Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

As an author, how often to you forget to stop and smell the roses? Authors are more than the sum of a whole. This article really isn’t about mathematics, rather how authors tend to put exercise, proper diet, sufficient sleep, and socializing with friends on the back burner in order to churn out the next novel and too meet deadlines.

All writers know there are many elements that must be adhered to in order to create a publishable story. One of the important elements is meeting deadlines—whether the deadline is author imposed or whether the author must complete several pages of copyedits by a certain date to meet the publisher’s deadline. When a contract is offered by a publisher, often there is a clause requiring an option novel; and sometimes an author is offered a multi-book contract. With this increased pressure to meet deadline, stress also increases. We all know that stress has a negative effect on our health.

Currently, I am recuperating from some serious surgery. Pain literately caused the characters inside my head to go on vacation. Until recently the most I’ve been able to do is rest, enjoy reading novels in my TBR stack, sitting on my back porch and watching the ducks and otters play in the creek, and taking naps. Recently it dawned on me how relaxed I felt. Relaxation felt foreign to me because it’d been quite a while since I’d experienced this sensation. I have to admit, I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed relaxing.

I know my healing time is almost over. The doctor still hasn’t released me, but the characters inside my head have returned with a vengence and are keeping me awake at night. Each day, I’m able to sit at the computer a little longer, and I’m plotting out a couple of new novels. My new goal is to strive to keep a balance between my writing life and my personal life.

Okay, did I get off topic? The point is, we authors work under stressful deadlines, but we also deserve to take time to enjoy life, too. Stop and Smell the Roses!



Jane Myers Perrine said...

Very wise thoughts. I'm sorry you've gone through so much pain but am delighted you're doing better and that the voices in your head are back.

Elisabeth Rose said...

Hear, hear Loretta!

As a Tai Chi instructor I'm fully aware of the physical and mental tension many people accept as their norm. We have to learn what it feels like to be relaxed, which is an awful indictment of modern living.

It's possible though, without having to undergo enforced immobility the way you have. Now that you've experienced that relaxation you must try to maintain it when you get back to being fully operational. :)

Debby Mayne said...

All good stuff, Loretta! And a great reminder. I'm working on taking more time to enjoy the rewards.

Take care of yourself! I'm glad you're doing better.

Loretta C. Rogers said...

Thanks for dropping by and leaving comments and good wishes. Jane, as annoying as they can be, I, too, am happy to hear the voices, again. Lis, I wish we had a Tai Chi instructor in my county. Debby, it's good to hear from you.

Good health and happy writing.

Carol Hutchens said...

So glad you are feeling better. Bet you've been lonely without all those people in your head...know you're glad they're back.
Do take it slow. Take care of yourself...they won't desert you.

Sandy Cody said...

So glad you're feeling better, Loretta. Going through bad times does put things in perspective, doesn't it? So glad your voices are back. Hope you're 100% soon.

Beate Boeker said...

Hi Loretta,

It's good to know you're feeling better! I do so agree - stress causes my creativity to dry up, and my books become acerbic. As a writer, we have to make sure that the cirumstances around us are right, so we can work well . . . not always easy!
Get well soon.