As I'm sure most of you know - because I certainly make no secret of the fact -this week saw the release of Murder at Chateau sur Mer. At the same time I very nearly finished the next book in the Newport series, Murder at Ochre Court. I think I'll write the final words tomorrow - but those words are so important I didn't want to rush them last Friday. The very moment I'm done, I need to turn my attention back to the other series, A Lady and Lady's Maid Mysteries, and continue with the synopsis I started a few months ago for book 4. And so it goes, round and round, in six month cycles where on any given day I might be writing a book, proofing a different book, and promoting yet a third book. Sometimes I have to remember to breathe.
It's a wonderful problem to have, and I don't see burnout as ever becoming a problem because I love what I do, but there are times when I feel a bit like a hamster in the wheel, but one whose energy is waning. Not long ago, I thought my energy for bike riding was waning. We'd no sooner start out when I'd feel tired and as if no matter how hard I peddled, I wasn't going any faster. It worried me a little. Was there something wrong with me?
Turns out, the tires needed air. I know, right? So simple. Inflating the tires made all the difference, and suddenly riding several miles was invigorating and gave me energy, rather than robbing me of it. Writing . . . and any endeavor we undertake in life . . . can be a bit like that. We go and go and go, without remembering to put air in our tires, or replenish the well as they say. With the right balance, time away from our goals can be just as important as the time we spend actively pursuing. them. Taking a breather not only renews our energy, but lends perspective. Trying to proof a book I've just written isn't half as effective as proofing it a few months later, when the copyedits come. Time away allows me to see the words with a fresh perspective and a more objective eye.
We can't always escape on vacation, but we can usually finds ways to slip away for an hour or two and do something that makes us happy and relaxed. For me, that's the key to recharging. Some of the things I love to do are:
Walking through nature parks . . .
Enjoying an afternoon at an art & crafts fair or flower show . . .
And of course, meeting for lunch with friends - or even just a quick breakfast.
How do you recharge? Do you need to often? Share and be entered to win one of five books (U.S. addresses only due to shipping costs; winners will be chosen randomly.) I've got five trade paperback copies of MURDER AT ROUGH POINT to give away - for those of you who haven't read it yet, or did read it and liked it so much you'd like to give one to a friend! Winners will be chosen Saturday, Aug. 5th and emailed privately.