J.A. Konrath is Treading Water. In his 10/22 post he talks about how he is now receiving 50-100 emails per week pertaining to his writing. At the the start of his career his intention was to answer all emails and in a timely manner. Now because of his career, that's becoming a true difficulty. His question: "Can we, as authors, ever reach a point where we can relax a little bit? Or are we salmon who never get to spawn, no matter how far up the river we get?"
Katie MacAlister talks about The Beast in the Machine in a 10/23 post at Romancing the Blog. She mentions the 2000 emails in her in-box (some there since 2005) that she had/has every intention of answering. Again best intentions have been tripped up by her career. Her post is actually quite humorous. Treat yourself if you can.
Ken Levine riffs on Knowing When to Stop. In his 10/24 post he addresses something that plagues most writers and can potentially lead to burn out. When is enough enough? When is it time to leave off and relax? Regroup? Ken notes:"Writing is rewarding but never easy. We resist starting and constantly fight the temptation to stop."
Jordan Summers ponders Success or Failure in her 10/24 post. She talks about today's authors killing themselves to meet today's publishers expectations by writing multiple books a year, and how that can lead to burnout out. She also ponders two roads to success... "Either you have to turn on the speed and produce several manuscripts a year for several years in a row OR you have to write one outstanding book that could launch you into space." She ends by asking readers/writers to chime in with thoughts on which road they'd like to travel and why. Hop over to read the interesting feedback.
Hmm. Skipping around blogosphere, reading these posts, I thought, "Er, are they talking to me?" Or maybe there's just something in the air. In my own 10/19 and 10/23 posts, I talk about feeling overwhelmed, nearing burnout. Now I'm not dealing with the amount of emails as Konrath or MacAlister. Jeez, I'm lucky if I hear from readers twice a month. I've yet to acheive the level of success or the exposure of these two authors. On the one hand, that's a tad disappointing. On the other-ACK-that's what I have to look forward to? Bukoo emails and dealing with the guilt of not having time to answer them? And I thought I was overwhelmed now.
Then there's the issue of feeling frustrated because you're not writing fast enough, so you push too hard, and eventually hit the wall.
Okay. So it's not just me. It's the nature of the business. Of the artist. It's knowing your limits, setting boundries, and attainable goals. Check. Check. Check.
I felt better yesterday, but I feel even better today. (Hey. Ken Levine does some of his best thinking in the shower, too!) I am not neurotic. Okay. I am. But I'm not alone. We're all breathing the same air. In a profession where it can be easy to feel isolated, there's a comfort in that. Repeat after me. "I am not alone." It's vital to realize that. It makes you pull yourself up by the bootstraps, helps you not to wallow. This morning I said to myself, "Get over yourself and just do it. If you think you've got it bad, how'd you like 2000 emails in your in-box?"
Okay. Now you try it. Fill in the blank. "It could be worse. I could_________"