Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Writing 101: Overworked

This is a post where I'm going to tell you about what I'm doing, and then caution you to do the exact opposite of what I'm doing. Seriously, do not be like me. I'm overworked. A lot of indies are. 

So, this is a post where I'm going to tell you how to fix it...and probably never follow the advice. 

Midnight Oil

When you're an indie author, you're basically signing up to perform two full-time jobs at once. There's the full-time job you've probably already got, unless you're independently wealthy or otherwise live outside the mundane daily world of commerce.  Then, there's your new job as an indie author. 

Between the research and the writing and editing and picking a cover and making a trailer and browsing forums and tweeting and all the other stuff you have to do to be good at being an indie author, it gets exhausting. It gets to the point where you're overworked. And that gets to be bad for you...pretty quickly. 

Writing Books and Other Disasters

If things start to get busy at your other job and you're still committed to your job as an indie author, you're going to end up losing time somewhere else. Usually, social activities are the first thing to suffer. You'll start cutting out personal activities next. If you spend every Sunday afternoon watching a movie, you'll stop doing that once you start to be overworked. You'll start squeezing more working hours into your day, until you're not doing as much socializing or relaxing or exercising or anything. 

Weekends will disappear next. You'll use your Saturdays and Sundays to catch up on work, or possibly get ahead. And when all your free time is going to work and you're tired of working all the time, maybe you'll start getting less sleep. So now you're not socializing. You're not relaxing. You're not exercising as much. You're not spending as much time taking care of yourself. And you're not sleeping enough, either. 

You'll stop writing well. This is inevitable. Your mind can't work properly when you're overworked. You can't focus as well, and if you're feeling crunched for time then you can't give yourself enough time and space to be creative. You're responsible and you're determined, and you may still be writing. Pay attention: you'll stop writing well. When your brain is tired and your body is exhausted and you're not giving yourself enough time to breathe, then of course you can't write up to your full potential. 

Don't let yourself be overworked all the time. You've got to take some time, sometime, for yourself. Otherwise you won't write at your best, and all that extra work won't be doing you any good at all.

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