Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Writing, stress, and Rocky Balboa

I'm sure you've been wondering why I haven't been blogging more often, right? Ha. Ha. Well, whether you've missed me or not, here's what's up. I'm still here, I just needed a break.

Anyone can get burned out on any job, regardless of how much you love it. Between dealing with my private life (nothing bad, just lots going on), trying to get my yard in shape, trying to get MYSELF in shape, AND writing a new book, AND promoting my older works, AND editing some previously published books for re-release later this year, AND looking for photos appropriate for cover art for those books, AND dealing with a rash of bitchy reviews, AND ... Oh, hell. I lost track of all the "ands," but you get the point.

I'm tired. It's very stressful when you're working your ass off and can't understand why sales aren't higher. The majority of my reviews are good. I get nice emails from readers all the time. The feedback from my editors is positive as well. What the crap, right?

Who knows? Either way, it was really taking a toll. I already have insomnia off and on and lately it had been more on.

Last week was spring break for my son. I spent lots of quality time with him and his Xbox. Ha. Ha. Ha. And I loved it. It made me realize how very much I needed to take a break.

Honestly, I don't even want to LOOK at a book for a few weeks. If I'm going to continue writing, I want to be able to do that to the best of my ability. I want readers to enjoy what I publish, not just suffer through it. In order for me to do my very best, I've GOT to start taking breaks.

I see comments online all the time where people are going on about how they write EVERY day. When I'm working on a project, yes, I try to write some on that project every day. However, I work best if I take some time between books. That's what works best for me. That time could range from a few weeks to a few months. It all depends on how insistent my next project is.

I've written some of my best stuff after taking three months off in the middle of a book. I needed the time to remember the joy of writing. If the joy is gone and it's become just another job, the book will never be what it could. I want my works to all live up to their potential in my eyes. I want to know that when I have a book published I wouldn't have done it any other way. So, regardless of what critics say, it is a quality product, and I KNOW that if it's what readers are into, the majority will enjoy it.

This is going to sound cheesy, but I'm going to take a little time to get my joy back before I finish my work in progress. After that rash of nasty reviews, I took some time to seriously consider if I wanted to keep writing, if remaining in this business was worth it.

Here's my answer, I'm a writer. I write. It's not just what I do, it's who I am. I don't know how to be anything else. If I worked at a store, I'd be a store worker who dreamed of writing. If I taught classes, I'd be a teacher who dreamed of being a writer. And doing either of those things would make me miserable. I would still tell these stories, even if they were for my enjoyment alone.

The second thing that I would miss is meeting new readers. I've met some great people I otherwise never would have known if they hadn't enjoyed my books and decided to write to me. Some have become friends and I treasure that.

Not to mention I've got a series I haven't finished yet. I don't want to disappoint everyone who has been patiently waiting to see what happens to Lilith Mercury and her band of merry werewolves. LOL

Okay, so they're not all merry, but you know what I mean.

Everyone gets down sometimes. People get stressed and overworked. Even people who have their dream job need to rest. I'm going to end this post with a quote that I find has lots of personal meaning for me. I've been a kickboxer for more years than I care to share. Besides being a writer, I'm a fighter. Rocky Balboa never fails to inspire me. Yet again, cheesy but true. Hey, there's nothing wrong with being cheesy sometimes.

Rocky Balboa is worth watching, by the way, even if you don't like the other Rocky films.

At one point in the movie he tells his son, "You ain't gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. [taps on the inside of his hand] I'd hold you up and say to your mother, 'this kid's gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid's gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.'

And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watching you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did.
But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!

Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain't gonna have a life."

Excuse me while I pick myself up again.

No comments: