I spent most of January working on a new novel, which has led to a slow start of February as far as writing goes. I decided to enter the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award again this year (I got called lamentable by Publisher Weekly last time, I guess the person who got my novel wasn’t into humor) and so decided to polish up my historical YA novel for the contest. Even with a bad review, if I’m lucky, it gets the novel polished and out on submission. Most of January I was quite busy with it, and put it as a priority over everything.
Naturally, I knew that would mean a crash when I finally got it in. I’ve noticed that after intensely working on a novel I need a break of varying length after I finish before I can focus again on moving on. Maybe some people move straight from one to novel to the next, but most of the writers I know also experience at least some degree of post-novel ennui. You’ve put so much work and energy and focus into one story, it’s hard to move on, and I’m not a person who only writes “when I feel like it.” I’ve just noticed the resistance to working moves from a grumble to a solid concrete wall during these times.
So instead of fighting it, for once I tried scheduling it. It felt weird, but what I found was, I didn’t even feel like looking at the computer (past some gaming) during most of it. Instead I mostly read Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity by David Allen. I checked it out from the library, but since I had to use a hold to get it, I had a sneaking suspicion the person I “took” it from would put it on hold as soon as I got it, so I’d only have the two weeks to read it. That helped me focus on getting through it. I still wish I’d had more time, but I at least got far enough to get going on my new organizational system (the book is on hold again).
To supplement trying to get my marketing under control, I’ve decided to also do the Talest Social Media Check-up series ( free email series overview on blogging and social media). I’m still rather flailing, so it’s less of a check-up and more of a how can I organize my efforts that results in a marketing plan that actually works… but hopefully it gets easier the longer I do this.
I suppose because marketing and blogging both are related to writing, I find them no easier than starting my next novel (was supposed to on the 1st, but still haven’t managed). So, after the library took the book back I found myself doing some other completely non-computer related things… like papercutting, sewing, and puzzles. Which would all be great, if now that I’ve had my two weeks of rest, writing would magically happen.
The muse so far has put up a roaring fight on that front. The force of trying to get myself to move on now that my scheduled break is over has so far has at least produced a clean room, clean laundry, all my old papers sorted, and my car registration completed. What’s next… the garage? Hmm, maybe my next novel does sound better than that. That garage is pretty scary.