I’m on several author loops, and an abiding theme of the conversations thereon is, “What works?” What works to get the darned manuscript completed? To write an effective blurb for it? To market the books so they find the readers who will love them (and don’t find the other kind)? To foster creativity in the midst of dry spells and sanity in the midst of a very tough writing market?
In this still-chilly time of year, as I’m waiting, waiting, waiting for it to be warm enough to PLANT FLOWERS, I’m asking myself: What’s working? On June 1, I will celebrate two years of freedom from the lawyer job (wheeee!) and I’m taking inventory about what has gone well in this time and what needs some tweaking.
At the top of the going well column is a schedule full of hours and hours and hours of solitude. I go for several days at a time without leaving the property or talking to other human beings (I talk to the cats). This has two benefits: I like being home by myself, and when I do get out among people, I am appreciative of the company. Whether it’s the grocery store or the horse barn, the bank (yes, I still go to the bank), or the doctor’s office, I’m more attentive to other people and happier to be around them.
Another marvelous development: I am reading like nobody’s business. Whether it’s Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell mysteries, an ARC of Vanessa Riley’s, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby, (LUCKY ME!!!), or “Switch–When Change is Hard,” by Chip and Dan Heath, my nose is in books of my choosing and I am loving all the reading time. Loving. It.
And the working well list would also have to include the whole writer gig. Revenue is down all over town, but I am still enjoying every writing day, and finding time to get after some backlist that needs to be republished. I am having a great time with my works in progress (Stephen Wentworth waves coyly from stage left), and I remain convinced that the romance readership is one of the purely nicest demographics anywhere.
So what’s working for me is writing, reading, tons of unstructured time, the company of cats and horses, and NO LAWYERING.
What works for you? What habits, routines, activities, or indulgences have you put in place or learned to avoid to keep yourself bebopping happily along from week to week? To one commenter, I’ll send a $25 Amazon gift card.