Silly me. I must have thought, somewhere in the back of my mind, that once I got Entheóphage out on the streets, I could move on to the next project and leave Phagey behind. That my schedule would remain fairly consistent, and I would have no trouble juggling what remained on my plate.
(Insert annoying buzzer sound.) Wrong.
The reality is that marketing and promotions never cease. Never. Ever. So even though I finally moved on to my next project, I still need to search for reviewers and book-tubers, find venues to host an author signing or reading, and chase people down on the street to convince them that Phagey is THE book they’ll want to read next. (Okay, I’m kidding about that last one. Sort of.) And if you didn’t already realize it, finding/vetting/querying reviewers or book-tubers is about the same difficulty as finding/vetting/querying agents. It can be time-consuming.
Add in the social media time, website/newsletter upkeep, and other assorted tasks associated with being an indie writer, and some days there’s little time left to write.
But promotions don’t start the day the book comes out. So I’ll be talking about my next project, “The Founder’s Seed” trilogy, in the Niveym newsletter (“The Quill”) a bit over the next few months, so I can get you excited about it before it even comes out.
This “new” project has been years in the making. I started notes for it in 2008 and began the first draft soon thereafter. My writing craft has come a long way since then! I hope to publish book one (tentatively titled “Fallen”) later this year, but nothing is set, yet. Stay tuned, both here on the Niveym Arts site, for updates. (Better yet, sign up for my newsletter! I’ll make regular announcements there, and subscribers are always the first to get Niveym Arts news.)
Meanwhile, I juggle and dance from task to task as fast as I can and try not to get overwhelmed—which does happen. I haven’t learned how to avoid it completely. Yet. But when it does, I remind myself of four things:
1. When every word I write turns to trash and none are worth printing, I need to walk away from the computer. Sometimes, it’s just a Galaxy Quest sort of day.
2. Self-care is every bit as important as all those other things on my to-do list and should be a regular part of my personal maintenance.
3. When I forget #2, Spirit nudges me. Sometimes, that’s a whisper. Sometimes, it’s a shove to remind me to LISTEN. Even when I don’t hear God’s voice, I shouldn’t assume She isn’t speaking. Most days, She’s more subtle than the clue-bat-level of conversation I sometimes require, and if I can remember this more often, I will get smacked far less.
4. If I can manage to get up every time I fall/get knocked down, I win.
Writers know all this. They have to; it’s a matter of self-preservation. But you don’t have to be a writer to remember that your well can’t nourish anything or anyone else if it runs dry. There will always be to-dos on your list. Don’t forget to be gentle with yourself, to take time to recharge, and to celebrate all the wins, big and small.
Most importantly, remember to find the joy in what you do. Because isn’t that why you started writing in the first place?
Photo by Zak Neilson on Unsplash