Sunday, May 01, 2016

My Author Challenge? Learning to Say No

Anyone who’s published a book and is in promotion mode will quickly learn that life becomes a tricky balancing act. When you’ve published seven books as I have, and are becoming known in your own community, requests for favours and participation at events start to rise.

For authors, spring and fall are our busy seasons where conferences, presentations, panel discussions, and awards ceremonies abound. Taking part in these while juggling writing, promoting, day jobs, family responsibilities, and illness can drain your time, energy, and motivation. So, how does one cope? Well, this year I’ve learned to say no.

In 2015, I took part in eighteen events. Even with my part time job (which is five days a week) I discovered the hard way that it was too much for me. So, in 2016, my first event was just last week and I’ll have two more this coming week. This is enough for one season. I have six writing projects to finish, and writing is what I love most about this business.

I’ve turned down at least three requests for my assistance/participation and two more potential marketing opportunities so far this year. It’s not easy to say no because part of me always feels that I should be doing more and constantly reaching out to my community. I enjoy helping others, and have a number of times, however I just can’t accept every request.

Do I feel great about saying no? Absolutely not. But I would feel much worse, and resentful, if I said yes. I’ve kept asking myself how many times I can shove aside all the WIPS sitting right in front of me to do this or attend that?

I might not be invited again to participate in whatever event I turned down. Odds are good that those who wanted to infringe on my writing time won’t be happy with me and—heaven forbid—will unfriend me on FB and Twitter. So be it. At the end of the day, we all have to make choices. This year, I’m happy with mine.

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