Hello Bloglandia,

As announced in yesterday’s post, I’ve got kind of a strange announcement and one that comes after a pretty lengthy thought process.

I’m through. I give up. The burnout has won and I’m done with it all.

Wait, sorry, I should clarify that a bit before you alert any Suicide Hotlines….

I’m scaling back on what I do.

A lot.

Identifying the Problem

Since December (maybe longer) I have pretty much hated everything I’m doing.

I felt like I was dragging myself to the manuscript….seriously, I almost couldn’t face the rewrite of the second book in my new series.

I detested going on social media. Which is nothing terribly new, but I was getting more and more annoyed and down on myself when I’d spend time creating a lovely post only to get crickets.

And then I’d get even more upset with myself when I’d see other people getting dozens of likes and comments on a picture of their half-eaten lunch (or something).

Same with the blog. I spend a fair bit of time crafting my posts, creating graphics, trying to interact with other peoples’ blogs, only to publish my words and….again crickets.

I really f-ing hate crickets.

Again, the frustration level only mounted when I’d see how many likes and comments and wonderful interaction other bloggers get on their posts.

Yes, this is comparison-itis.

And it was getting me really down about every aspect of my work.

I also had the feeling of trying to do too many things: write, edit, participate in promos, create ads, blog, social media, cover creation, blurb writing, ARC Team management, etc etc and on and on with all the stuff we writers are “supposed” to do.

The Problem Manifests

All this was leaving me super scatterbrained.

Frazzled does not even begin to describe it.

Which is why (I think) I was having so much trouble facing my actual writing work (you know, the part where I turn words into fun things to entertain your brain).

And I love writing. Or I used to.

I knew I had to do something to get that feeling back.

Solving the Problem – Out With the Bad (or rather, the pointless)

So, I’m cutting back and basically trying to do a reboot, trying to narrow in on a few things I really want to work on and ditching the rest.

Which means ditching social media for a while. No hardship there since I pretty much hate social media anyway.

It also means ditching the blog.

Which is hard.

Despite the crickets, I do like blogging. I’ve “met” some terrific people who I count as my virtual friends.

But blogging is just leaving me too frustrated lately and generating next to no interaction for the time I put into it.

I’m also cutting out a fair bit of promo stuff just to give myself a solid restart.

Solving the Problem, Part Two – Keeping the Good Stuff

So what AM I doing?

Writing!

I have a three books in the works already (two in my new series, one stand alone), I have ideas for another two or three stand alone novels, and I have at least four short story ideas pinging around my head like literary pinballs.

But I have been avoiding all of these due to the frazzled brain I’ve been housing in my skull the past few months.

No longer! Even just the small change in mindset of what I’m not going to do and what I am going to do has been insane!

I’ve jumped into the next draft of my current work in progress without the dragging of the heavy chains of resistance. I actually felt good about getting to it.

I also cranked out a draft of a new short story in only a couple hours. Which feels especially amazing since i have not had the gumption to write anything new for months!

And I can’t tell you how good it feels to actually ENJOY, to LOOK FORWARD TO writing again.

Phew!

The other project I’m working on is a reset of learning some marketing stuff, especially Amazon Ads. I just know if I can get those bastards to work, it would help my overall sales.

In the past I’ve done too much of a scattergun approach to trying out marketing things and I feel like this focus on one thing is exactly what I need to get things off on the right track.

The Problem Solved, Part Three – Keeping in Touch

One other thing I’m keeping up with (and hopefully improving) is my monthly newsletter.

If you do regularly read this blog and want to keep in touch, or if you’r just curious to see how this all plays out, please do sign up for that monthly treasure.

The Timeline of the Solution

So how long will this continue?

I’m planning on “going silent” for at least February and March. February will be spent learning and writing. March will be spent implementing what I’m learning and doing more writing.

Then, I might (or might not) be going on vacation in April, so it could be well into spring before I pop back in.

Unless I cave in and just can’t resist sharing something on here.

Either way, when I get back, the blog may look a little different. I have some ideas on how to make a more consistent blog that’s less about my writing (since no one seems to give a shit) and more about…who knows…kittens? Yes, people like kittens.

Anyway, have a great couple months, do sign up for the newsletter, and I will see you on the flip side!!

 

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What readers are saying about my latest book, Hoard It All Before

“I loved it.”

“Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down…it was that good!”

“Light and fanciful with a darn good mystery woven in. What fun!”

“…put together with a great plot and humor to keep you entertained.”

“An enjoyable read…the dragon, Duncan…is such a quirky character.”

