Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Mind at Rest Is a Good Thing

Hustling a (book) sale is boggling. I'm not a hustler and I have to say trying to get people interested in my eBooks is time consuming. I'd rather be writing. Wouldn't you?
However, even the writing sometimes becomes a bit of a brain drainer too.
This summer, if any of you were paying attention to what was happening to my books, or what happened with me and my publisher (we parted ways, but in a good way), all my projects were suddenly put on hold, and I had to do edits on all of them, and get the books formatted for publication as eBooks on Amazon. This took a great deal of time. All summer long. It was well worth it, but I have to say it drained me. I still took time out to go for walks, and other things—I did not spend my entire day working on the books, but it still left me brain-dead.
By September, I had all 3 books done and out, and I was thrilled with the results—my hard work was paying off, and I can now see the sales and keep track of them (unlike with my publisher who had the books in other venues, besides Amazon), and know what I'm making with my royalties. I can now understand what other authors were talking about “control” over what they wrote. It's not just picking your own cover, and doing the edits yourself. It was everything.
So, once I was finished with these first three books, I wanted to turn my attentions toward the 4th book in the Sabrina Strong series, and, mind you, I had begun work on the 8th book. But, I'm burned out. I gone on to fill my time doing other things I enjoy, like walking (which has helped me both lose weight and clear the mind), or decorating for the season.
Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, it was fun. But while going through boxes of decorations (trying to find which box I put my Halloween stuff in), I came across my box of yarn. I always run across it and close it back up and put it back into the closet (I've no time for this). Well, this time I took it out. I hadn't crocheted in years. I couldn't even remember when last I had yarn in my hands. But this time, I got it out and looked at what I was working on last time. I was unable to find the pattern to whatever afghan I was making—a beautiful cabin and heart-in-squares—but that was alright. I needed something different to focus on, and after trying to do a motif—which was hard and I wasn't familiar with—I went to work on something simple; working in a straight line, instead of doing rounds. Something that I didn't have to think about too much, and... it worked. My mind relaxed. I didn't want to read, because that's really not as relaxing. It's enjoyable, but not really giving my brain a rest.
I was always able to do something creative. I'm multi-talented. I've an art degree, as a matter of fact. So, doing this would be creative, letting another part of my brain to work, and the other part rest.
This is what I've begun doing to relax in the afternoons and evenings. I have to watch how many hours I do this, as it tends to use a certain muscle in the fingers, hands, arms and shoulders, that I don't normally use. I used to sell my projects. I made pretty good money at it, too. I once sold other crafts—things I painted or sewed—but the money usually went back into the materials, so, as a result, I didn't make that much money. But it was a hobby and I really enjoyed it.
So, right now I'm trying to give myself a break in this way. Since I've got four books written, one is being edited right now, between me and my betas, I don't feel the rush of getting number 8 done this year. I can let it simmer a while. Think about the things I want to happen, make notes, write scenes when they come, but not pressure myself into working on this one, since I've got others lined up to work on and get out there.
Everyone has their own way of relaxing. Possibly you have discovered your own way to relax. Photography, is one, I know that would be rewarding and relaxing and yet using another part of your brain. The walk is always nice, but right now in my neck of the woods, the weather is going to get cold, and it won't be an enjoyable walk after this month is gone. And by mid-December, probably impossible.
Do you have some creative ways in which to relax your mind from writing? It's a good idea to find something away from the writing so that you don't get burned out. Share them in comments, if you wish.VAMPIRE ASCENDING/SABRINA STRONG SERIES


  1. So I have to be nice, huh? (Just kidding!)

    It sounds like you have a good plan. I wish I could get my brain back on track....

  2. I've been trying to add small things like crafting and exercising into my routine so I'm not all reading and writing. It does spark more creativity to go do something that doesnt require so much of the same brain energy.

  3. ~Norma, hope you can find something to help. Try... rock hunting, or something that is so mundane you forget that the time has gone by.

    ~Krista, the crafting thing is a good way to let you use the brain in another way, allows you to "renew", and gets you away from the usual worries the brain tries to make you aware of. At least, most of the time. Thanks for stopping by! And Norma, you're always nice!

  4. My way involves going out for a nice long hike...

  5. That is a good way, William! Thanks for stopping in (^;


Hey, did I get you thinking? Want to add a comment? Be my guest and be nice about it. Since I've seen too many "anonymous" users I've taken this option off. Sorry, but you are only interested in selling me something. But my regulars are always welcome!