When Broken Crowns hit the market in 2012, turning an elusive dream of mine into reality, I buckled down with enthusiasm and discipline to this new career path, whose gates, miraculously, had opened for me.

I carved out time to write every day. A minimum of a thousand words went into whatever work-in-progress I had going, I spent time building a Facebook account and a Twitter account and a [fill-in-the-blank-here] account. I pushed my books on whatever social media places I could find. I entered any free or cheap contest available for my genre. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote, and once, when I hit a wall after putting 50,000 words into a book, I threw the book out and started over. Over the last three years, I’ve written eight books, and am now working on my ninth. I’ve written reams of flash fiction and short stories, adding my work to the brand new Flashdogs anthologies that recently hit the market.

Time is money, I told myself. If I put enough time into this, I will eventually reap the rewards.

Somewhere in there, I forgot to schedule in rest periods. I couldn’t imagine taking a break; I’d started out with so much enthusiasm to do the thing I loved best that a rest seemed like a waste of time.

So, here I sit, three years and nearly nine books into my career, on the edge of burn-out. Almost every day for three years, I’ve cracked open my laptop and added words to projects. I’ve studied and researched and screamed at and cried over Amazon and other marketing venues.

Folks, I am discouraged. Carving your path in a flooded market is not for sissies. “Never-say-die” is the only attitude that keeps the strongest going in such fierce competition.

Where am I going with this?

Am I giving up? Won’t I write anymore?

Of course I will write! I love to write more than just about anything else I’ve ever done. There’s something magical about making another reality for people to enjoy than the one in which they currently live.

I’ve decided, however, that I will take an entire week of vacation this month. Seven days. Seven days of not writing a single word, not looking at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Seven days of not contemplating agents or big New York City publishers. Seven days of ignoring the marketing world and all its intricacies.

Seven days of rest.

I’m not going to lie; it will be hard. Writing has become like breathing for me. Leaving my laptop closed for seven days might suffocate me, but I need to do it.

I think in the end, I’ll be rested, refreshed, inspired, and ready to take the world by storm again.

Keep me accountable, though, won’t you? Or you may find me sneaking out to my laptop in the wee hours for a bit of light “outlining” or some other strange excuse. πŸ˜‰

Seven days. Starting in August.

12 thoughts on “Burn-Out

  1. Foy S. Iver says:

    I’m just going to copy/paste this for my blog tomorrow if that’s alright with you. Oh wait… I haven’t written that many books, let-alone published a single one. πŸ˜›

    But I feel ya. I’ll be making a shift as well only not quite so drastic. πŸ˜‰

    And I volunteer to keep you away from your laptop and watching movies with me!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  2. unspywriter says:

    I know what you mean. I tend to think my attendance at writing workshops and conferences is a vacation, but it’s just an extension of work. Good for you–enjoy those seven days. Hmm. You might have a good idea there. πŸ˜‰


  3. Brian Creek (@BrianSCreek) says:

    Imagine working in an office, or a restaurant, or a factory, for three years and not having a day off. Crazy!

    You’ve got a lot to show for you hard work (I’d kill to have finished just half the amount you have), but a break is needed so that you can recharge and come back hungry for more.

    Enjoy your August seven days. Hope the FlashDogs in your vicinity keep you honest.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. TanGental says:

    Brave Tamara, very brave. What’s writerly cold turkey? Turning a biro in your fingers? Obsessively sharpening pencils? Fining you’ve written in toothpaste on the mirror? I do feel the pain. It is excruciatingly difficult to keep that lid on all that unwritten fiction. But enjoy the great outdoors and come back tooting!


    • TamaraShoemaker says:

      I’m afraid my cold turkey will look a lot like spring cleaning. I’ve sadly neglected my house in my mad pursuit of the perfect novel. So every last window in the house will get washed, every last drawer and closet cleaned out, wiped down, and organized. I’m actually kind of excited about it. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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