Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The home stretch and the end of your rope.

I'm writing this for Mia, because she's in the home stretch *cheers*. She's ordered her ARCs from Createspace for the paper backs so she and a few others can go through and look for last grammar changes and typos. While all of you are cheering her on, this is what I want to explain to you. This process isn't easy. Trying to balance it with life, isn't easy, none of this shit is easy. There are hours of stress involved, working with Betas, working with covers, an editor and getting ready to release your baby into the world. Those who say that they have no anxiety over releasing a book or a short story are lying to you. In their head they are wondering about bad reviews, missed typos, and haters. There is sleep loss at night and long days of preparing.

So what does an author do when they get to the end of their rope? The home stretch is right there within their reach and it just seems that the world is piling more and more on top of them? The same thing anyone else does. They vent, they breath, they step back, once things ebb a little bit, they get back to it. By things I mean stress. There are deadlines to meet, even in the self-publishing world. Deadlines get things done, stress is a part of that. There are other stresses that aren't writing related, family, jobs (not all writers get to stay at home), health and so on. I can't tell you what Mia does, but I can tell you what I do.

I make a list, things get priorities, does it have to be done by that date? Okay, it gets moved to the top of the list, anything with a due date before that is moved above it. That helps me get a realistic look at what is going on. When it comes to family, obviously they take priority, but I know my situation isn't the same as everyone. I have great friends who help me when it comes to crunch time, they help watch my child for a day while I get work done.  When it comes to health...well to be honest I don't take the best care of myself, but I do know when it's time to say I have to nap with the baby instead of work. The newest thing I do when life tries to drag me down, I run. My thoughts go like this when I approach the treadmill. "This is going to be 30 minutes I could use for something else." I get on, throw on some angry music and go for it. I always feel better after and I always sleep better those nights. It's a win win....

Here's the thing, you have to find what works for you. This is a stressful career, you need to find a way to help curb that stress a little. Meditation, walking, just sitting for a little bit. You won't get anything done if you're too stressed out to think. All work and no play makes Jake a dull boy. Remember that. You don't want to go crazy or you'll burn yourself out. Take time for you, even if that just means switching to a project without a deadline for a little bit.

Let us all wish Mia good luck with Waking up in Bedlam! We all want to see it on the shelf and will be cheering her on as she runs that home stretch! <3

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