Sunday, February 5, 2012

The year of balance

Ray Bradbury once said you only fail when you stop writing.

He's right, you know.

Sometimes we indie authors get caught up in designing sites, marketing, and networking. Sometimes we take to heart mean spirited words in a review, or we sulk about slumping sales. I've only been in the industry a few years, and already I've seen talented authors who have simply given up and pulled their books from the virtual shelf.

It's easy to get caught up in the everyday grind of marketing and promotions. I'll take a little break, you say. Days become weeks, and before you know it months have passed by without writing so much as a page. WIP's go untended, new ideas slip into oblivion, creativity wanes, and you find yourself discouraged. 

Why is it that most writers are such extremist? It seems we are either furiously writing like someone's going to shoot us at dawn, or we're not writing so much as a post-it note.

I like the Chinese tradition of naming a year, but instead of characterizing years with animals I allow my years to name themselves. Call it the crazy creative side of me, but every year around this time I find a word floating  through my mind. That word becomes a mantra of sorts, creating common theme that runs throughout the 12 months and defines my personal history.

This year, as I struggle with two jobs, two kiddo's, two books, and two dogs, I'm constantly out of whack. Either I've paid ahead on a bill or something's about to get shut off. I'm a month ahead on lesson plans, or I'm scrambling for ideas on my way to school. I'm up on posts for blog tours, or I'm staying up till the wee hours of the morn trying to write a character interview. My pendulum is practically swinging out of control, and so I have to stop the extremes. I need balance.

It is getting better. I've started autopay on all the bills. I open mail before I step foot in the house, and I've started back on a strict writing schedule.  Like any good story, I'm not sure how this one will turn out, but I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. :-)

So here's to the year of balance ... let's hope it's a creative one!