¦ dialling in from the Sky Bunker ¦
I’m now 3 weeks into my sabbatical and have the bliss of endless (seemingly) time on my hands.
A couple of years ago I would have been spending my days writing, writing, writing, but the end of last year, and completing The Social Club brought me to a stark realisation. I was spending most of my time creating new content and very little (or not enough) promoting what I have already produced.
It’s an easy situation to slip into. There’s an obsessive compulsion to create, especially when you’ve got ideas stacked up and a burning desire to bring them into living breathing life. Meanwhile the effort required in marketing and pushing your products can feel like a cold, damp slap of reality… there is no glamour in writing. Just hard work. Writing a book is easy. Selling them is really tough.
But I have found a groove. With eight novels and an RPG out there, and just finished my ninth book, I feel like I can take a big step away from the relentless pace of creating new content, and enjoy the challenge of building a business: outreach and link-building campaigns, blogging, tweeting, curating content for my site, pause, sup a drink and repeat. Grow, grow, grow. More contacts. More engagement. More fans. More sales.
So that’s been my week. I’ve curtailed my traveling plans. I am slow cooking all current novel plans (3 books on the go at the moment) and generally spend my days looking like a wild man from the mountains (unshaven, bed-hair explosion, 1970s wool cardigan called Starsky) living on coffee and whatever carbohydrates I can find in the cupboard before begrudgingly doing something about my appearance to step outside and be amongst humans so I can find food, or just clear my mind.
Of course, it’s vital to keep in focus all aspects of your life and stay true to what is important – don’t throw all your energy into one thing. That way lies madness (tedium, despondency, resentment).
Ran a session of Yellow Dawn (RPG) last night with my usual group. Very satisfying and we are still in a state of bliss since changing from playing once every month at my house (all day Saturday) to playing once every week, at a pub in the old pirate heart of Bristol – cobblestones and medieval buildings – fine ales, pub food. Full write-up soon. Ended the evening with brandy(s) and a slow unwind from the fictional reality we had been occupying. Role-playing (table top, pens, paper and dice) really is an exceptional way of developing your mind and your imagination, whilst having opportunity for people management, story-telling and general socialising. Love it.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re somebody who struggles with time-management I would seriously recommend you investigate polyphasic sleep (think Da Vinci) and also read the life-changing book by Stephen Covey – “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits.php
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