For the past week or so, I’ve been writing a first draft, and I think I’ve validated my theory that it’s the business part of publishing that burns me out. Once I started writing instead of spending all my time on business tasks and proofreading, etc., I felt so much better. I have more energy, I’m less stressed, I sleep better, and I even have less physical pain.
Yes, writing seems to be good for my body, while doing other stuff is bad for me. Mostly, that’s about the way I sit when I do other stuff. When I’m typing, I sit more or less like a normal person, facing the computer, my hands on the keyboard. When I’m reading things on the computer but not typing, I tend to get into weird, twisted positions and lean to the side, so I end up with a sore shoulder. Meanwhile, scrolling and clicking makes my right hand sore if I do it all day. When I’m typing, all the fingers on both hands are working, and nothing feels overused or strained.
It also helps that I’ve seen more results from my work lately, so I have less of that helpless feeling that I think contributes to the sense of burnout. I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time. Getting a couple of books ready for publication and seeing sales makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. Plus, there’s some other stuff that may be in the works that I hope to be able to discuss later that’s made me feel a bit better about work.
I’m going to have to figure out a way to get better balance going forward. I do need to do the business stuff because writing the books doesn’t do much good if I’m not selling them. I just need to find a way to make sure I’m writing more often and don’t end up with too many days in a row of just proofreading and promoting. Even when I’m in editing and marketing mode, maybe I should work on a short story, or something, purely for health reasons. I guess I’m the kind of writer who’d be happy just hiding in my cave and churning out stories, but it’s really hard to make a living doing that these days. You’re always going to have to deal with business issues, and all authors are expected to participate in promotion and publicity, even if they’re dealing with one of the big publishers.
In the meantime, I’ve got a book releasing Friday, so I suppose I should be doing some promo, but first I need to write a couple thousand more words for the day.