Admit it: if you are an author or a professional writer in any capacity, then you have probably spent several nights (or days) looking like this while sleeping in a puddle of drool next to your computer:
Lately, I’ve been feeling like that a lot. This fall in particular, I’ve been feeling it hard. And it’s my fault, of course. Having booked five events practically back-to-back (three of which I was organizing) while working full time and trying to finish a manuscript to be published by December 7th… It kind of sounds like I’m becoming a literary masochist. I didn’t want to admit that it was too much to handle but here’s me admitting it now. I stressed myself out to a point where writing, editing…everything about writing a book hadn’t become fun anymore. It was just an obligation. And that isn’t why I wanted to become an author. It isn’t why I pursued that passion. This ended up being much more than just a “healthy dose of stress” and it got to a point that while on vacation…I couldn’t make myself relax enough to enjoy it. I had temporarily forgotten about how fun it is to be an indie author, to make connections with other authors and fans, and to continue aspiring to be a better writer.
Part of my mistake was having unreal expectations of myself for how quickly I could finish up writing and editing a manuscript, not to mention getting all the work done for publication. And even when I realized that I’d made that mistake, I didn’t change the release date for the book.
That’s why, for a full calender year, I’m not going to publish any of my current (or future) literary projects (with exception of Memento Mori). Trying to write a book and publish it in a year, especially a project as big as one of the books in the Monstrum Chronicles isn’t going to happen. Especially if there are limited funds and most of my time is consumed with working full time so that I can, you know, have an apartment and continue to eat.
This doesn’t mean that I won’t be writing.
I intend to spend the year writing lots of things, several different projects that I’ve already started, some that have just been ideas that I’ve been looking forward to starting, and even doing some writing prompts just to try some ideas I’d never have thought of in the first place. I’m going to pull all of the writing books off my shelves, crack them open, and check them out. I’m also going to try and read more. I’m especially hoping to pick up some classic literature and read/re-read some in hopes of deriving some inspiration and just pure enjoyment from it. I don’t want to have to worry about deadlines for a year.
I am also going to try to do some more events in Maine as well as spend a little more time on the marketing front learning more about that. I think it’s probably my weakest place in my business at the moment and I definitely would like to explore some of Maine’s wonderful indie bookstores and libraries.
Hopefully, by the end of 2015, I’ll be looking like this again.
Thinking about it now makes me smile already.