I do meet my deadline I’ll be very pleased with myself and enjoy my first overseas trip that little bit more!