I go on publicity binges – posting, tracking, tweeting, creating new content, then posting, tracking, tweeting all over again. Then I see a jump in sales and I think “Great! It’s working!” and I work like a woman possessed on my next release or short story in between posts, tweets, tracking, etc.. All of a sudden I hit a day when it just seems like so much self-aggrandizement and frantic activity that I can’t bear to do it for another minute.
It’s in these dark hours of (mental) exhaustion that I just want to crawl onto the couch and read someone else’s work. The one thing being an indie has taught me is that those moments of blissful peace are necessary to fuel my creativity. It’s stressful to live with the little voice in my head “Did my scheduled posts work? Did I put the links on that post?” and all of the other random thoughts that pop in while I’m trying to live my life.
That’s the crux of the matter: I have a life. I have a full-time job. I have a family. I have a small dog. I have friends. I also have a part-time job (writing) that I’m building into a business and that business reqires me to be creative and consistent.
The last time I hit that wall – the one between “I love doing this so much” and “I’m closing my Twitter account” – I decided to approach things differently. Instead of working like a woman possessed on my next release while promoting, I broke it down into two separate tasks. Write. Publicize. When I’m not feeling particularly inspired, I build my tweets and posts and save them or schedule them to post at specific times. When I can’t form a sentence, I work on my art for advertising sales & promos – then I save them or schedule them. Trying to do it all at once just saps my energy and creativity. If my posts are scheduled, I can focus on my next project. This has made me more focused as a writer and it’s enabled me to keep my online presence consistent.
When I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, I curl onto the couch (with the small dog) and read someone else’s work. Those breaks enable me to do recharge enough so I can build my business. It’s time I carve out for me, without the pressure of constantly feeling like I must do more. Maintaining momentum is important, but maintaining sanity is even more critical.