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How to Write Your Books During Chaotic Times

How to Write During Chaotic Times
Posted by Autumn Stone
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It’s October 2020 when I’m recording this episode. I’m going to be honest and say that this year continues to be chaotic being my wildest imaginings. In fact, right now I’m working from a coffee shop right now because my neighbor has a plumbing project that affects MY bathroom too. There’s some awkward master plumber running in and out of both of our places right now. He also brought a jackhammer because he might have to tear out my bathroom flooring in order to do work on my neighbor’s bathroom. Fun times. We also had a handyman come in to work on a pipe that was leaking. Then, the #rosegardenmassacre occurred. I tell you this because this is just a small look into the chaos that has been 2020. In this episode I thought I would share my thoughts on how to write books during chaos and continue growing your book brand.

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Show Notes

  • In last week’s episode with Quirah Casey, she shared that her writing process wasn’t negatively affected by COVID. In fact, she mentioned that COVID changed her responsibilities and freed up her time so that she had more time to write.
  • For me, I was baffled by what happened with my own writing process because I just was unable to focus and get things done.The frustrating thing about this was that I already worked from home.
  • When COVID hit, I was in the process of working a pretty involved book pre-order strategy that went completely to hell. I wasn’t the only author who dealt with this. In fact, Amazon ended up changing their pre-order delay policy because so many authors just couldn’t get their books done.
  • I fought the good fight but ultimately ended up getting hit with the dreaded pre-order penalty. Here’s what I learned about getting books done during chaotic times

Don’t Fight the Chaos

  • In retrospect, I would have avoided a lot of stress if I had avoided fighting the chaos and just gone with the “flow” We were dealing with a freaking Pandemic! And, even though I work for myself, my systems and regular working pace were disrupted.
  • I learned that I needed more than one way to connect with my creative muse. Hiking is my favorite way to connect with creativity. But working out in general is great for this as well. Of course, I did spend the second half of Spring emotionally eating, but now that I know that Pandemics are real…I’m prepared for the next time.
  • Be kind to yourself. I feel like I was unnecessarily hard on myself and had unreasonable expectations for what I could and could not do right now.
  • Recognize what I could actually do well in this moment. Crafting well thought out stories while my brain was constantly spinning in circles was just not going to happen.

Rethink Your Systems

  • I was never the type of writer who insisted on daily word counts. But, I did like to have a weekly goal that I worked towards achieving. I recognized that there would be some days that I was a creative genius and other days that nothing was going to happen. This system only works if you set a weekly goal…which I stopped doing. This system still works for me, but I decided to add a reminder for my Monday tasks to set my writing goals.
  • Keep it easy-If your writing system feels complicated, it probably is. Keep things simple.
  • When I got hit with the prescheduling ban on Amazon I had to rework my marketing strategy. I was in the process of doing this anyway, but I was forced to pivot my book publishing and marketing strategy.
  • Set achievable goals. I wanted to avoid the word “realistic” as the risk with that working is that your current goals aren’t realistic. Instead, I would like to frame goal setting during these times with a lens on all of the uncertainty and constant changes. I don’t have kiddos, but I can 100% guarantee if I were homeschooling or dealing with hybrid schooling that my writing would be affected.

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