Sunday, February 7, 2016

Essential Author Care 101

Last year I was pretty much used up. 

I had tried too many things and too few of them really worked.  What really cut me up was the way I was using them for others and not getting the results I hoped for.  I wasn't even trying to push my own stories - where an old Wiccan wisdom states that if you try to work magic for self-interest, you end up getting nothing.  That's a philosophical point as someone once argued that everything we do is out of self-interest, and well, promoting other authors in my publishing business - there is quite clearly a self-interested component in there.  But if this adage always held true, nobody would ever succeed at anything, would they?

So I spent far too much time punting our existing and new titles, exhausted myself and lost hope. 

I've written this post on the Red Ant to lay down some laws regarding my new approach to P'kaboo.

Apart from being a publisher, I'm also a writer.  A better writer than publisher.  And a musician, running a beautiful violin studio full of thriving students and occasionally entertaining myself playing at people's weddings and functions; and also a mother - a mother of three amazing and very different kids, of whom one is in high school doing well, one is in homeschool this year and we're having a journey of discovery (which homeschool always is!), and one is a young adult - I don't mean that reader-wise, I mean, she's an adult, she's 18, she is ready to emerge into the world and is exploring the different professions in the Arts, by job-shadowing.  We're also planning to book her into short-courses to expand her skills repertoire.  What an exciting year ahead!

So the noise got too much at the end of 2015 and I gave in to the temptation offered by my teenagers, to watch TV series.  December and half of January were spent adrift on the currents of the series.  I learned again to fall in love with fictitious characters.  I eagerly slurped up the inspiration that came from colourful (but by now repetitive) storylines.  I lost myself in the silence of each of us doing their own thing, in "parallel play" as they call it when toddlers in a kindergarten each play on their own with the toys while still keeping each other non-interactive company.  There were other factors, such as my other half looking after his very ill mother and therefore not being at home.  It was really, really quiet.

I put Federi and his young Shooting Star crew on hold and ignored them entirely.  Perhaps I'll be able to retake editing now, refreshed.  Perhaps I can publish other people again - but publicizing them, now that is something I shall severely limit.  I have the connections; but I don't have to do it all alone, I can introduce them to each other and leave them to it.  Answer me this:  Why should a publisher fight harder for an author's work than the author is prepared to do himself?

Author care 101:  

  • Take holidays!  Give writing a break.
  • Get new inspiration.  Any source is good.  Movies qualify.
  • Get out into nature.
  • Doing things for others is great and I believe in karma - but if you deplete yourself on it, you'll feel the consequences.  Maintain a balance.
  • Get variety into your life.
  • Nurture your relationships.
  • Rest your eyes by taking road trips.
  • Fall in love - with whatever, a movie character, a view, the idea of love.

And here's a pic of a really big wave.

No comments:

Post a Comment