My life has been very busy over the past year. Most of you know I lost my husband, sold my house in Arizona, and moved to Washington state. I didn’t write or read at all during most of that time, but things are changing. I’ve started a new book and I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. Besides writing the new book, I critique another author’s books, and I’m just starting to market and promote again, plus I write this weekly blog. I also read the blogs of others, and frankly, I always find something helpful in them.
I have to remember that there’s a domestic side to life, too, including cooking, cleaning and taking care of three dogs, not necessarily in that order. The new (to me) house in Washington requires a few updates and repairs, and I still have a few things I haven’t unpacked yet.
My husband once asked me how I can continue to remain enthusiastic about writing when it involves so much more than just writing. That’s an excellent question. Sometimes I do feel frustrated and overwhelmed. It seems like there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. (I wrote about Time being one of a writer’s bosses last week.)
There are several things that keep me motivated. My work in progress (WIP) involves a lot of research since it’s a time travel mystery. It takes place in 1909 and the characters' everyday lives are very different from our lives today. Even while writing, I work on what I might do to promote the book. Writers can do a lot of promoting on the Internet, but readers frequently want to meet the author. I enjoy that part of the experience. I like meeting readers. They make my world go around.
I’ve been in contact with people from the libraries here in Clark County and I have the feeling that they’re very proactive when it comes to authors. It rains frequently here, but hopefully as the weather improves, I’ll get out and about and start meeting more people.
Those who are critiquing my new book keep me motivated, too, because they keep asking for new chapters.
Sometimes I feel tired and overwhelmed and then I remember fan letters I’ve received. I’ve achieved my goal, which is to entertain people. Those letters (and emails) are the highest compliment I can receive. Readers make my energy level soar and they renew my enthusiasm.
Do I ever worry? Yes, but then that’s just me. I sigh a lot like Sandi Webster does in her series. I’ve been told that I roll my eyes frequently, just as Pamela Cross does in the Bogey Man series. You’d probably be right if you pictured a blonde (thank you L’Oreal) author sitting in front of her computer, sighing, rolling her eyes and staring at the screen, trying to figure out what to do next. Write? Market? Promote? Throw her hands in the air and let loose with a primal scream? I also worry about whether readers will enjoy my next book. That may be a universal worry for authors.
Thankfully, my enthusiasm is back after being on hiatus. I’ll do all of the things I mentioned above over time. It’s all part of the Author Experience. What’s that old saying? No guts, no glory? If you haven’t got guts, you’d probably be better off doing something other than writing books.
Writing isn’t for sissies.Take my word for it.
Latch on to anything and everything that gives you a lift and, whatever you do, don’t curb your enthusiasm.
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