I was going to talk about The Pack's Bride release and how everything is going, but as I'm doing a full article next fortnight, I thought I'd actually talk about something else today.
The last few months have been difficult in terms of staying focused. My author platform (social media accounts, website, newsletter, blog, and MaMOA) has taken the brunt of this. You may have noticed I haven't gotten a blog out in the last couple of months or that my newsletter has been a day late a couple of times. When I was getting things up, it was at the last minute, or not at all. A part of this is the lack of focus; another part is that writing The Pack's Bride gave me a little bit of burn out and I'm still recovering.
Because of this, I've been looking at my author platform and seeing what actually contributes to my connection with you, my readers, what acts purely as advertising and what I want to sink my energy into.
A lot of writing is an energy drain. Some of it is very energising, but a lot of the time, it can be exhausting, mentally and emotionally. I'm not a believer in hustle culture. I think you hustle when you need to, but life is meant to be enjoyed. I've been hustling for the last two and a bit years, and while I still have a long way to go, if I'm to finish at all, I need to take care of myself. Hustle is a short-term thing. No one can keep it up for long. You know I slowed down this year. So far, in 2022, I've published three books. The Crime Lord's Fall. Tacori and The Pack's Bride. Of course, I also wrote and published The Sotul's Disgrace, which I didn't account for last year when I said I was going to slow down.
The last few months were a reminder that writing is a creative endeavour that costs a lot of energy. Sometimes you need to take time off to... buffer if you know what I mean? It was exhausting. I am exhausted. Even now, at the end of two days off, I've been sitting here editing this for the last half hour and I went from having tons of energy to none.
Honestly, if you've read The Pack's Bride, you probably already know what I'm talking about. Those. Guys. Are. Exhausting! I love them, they change, but they are assholes at the beginning of the book.
Okay, so I meant to take a few weeks off after all that and recover and instead, I wrote another book! The heroine made me. Misfit Survivor needs to be edited and I've commissioned a cover for it which will be ready by the end of September. With Alpha, Beta and ARC reads, I'm aiming for the book to be out by November 1st. But I'll talk about that in a later blog post.
Because I have to get two more books out by early January, it means I now have very little time and most of that is going to be focused on writing. Because of that, I'm streamlining those elements of my social media that just aren't pulling their weight.
I'm spending two hours a day over three days planning out my Instagram posts for the month and getting one click to my website in that same time period; what am I doing it for? I'd rather focus my time on my newsletters, The Author's Renegades group on Facebook and here. I'll still have a slight presence on Twitter and Instagram, but it just won't be as big.
I'm not changing the newsletter again. and everything on the front end will stay consistent, though I do have a potential plan for MaMOA for next year. I just won't be as present on Twitter and Instagram.
Earlier this week, I planned out my 2023 for writing. Today, I was doing some paperwork and saw the projects I have on the back burner because I didn't have the time to do them this year with the amount of time I've dedicated to writing or recovering from writing.
I just have too many ideas, and not all of them are fiction books and not all of them are even books. I have one project I've been trying to work on all year and while some testing for this project has gone well, I've not managed to get my notes back to the person working on this with me, so it's stalled. I have a folder with my next project all set up and another one with two more projects I want to work on. I have another project all set up in files on my computer, ready to be printed up and no time to do any of them.
Which is fine. I need to concentrate on writing Sci-Fi Romance for a while. I know this. But I've come to the conclusion I'm taking on too much. Or, more accurately, I'm not focusing where I need to and taking breaks when I need to.
The biggest thing I've realised over the last few weeks is that I work better when I'm pushing a deadline. So somehow, I have to establish enough deadlines to get my work done but not so many that I'm putting too much pressure on myself because I have anxiety. Ideally, I'd also like to work on other projects. So the next 15 months will be interesting while I figure out how I can achieve all three! Sigh!
Do you have any advice for a disorganised author?
That's it for this fortnight. I hope you have an easier time than the world is trying to inflict on us all right now. Stay safe. Lucy. 💜