The Ol' Switcheroo
Remember when we were kids and our parents told us to keep trying until we get it? It was such an inspirational speech when we were little and innocent. We would puff out our chests and keep trying no matter how hard the task was. But now that we're adults, a different sort of lesson is needed about trying the same thing over and over again. Sometimes doing the same thing over and over again makes us crazy. Sometimes we need to make the Ol' switcheroo. The hamster wheel has to stop and we have to get he hell off.
As an author, we will try just about anything to get our name and books in front of readers. We hammer away at our manuscripts thinking all the while that they will organically find readers who love them. That isn't how this works. That isn't how any of this works. () We have to hustle. And I mean hustle hard. Last week I wrote about using social media and a few things we need to make sure that we do (or not do) when on social media. But what about all the little things in life? I'm talking about the everyday, boring part of being an author that many do not see. We wake up, we pour coffee/tea and start our day, either in our day job or as a full-time author. What many of our readers forget is that we're also people. We have families, friends, problems, bills....everything they're trying to escape by reading our books. The art of being a writer is to compartmentalize all of our "real life", separate from our stories, and become proficient at selecting what real-world subjects we want to dissect and use as a tool in our craft. But what do we do when the real world becomes too much and we aren't able to sit quietly and go to that place where our stories play out in real-time as we dictate the actions of our characters?
That's when we pull out the Ol' Switcheroo.
What I've come to learn lately (the hard way) is that it is necessary, and sometimes painful, to change the everyday stuff. It could be leaving our job, cutting someone toxic from our life, or simply changing our routine in order to accomplish our goals. Many times we fear this change. It's hard to cut someone from your life - toxic or not. It's hard to force ourselves into a new routine. We're humans - we like routine. But that one little switcheroo could mean the world to your mental health. That switcheroo could open a place in your mind that was otherwise preoccupied and enable you to finish that manuscript, overcome the dreaded writer's block, or make time to try new marketing ideas. If we don't try new, fresh things in our careers, we become stale and disenchanted with the goals we originally set out to meet. The Ol' Switcheroo is so hard but oh-so necessary. Be brave. Be strong, And more than anything else - be willing to become exactly what you set out to be. A kickass author.