I think I may have overdone it the last few months.
In January, I took an all day workshop on publishing and speaking with the lovely Yvonne Conte. I learned about self publishing and becoming a keynote speaker.
In February, I did the first ever online WANACon for three glorious days! I learned about book formatting, query letters, Amazon SEO, blogging, writing villains and antagonists, types of publishing, Twitter, Facebook, social media, marketing, finding an agent, building a platform, copyright law, using LinkedIn, quality control, ebooks, revision, contracts, phew! You get the idea!
In March, I took online classes through WANA – a four-week one about Twitter for writers and a two-hour seminar on developing loglines, taglines and pitches. I also took a six-week class in February and March with Gwen Hernandez on Scrivener where I learned all the ins and outs of this incredible program.
This month, I am obsessing about music.
I think the problem is information overload. I spent three months collecting information and advice about starting a publishing company and self publishing. I have a notebook overflowing with notes and power point presentations from all the classes. I have been trying to sort through and transcribe my wildly scribbled notes and ideas from the classes and conference into a Scrivener document that will better organize it for easy reference. I have also been reading books that were recommended to me regarding publishing and marketing and social media and copyright and Scrivener and blogging and SEO optimization and formatting ebooks and… well, you get the picture.
So this month my brain seems to have completely switched gears on me. I can’t seem to focus on any of the books on writing. I can’t seem to focus on my writing, and I sure as heck can’t seem to focus on starting a publishing company at the moment. It feels like my mind slammed a concrete wall down between me and all the information it was trying to process about the next steps in creating my book. I can’t seem to find the energy to look for a way over the wall.
At first I felt a bit panicky about this. Time is slipping away! Oh my God, I have to get this published and start working on my next book! What am I doing wasting time on something completely unrelated to writing?
What am I doing? I think it’s called a vacation, a respite, an intermission, a holiday, a recess. 🙂
Some people may say no, don’t slow down. You have to keep pushing, climbing, fighting or you will never get there. To a certain point, that is true. You can’t give up. You have to continue the climb because no one else is going to do the work for you. But I also believe that you will be no good to yourself if you are completely wiped out and frazzled from all the pushing. Sometimes it is important to slow things down a bit so you are not rushing into decisions that you will later regret. It is also important to remember why you are in the struggle in the first place.
I love writing. I have written five books and am exploring self publishing. I do not expect to be able to quit my day job because I am realistic about children’s book sales. I am in it because I enjoy it and love it. And if it stops being fun and starts causing me stress, I need to stop and catch my breath.
Yep. I am taking a mini-mental-vacation from writing and publishing my book. It won’t be long, I promise. In no way should this be construed as my giving up. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This book will be available hopefully by the end of 2013, or early in 2014. But for the moment, I think I need this more than an earlier release date.
I need to be lazy and read fiction for the fun of it. I need to journal and not worry about plot points and character arcs. I need to pull out my violin on a daily basis and crank out some fiddle tunes to re-acquaint myself with it. I need to goof off on the piano, ukulele and mandolin. I need to wallow in the piles of fabric I have in my sewing room and work on a quilt. (I also need to start exercising but why ruin a good dream at the moment!)
I will definitely continue blogging. I have a good time with it and it will keep my writer’s mind in practice. But the book writing and publishing push is on hiatus for a brief time. I just need to clear the mental file room a bit before the next WANACon in June!