16 thoughts on “I’m Outta Here aka “Bye Bye Burnout”

  1. I am amazed at all you manage to get done. Yes, scale back and find the joy again. I go through spurts of this. There are days I find myself in tears over the whole craptastic world of writing, publishing, promoting, begging, pleading, screaming. Crickets do suck. I am both terribly overwhelmed and oddly comforted knowing that authors who work way harder than I do also hear them. Good luck with the Amazon ads. I recently finally ran a campaign in which I didn’t lose money, though I made almost none, too. Sigh. I know they can work. I just know it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the main goal: Find the YAY in writing again. I can’t tell you how much I dreaded approaching the computer every day over the past two months. Now, I am feeling a little bit of that, “ooh, what can I create?” again already.

      Oh no, I hope you’re not crying over the writing part. I mean, I dreaded it recently, but never wanted to cry over it. The other BS, yes, felt the tears wanting to burst many times!

      I don’t condone the use of pesticides, but seriously, I want to blast those crickets with a Costco-sized can of Raid.

      I’ve done the same with Amazon Ads, break even, but profit? Ha!! KDP has an Amazon Ads online course (free) I’m working through. I thought it would be REALLY basic and pointless, but I am actually learning things I never knew before (or didn’t understand), so if you have time, you might want to try it (I found it by going to Help, then to Advertising Your Books in the right hand menu, then at the bottom of the screen there’s links to the course). There’s also some webinars I’ll give a try once I “graduate”.

      And I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets a sad sort of comfort from seeing even well-known authors hanging out in the cricket field.

      Hmmm…maybe I should give up and just start a cricket farm. Chocolate covered ones are supposed to be quite tasty.

      Anyway, keep in touch and don’t be shy about emailing if you need to vent your own frustrations now and then!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, I did the same thing! In my own way, of course. You know I’m here for you 150%, and as long as you’re doing what’s right for you that’s what matters.

    I also hate the perceived notion that authors have to do this, that, and the other. It’s an enormous laundry list that’s practically impossible for anyone to accomplish, so getting back to the root of things sounds like a perfect opportunity for you!

    Email me anytime if you want to shoot ideas my way or smack me upside the head with em lol.

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    1. Yeah, I’m really sick of (and from what I hear others are too) the whole “you need to be doing this” especially when it comes to social media.

      I mean, I know I can’t just write books and toss them out into the world without any marketing, but driving myself bonkers with so many different marketing tactics is making me unable to write and that’ snot going to work either, so something’s gotta give.

      It does feel good to get back to the essentials. It has been months and month since I actually had fun with a story, since I’ve actually looked forward to writing.

      You might not want to tempt me with any walloping offers if you’d seen how angry I was over my paperback release of Hoard being delayed for no reason. So much angry!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, totally! There’s just way too many things we ‘should be doing’, so I think what you’re doing is important.

        Once you can clear of the clutter of social media you can take time to evaluate what works better for you. I had all these services I was subscribing to that weren’t necessarily boosting me as much as I wanted or detracted too much from my writing.

        I just had to cut away and do a more basic approach. You do you, friend!

        Oh no, I didn’t know that! I’d be pissed too!

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  3. Oh Tammie, I am sorry you have been through such a tough time. And I am glad you are not walking away from writing. Your stories are too much fun to not be out there!
    One of the things I have been learning is to let go of the product and focus on the process, the part we love doing. In my case, problem solving to get the art that resonates with me; in your case to get all those ideas pinging around in your brain down on paper. It is a barrier to be thinking ‘what will I do with this at the end’ while you are still creating. In your case, all the promotion you have to do in places where you don’t want to be. Stepping back is such a wonderful idea and I am glad you have already begun to find the joy in your writing. That joy is the core, the rest is just embellishment.
    Feel free to shoot me an email if you feel in the mood…..no pressure!

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    1. No, definitely not walking away from writing, just running away from the other stuff for a bit.

      Yeah, I think I’ve gotten away from the process of enjoying finding the right words, clever phrases, twisty plot points because I’ve been so focused on the advice to crank out as many books as you can, to keep publishing so you stay “relevant”

      That advice made me publish a book before I think I was ready for it to be out and had me scrambling to write two more books just to keep up with what I’m “supposed” to do. Phooey to that!

      I guess this is my own self-imposed writing retreat : )

      Thanks, I’ll take you up on that email offer soon!

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  4. It’s great to put on a captious lens and turn it towards your writing priorities once in a while, and you seem to be doing that here. At least you’re aware enough to figure this out before it’s too late. I hope you get the rest you need, and that you come back stronger in all your writing pursuits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Stuart! True, I think I’ve been aware of what I need to do for at least a month now, but it was a matter of putting it into a time frame, setting small goals for the time frame, and then committing to it. Away I go, and hopefully returning fully recharged.

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