Do you ever feel like you have so many things to do but can't figure out where to start?
As writers, we're meant to handle all aspects of our writing business, from maintaining our websites, graphics, marketing, and the actual writing. It's a lot and can get totally overwhelming. Believe me, I know.
Here's what I do to survive. But shh... I don't always stick to it. Life gets fucking busy sometimes, you know?
1. Morning Routine
I've found that when I stick to a schedule, I have a much easier time staying productive, especially at the beginning of the day. Whenever I waste half of my day in bed (which rarely happens now that I have three toddlers, let's be real for a sec), I end up feeling kind of bleh and don't really get much work done once I finally do drag myself from my deliciously comfortable covers.
The first thing I do is make my bed. I know that seems cliche, but it's not - I promise you. That one little thing in the morning motivates me to do the next little thing (like brush my teeth) before continuing to the next.
For me, it's all about the little things that make me feel like I'm being super productive.
2. Check Emails and Social Media
Maybe you're waiting for a response regarding a query you submitted, or perhaps you have notes from your beta readers... who knows, but whatever it is, you don't want to leave them waiting too long.
I have an extremely hectic life. I have triplet 3-year-olds, a freelance writing business, and my publishing business.
It's a LOT. Sometimes it gets super overwhelming juggling all of it, and during those times, I have a tendency to put emails and social media platforms on the back burner.
Doing that has caused me to miss out on important information and awesome opportunities that I would have loved to participate in.
I'm not saying to keep your nose glued to your phone when you're feeling overwhelmed, but try to hop on and ensure you are aware of everything crucial. Does that make sense?
3. Take a break to read or walk around the block.
I think it goes without saying that taking breaks is not only good - but vital for your mental health, regardless of your job. This is true if you're a SAHM or an office worker.
For me, I enjoy escaping into a fantasy world or letting my mind wander while going on a walk. I actually get a lot of my writing ideas when I'm doing relaxing things - it happens too often in the shower when I can't write them down!
I know, I know... This is obvious, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be included. Most of the authors I know (myself included) don't always have the motivation to write every single day.
Sometimes, pushing yourself can actually begin a downward spiral into writer's block, which we absolutely do NOT want.
So, how do you write every day without pushing yourself too far?
What works for me on days when the words flow less easily than on other days is picking up a different WIP or outlining another project. I find that as long as I keep myself busy doing some sort of writing work on one of my projects, I'm less likely to feel stunted in my creativity, and I actually get a lot more accomplished.
A win if you ask me!
6. Knockout Tasks From Your To-Do List one at a time.
As you know, authors are frequently one-person shows, so there is always something to do.
My tasks usually include writing, editing, proofreading, beta-reading, creating SM graphics, housework, collaborating, freelance writing, marketing, data analysis, and SO MUCH more.
Whenever I check out my to-do list and try to do as much as possible, it is significantly more challenging than doing a few tasks here and there.
Don't try to do everything all at once. That's the fastest way to burn out. <3
I've been there - it sucks ass.
I hate to be that egotistic a**hole that brings up quotes from my own books, but it really works here. In the second book of the Heirs of Elaerys series, Of Earth and Bone, Arianna is seriously down on her luck and feels like she can't move forward, and her mate, Galvyn, consoles her.
Arianna is on her knees, crying, feeling utterly overwhelmed - "I can see the end, Galvyn. I can see it, but I am blind as to the path to get there. How am I meant to bring us through this battle when there is no end in sight? No clear course to take?"
"You don't need to see the whole path, Ari. All you need to see is a single step. Can you see just one step forward?"
Arianna looks up into his warm gaze and nods.
He reaches out a hand and helps her to her feet. "Then start there."
CHILLS, I tell you. Those two give me chills.
So, what's on your to-do list?
*Photo by deposit photos