what am i doing

I’ve seen several lists pop up lately, humorously cataloguing the phases through which the author must pass to complete the work of a book. And I think to myself about all the things I do to get a book out there, and it’s quite a lot.

At the outset of my publishing career, I am choosing to rely on a cycle of work that makes all the tasks of self-publishing doable. To illustrate a year simply:

write–>rest–>edit last work–>get feedback–>incorporate feedback–>marketing–>publish–>marketing–>write…

Theoretically, this means that I focus on one task at a time, for a short amount of time, before switching to a different phase of the publishing timeline. Great for those of us who like to do many things, right?

Except that in practice, marketing goes on all the time. And sometimes you get a really good idea and want to run with it to see how far it can go. And then there are those times when you REALLY don’t want to edit.

writing process


So within this cycle of the year (yes, I am aiming at 1 year = 1 book!), there are the mini-cycles of high and low, enthusiasm and blockage. And I’m working with it.

After 33 years, I have an arsenal of tools to deal with the extremes of this cycle. Milo got me thinking about these this morning with his raw and wonderful mini-podcast this morning, so here are my tools (and I’ll be asking for yours, too!) for when I can’t do the task in front of me, be it writing or editing or formatting for publication:

  • dance break
  • go for a walk in the woods
  • stare off into space in a comfortable position
  • wash the dishes
  • clean the paper clutter
  • troll facebook
  • revisit the schedule
  • write a letter
  • and if all else fails….. READ!

What tactics do you have up your sleeve for when your routine falls apart, or you’re feeling low, or just plain overwhelmed? Share with your creative peers!


Image via Pinterest and Wikipedia