How many times have we said, “I need to slow down” yet we don’t?
For me, too many times. In the rush to get “out there” or to get those stories out of our heads, authors can burn out. Not run out of stories, but just run out of steam. Sometimes, we hit a brick wall and it brings us up short.
Wall meet Lynn.
Lynn meet wall.
Now this isn’t the same as “writer’s block” — it’s more like, I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing or where I’m supposed to be or which blog I’m supposed to post on. You’re overloaded with stories, promo, conventions, life and all the other things that get in your way, holding up a big sign that says, SLOW DOWN, curves ahead. Slippery shoulders. Detour ahead.
Last year, I swore I’d only write 4-6 books. I did seven. Usually I write between 6-9 books, and I knew last year I needed to slow my roll. But I wanted to get a few books out that couldn’t wait, books in a series, books I’d promised the year before, that sort of thing.
So my plans sort of went out the window. I swore I’d do better this year, so I cut back on the number of books I promised. Unfortunately, most of those are due at the beginning of this year, so I have yet to start on the “cutting back” part of the show.
I want to blog more. Maybe do a free read. Teach a few courses in writing. Find an agent? (Still not decided on that one) I want to work on some novels I started with huge potential, I started a couple of years ago, but I never had the chance to work on because I had something else contracted.
So just like I set goals to write, I set goals to slow down. Seriously. Goals can work that way….here’s how I’m doing:
Goal 1) Blog more. So I joined this blog, linked it to my author page at Goodreads, and now I’m blogging twice a month. Way up from an occasional guest blog.
Goal 2) Free Read. Okay, I’m doing that this March – on this very blog! Come join the ladies of LL&L at Lucky’s Bar – Home of Lucky’s Charms, the hottest male strippers in NYC. Watch for my story about Colm, one of the bartenders. I promise to heat it up and drive it like I stole it!
Goal 3) Teach. I’m doing some panels at RT. I’m doing a workshop with some YA/MG authors about Front End Loading Your Brainstorming. I’ve got a few workshop requests out to some conferences.
Goal 4) Finish those 4 books I started years ago. They aren’t my usual gay romance, well, one of them is, but it’s a gay rom com about a guy who uses “visualization” to get into and out of trouble. Another is a Russian historical traditional romance set in the 1600’s. I have a NA fantasy about two young people caught between duty and what they think they want from life. And the last one, the one I really want to tear into, is about an alternate universe where New Orleans is ruled by magic, music and voodoo. There might even be zombies in this one.
So got 1-3 done and underway. 4 is the one I need to work on. As soon as I finish the books I need to do by March 1, it’s clear sailing!! Except for those two other novellas I promised, but they’re later in the year.
As for the agent, it’s one of those things I’m looking into. I’ve got some interest, but I’m mixed emotionally about it. If I do it, it’s going to have to be a perfect fit.
I swear, I won’t touch another thing until at least one of those stories is complete. Swear to God, hand on my heart. No matter how tempting a story is that pops into my head. Or how hot. Really. Not doing it. Nope. Not getting sucked in.
I’ll let you know how my “slow down” is going later on here at LL&L.
In the meantime, let me know if you’ve experienced this or if you’ve slowed your roll. Leave a comment. It can’t just be me, can it?