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It's OK to Take a Step Back

Happy Wednesday!

Wow... I feel like I haven't been on here in forever. I don't think I've posted anything all November... It's been a crazy busy month. I've been revising Cursed and writing St. Croix Falls 3 for Nanowrimo, plus I have papers and quizzes and discussion boards due for my classes. I feel like I'm drowning in stuff to do. Not to mention, it's been a bit of an emotional month too... There's been a lot going on in my head that I've had to work through.

I realized last night as everything started to feel so overwhelming, that I'm doing too much. I've put this ridiculously huge expectation on myself, mostly concerning my writing. Did I really expect myself to write 50,000 words for Nanowrimo, finish revising Cursed by the end of the month and still do everything else I have to do (like keeping this blog updated)? Especially around the holiday season, which is always so busy anyways. After writing, revising, editing and publishing Wayward in a record amount of time and then getting Sterling Silver out in one month, I think I thought I could do that easy peasy for months to come. Get out a book a month. How hard could that be? Turns out... it's pretty stinking hard. I know there are some out there who can do that and that's amazing. For a little while, I thought I was one of those writers too. But now, halfway through November I've realized that I am not one of those writers. I can churn out a book and have it properly edited and published in one month. That's just a little too impossible for me. I feel rushed and my book (and my mental health) ends up suffering because of it.

So, I've decided to do the one thing I really don't like doing: taking a step back. I can be a pretty impatient person. When I have something in my head, I jump in and go for it at full pace. I go and go and go until I run out of steam and collapse. I don't want to do that, especially so close to Thanksgiving and Christmas and the end of the year. I want to enjoy this time of year without feeling stressed or rushed. I want to be able to write right now without feeling pressure. And I know, as a writer who wants to make money writing, sometimes the pressure is a part of the job. Deadlines and all that. But that doesn't mean I have to set myself impossible deadlines. It's important to know your limits, and I think November has been a real lesson in my limits. I'm starting to learn what is and what isn't sustainable for me. Kiersten Oliphant did a podcast on being sustainable in writing and she's written about it several times since in her newsletters and Facebook group. She stopped doing the podcast and her weekly newsletters because they just weren't sustainable. It was all getting to be too much, so she decided to step back from a few things she was doing so she could put more of her energy into other things. And I realized last night, that that was what I needed to be doing too.

There's only so many hours in the day and there are certain things that I have to do. Classwork has to come first ahead of my writing and sometimes, that leaves little to no room for writing. Other days are bad mental (or physical) health days where I literally just do not have the mental or physical energy to write.

I think I'm starting to accept that I can't do everything at once and that my books can't be rushed. I can't put all of my energy into just writing books. There's also marketing and my blog and my newsletter and papers for class and also, you know, hanging out with friends and doing stuff with family.

All that to say, I'm going to be a little more flexible with the release dates of my books. Cursed is being particularly difficult and honestly, may not come out till January. I've decided to release a book every three to four months. This new plan makes me a little nervous because releasing Wayward and Sterling Silver within a month of each other did so well for me. I'm worried about how I'll be able to keep up the same amount of KU pages read and sales every month if I don't have a new book coming out constantly. But then I realized that, yeah, making a living off my books is what I want. It's my end goal. But it takes baby steps and right now is the experimental phase. I'm figuring out what works and what doesn't for me. I'm trying out new strategies and stuff. I think if I give myself three or four months per book it'll allow me to focus on marketing and getting reviews and stuff which is equally as important as publishing new books.

Anyways, that's where I'm at right now. Finding my footing as I step into this new stage of my writing life.

I'm also so excited to have time to write on this blog again. I've missed being on here and getting to read others blogs... Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up a little bit this weekend on other blogs.

I hope you have a great rest of the week! :)

Is anyone here doing Nanowrimo? If so, how's it going?? How's your November been going in general? 

Comments

  1. I feel like you and I were on similar paths this past year, haha! Learning my own limits and how to take a step back and do what's best for me, regardless of what everyone else can do, is a big lesson I learned in the last couple of months as well. I hate having to take a step back from the obligations I've put on myself, but that's just it: they're obligations I put on myself. A lot of the things I stress out about, I don't really have to do. And if my mental health is suffering for forcing myself through them, it's okay to take some time off.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. I think we have too haha! Yes, I totally agree. It's a hard lesson to learn because I want to be able to do all the things right now, but sometimes its for the best to remain patient and slow things down a bit. Not only for my own mental health, but so my writing doesn't suffer too. Rushing into edits and publication tends to lead to a published, but still slightly messy book. I learned that the hard way with Sterling Silver. It's better to take things slow and do things right then rush into it and publish a book that needs more edits.

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