Thursday, June 1, 2017

Reclaim the Joy

I have some of my most interesting ideas and realizations when I'm out on a walk. I've read why that is, and if memory serves (unlikely) it's something about giving the mind a rest.

Wherever they come from, I do well to listen to my on-a-walk ideas. When I ignore them, I often regret it. I won't tell you about that, because it's a bit of a downer.

So anyway, on a recent walk, I realized what I've been doing wrong lately, and how to correct it. It's a simple thing. Quite obvious, really (especially with a big pink striped graphic at the top of the blog).

I decided to reclaim the joy of writing. 

Does that sound strange? Do you think that, because I made the intentional decision to write full-time, that means I enjoy every minute? Well, I do enjoy writing, and interacting with readers, and getting to know other authors. But, just like most work, there are some parts of this job that aren't exactly fun. I have been immersed in those, of late.

In the last year or so I've tried to be particularly organized, with my Big Markerboard of Goals, Deadlines, and Stuff. I have a calendar with Everything I Need to Do, and When, with Reminders that spring up in my face so I can't possibly forget. (Theoretically, at least.)

I've tried to do better at promoting my books, too. I've bought some ads, given away lots and lots (and lots!) of books, hoping to lead readers to the others. I've spent loads of time behind the scenes doing myriad other things in an effort to find readers and encourage them to find me back.

And you know what?

It stalled my writing, and still hasn't helped book sales.

Worse than that, it has resulted in less joy in the process--and more focus, worry, and focused-worry, about the money. Along with everything else in the world right now (the big one, and my small, personal one) focused-worry is not good for my mental health. I quit my day job because I felt called to write.* I didn't sign on for this gig to be depressed about it.

I have three novellas to finish for existing commitments, and then I move on to the project I promised to myself  in my 2017 goals. I didn't tell you about that yet, or if I did it was just a hint.

These three novellas? I'm going to love writing them! 

Instead of worrying about how books are selling or what I should be doing about promotion, I'll settle into my writing chair each morning, starting my day with coffee and fresh words. The Big Markerboard is still in sight, should I need to refer to it. 

I hope you'll want to read those books. They'll be written with love, sprinkled with humor, and they will not come from a place of worry or stress. I want my stories to always be a refuge where you can escape those things.

*As my tagline says, 

Try a romance novel on...for sighs!

Once Upon a Time releases a week from today. I wrote it during stolen hours between other projects, and when I could have been doing things like sleeping, or cleaning my apartment. I had to set the story aside several times, and when I finally finished, was so happy with the result. I hope you will be, too.

Now, tell me. Is there a way you can reclaim joy today?


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