This week's topic at the SFF Seven is Creativity on a Deadline: How do you balance art with business demands?
Talk about a perfectly-timed topic. I've been working long (looooong) days since The Witch Collector came out in November. I'm also horrible at balancing anything. I'm an overachiever, I'll work myself to the bone, and I have the mental stamina of...I don't know. I have a lot. If my physical energy matched my brain energy, I would be ridiculously fit.
And it's a good thing I'm like this.
We writers have to be writers first and foremost, but also marketers, graphic design specialists, website designers and managers, promotional gurus, executive assistants, top-notch planners, salespeople, publishers, formatters, editors, copy editors... I could go on. It takes a village, and much of the time that village is one lone person who is ready to run to the hills any moment.
Kidding aside, this gig can be a ton of work beyond the writing itself. There's so much to building a readership, cultivating it, and creating a brand that sells books. It's a lesson in patience, perseverance, and dedication, with many days spent traveling down different avenues that might lead nowhere.
I always knew my work style and work ethic was intense, but until The Witch Collector released in November, I didn't really know how it would translate to my author career.
Now I do. And after almost seven months of being ON for seven days a week, I'm taking a break.
This weekend, I announced a social media hiatus. I'm also training my daughter as an assistant and letting her pick up some slack over the summer so I can focus on final edits of City of Ruin and write some pages on the other stories in the series. She's also a creative writer, singer, artist, and musician and has one semester left in the recording industry program at Middle Tennessee State University. She gets this process, and she knows how I like things done ;) She lives with me and we get along because we are literally the same human, so communication is awesome.
In truth, I needed to unplug more than I realized. It's been a whole 24 hours, and I've gotten so much done while simultaneously feeling the stress leave my body. Having trustworthy hands to keep the social media going and the Etsy store functioning is a life saver.
What I've learned is that, in the future, even if my current assistant leaves me for Hollywood, taking a break from the business side of things to just WRITE is good for balancing my author life. It's also good for my soul.
Because it's okay to unplug from the mainframe sometimes and just be a storyteller.
Happy Reading and Writing,