Writing, publishing, and marketing books takes a lot of work. It doesn’t matter how much we love doing what we do as authors, there will always be work involved if we want to be successful. So how can we keep our dream job from turning into a regular daily grind?
That’s the question I asked myself at the beginning of 2014. My success as an author had taken off and I kind of felt like I’d lost control of my dreams. But it wasn’t just me. It seemed to be a common problem with other successful authors that I talked with. They all commented on the fact they didn’t have enough hours in the day and were buried in an every growing pile of things to do or manage. Part of me was relieved to know I wasn’t the only one missing deadlines, but part of me wondered if life as an author really needed to be so stressful. This is what I had dreamed of my whole life–shouldn’t it be more fun?
In today’s post, I’ll be sharing three of the things I’ve learned during the past 6 months. But you need to know that this post is more than a simple how-to post–it’s also my story. It’s the story of taking back the control of my life, my happiness, and my dreams.
And the best part is that it can be your story too.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks required of you as an author, I encourage you to keep reading. Keep reading and discover 3 simple ways you can revitalize your life as an author.
If you are just starting out and can’t imagine your dreams being any less dreamy, I encourage you to keep reading too. Keep reading so you know what to watch for.
3 Steps to Revitalizing Your Life
1. Celebrate Success
Back when I first started publishing books all those years ago, every time I finished a project, I would spend the rest of the day celebrating. I didn’t go out to eat or anything like that–I just enjoyed the feeling of completion. But somewhere along the way I got so busy writing and marketing, that I forgot to take the time to celebrate success… and that was a real kill joy. When I finished a project, I’d immediately jump into the next one without even stopping to breath. I lost the feeling of accomplishment and buried it with the dread of being overwhelmed and out of time.
Thus, the first step to revitalizing your life is to take the time to celebrate success. You don’t have to do something grandiose, but give yourself credit for the accomplishment. Take some time to enjoy the feeling of completion. Most importantly, give yourself a break and celebrate by taking the rest of the day off, reading a good book, or eating some cake.
2. Do More of What You Love
There are some aspects of being an author that I appreciate more than others. For instance, the act of writing. It may come as a surprise to you, but I started writing because I love to write. I know, shocking isn’t it. One of the things that I’m constantly telling other authors is that if you don’t like marketing your book, you’re doing it wrong. Well, the same thing is probably true if you’re not enjoying your life as an author.
Do more of what you love. I have found that if I go for long periods of time without solid writing time, I get discouraged. Dedicating time to writing–no social media notifications popping up, no e-mail, or research, just fingers to the keys–helps me feel more balanced and really just brightens up my life.
As an author, I’m assuming you enjoy writing, but you may find that there is something else that revitalizes you like nothing else. Maybe it’s physically talking to someone and incorporating a weekly podcast or hangout into your routine could be just what you need. Maybe you love being on the move and finding a way to work outdoors or on the go could really turn your life around.
Doing more of what you love doesn’t make you less productive–the opposite should actually occur. So take the time to be happy and enjoy yourself.
3. Keep Dreaming and Dream Big
One of my daughter’s favorite movies is Disney’s Tangled. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a movie about a girl pursuing her lifelong dream. She has always wanted to see the release of the floating lanterns. Well, she finally makes it there and right before they release them, she realizes that it’s a life altering moment. What if it’s not everything she’s hoped of? Or what if it is? What happens next? The guy tells her that that’s the best part. She gets to go out and find a new dream.
As an author, I reached that moment. Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming an author. Well, it turns out that I really am an author! Woo-hoo! …so now what? I’m living my dream, but I found something missing. I was no longer striving for anything because I was there… and that’s a very dangerous (and depressing) place to be. Now, I don’t need to find a new dream. I still love writing and being an author, I just needed to dream bigger. To set higher goals. I needed something to reach for.
So the last step to revitalizing your life is to keep dreaming. Don’t grow stagnant, but enjoy how far you’ve come while you keep dreaming of the bigger and better things you can do.
On that note, I want to leave you with a quote by Eddie Cantor: