One thing about being an indie author that nobody ever seems to say is, relax and stop running from time to time.
Sometimes, the Internet seems like it’s all about motion. We push books and try to pull people in. We follow endlessly and sometimes joylessly. It should be fun to meet new people and find out about what’s new and cool. But everybody needs a break, if it’s at the right time.
I’ve found the right time.
You haven’t seen me lately, unless you checked out my review of Transcendence at AllThatChazz.com or my article on food and emotion at DecisionToChange.com. After doing a major promotion for my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus, I felt it was time to step back. I’m still busy, but sometimes it makes a lot of sense to get out of your followers faces for a bit. Give your tribe some time off from The Magic That is You.
Spend more time reading and writing.
(I’m reading LT Vargus’ Casting Shadows Everywhere at the moment. Go get it. It’s the kind of demented joy I love.)
I’m working on new books and revising old books, too. This Plague of Days Season 3 launches in June along with The Complete This Plague of Days. I had to get my taxes done (blech!). A collaboration with another author is on the horizon and, between promotions and events and blog tours, I’ll be boosting my marketing and visibility plenty this summer. I don’t want to wear out my welcome by peaking too soon.
The problem is overwork and overexposure.
There’s a podcast I loved to listen to that I’m now a little sick of. I might love it again, but if I have to hear the same stuff from the same guys too often…well, maybe it’s me. I needed to take a break from them. The relentless self-promotion machines of the Internet? Geez, guys, shut up and take a breath.
I mean, really, don’t you get sick of me banging on and on about writing and publishing sometimes? I would, and I love me (except when I hate me.)
It’s not just about giving readers and listeners a break, either.
You need a break sometimes. I know you’re all out there crushing it a la Gary Vaynerchuk and perfecting your marketing simplicity through Seth Godin’s genius and…well, slamming your head against the wall. Marketing should be a creative and joyful thing. It certainly can be fun if you are doing the right things and going into it with the right attitude.
The right attitude is excitement.
(Here’s a guy who knows how to enjoy the marketing process and make it fun for others. Help Armand Rosamilia name his new podcast here.) BONUS hint: Many authors complain about marketing. They’d have more fun if they weren’t so whiny about the necessities of business and, instead, look for opportunities to help others and make publicity and marketing into an interactive game with and for readers. But that’s a post for another time. Tonight, we dance.
Take it easy on yourself and others.
If you push the accelerator through the floor all the time, your car’s engine will blow up. Don’t burn out your engine.
Push too hard too often and you’ll end up pushing people away. Instead, try discovering and promoting others, or be still and listen. Let your mind be that cabin in the woods, free of distractions so you can hear the peaceful hum of the Om of the world and the anguished screams of your tormented enemies burning out, flailing and failing.
How do I know when it’s time to take a break?
When my patience wears thin.
When I catch myself getting cynical.
When every interaction with a kid I made feels like an interruption.
When I’m too tired to do anything else.
When I’m too tired to do anything.
The rewards of slacking to win are:
Rejuvenation, physical and mental.
New excitement upon your return.
Balance and peace.
Excitement for the tasks ahead instead of weariness.
Writing is my retreat and my solace.
I write every day. But it’s a great relief to you and to me not to talk about it at recess ad nauseum. This week (if it suits you and the timing’s right and if you’re feeling cranky at the world anyway) let’s talk less about writing and, instead, write more.
~ Full disclosure: Between writing sessions I do post excerpts of upcoming books on Facebook or just share goofy news and interesting memes. I love interacting with readers there and I find it relaxing. Hit me up with a friend request there. We’ll be cool together. Bring margaritas.