Welcome to the half-way mark of 2017, Liz fans, acolytes, stalkers and others! We made it. I think that, even disregarding your perspective, you can admit it’s been a somewhat stressful year so far, so we owe ourselves a little pat on the collective back for arriving here in more or less one piece. So….one. Two. Three. And deep breath…exhale.
It’s definitely “convention season.” I realize many of you count on it for sales, exposure, PR, and even learning opportunities. While some of us (myself included) can’t spare the time or expense, I say go for as many as you can personally afford to attend. Take pictures! Post ‘em all over the place. Be out and in front of as many new readers as possible. If it’s something you can manage, or get managed for you, it’s probably worth the effort.
We’re also heading into a bit of a dead season for publishers and agents. I’d encourage you to use that month to take your own tiny break, if you can. Step away from the keyboard. Replenish your store of creative energy by not depleting it for a few days or weeks. Go outside. Walk. Run. Skip. Jump. Breathe fresh air, even if it’s only the stuff in your own backyard. It truly is amazing what a few weeks respite from the Muse can do for you both.
As the child of educators, July was the only month I considered “vacation-able.” It was the month of sleeping late, staying up past midnight, catching fireflies, watching storms roll in and out, reading for fun and pleasure, and of simply relaxing in between the two halves of the year. We never went anywhere fancy (“educators,” remember?) but I was lucky enough to have my own built-in vacation spot thanks to my grandparents and their home on Kentucky Lake. I spent most of my July’s in this idyllic, in-between-days spot, reading, going on boat rides, fishing, swimming and generally hiding from reality.
It was, in short, a shot in the arm. A breath of fresh air. A well-deserved break. And a way to recharge and reset. Something that many/most of you could probably use right about now.
Now don’t come at me with “But Liz! I can’t afford a vacation!”
Hell, kids, I can’t either. But what I can afford is to take a mental one. And that’s what I’m recommending for you.
It’s harder than it sounds, closing the laptop, pushing away from the kitchen table/desk/couch or wherever you work. We writers are never still, at least in our minds. We’re always spinning out new plots, characters, marketing ploys, and query letters. The ever-shifting goals—Best Seller Lists! Agents! Publishing Contracts! Being Invited To That Big Signing!—can be motivating. But let’s face it. They’re also damn hard to reach and the ongoing rejection, writer’s block, professional jealousy and other happy crappy involved in living with them can be a definite drag on both body and mind.
So I say, toss it all away for the next few weeks. Keep the manuscripts off your desktop and out of your mind. Jump off the non-stop hamster wheel. Stop chasing the goal lines that seem to get farther and farther away the harder you run, if only for a short while. “But Liz!” you say as your clutch at my sleeve. “Whatever will I do with myself? I’m nothing if I’m not writing!”
Nonsense. It’s talk like that that’ll get you blocked and unfollowed on Facebook. Why? Because, dear one, it makes you boring and one-dimensional.
Go. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read. Take that long, early morning or evening walk every day. Visit a friend. Wash your car. Plant some flowers. Do cross stitch, yoga, make your own beer. Something—ANYTHING really that will take your mind off this crazy life for a few hours, days, or (better) weeks. When you return you’ll find it’s still here, frustrations and all. And you’ll be re-equipped to handle it. And who knows? Maybe ready for your Big Break!
Have a superb July, fellow scribblers! I’m going to go read The Force, by Don Winslow, walk my dogs every morning, tend my herb and tomato gardens, and forget about writing for a short while longer.
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a blog post without this part…
CONDITIONED, Book 3 of The Brewing Passion Series from Totally Bound Publishing is now available!
A chance meeting. An improbable connection. An exquisite attraction.
Trent Hettinger’s turbulent formative years transformed him into a cynic—and into a man who realized he required something outside himself to control his temper. Something he found as a Dom—at least for a while. But he allowed himself to trust a woman once and was slapped back into reality with a vengeance and now devotes all his energy into building his real estate empire, raising his teenaged daughter…and avoiding anything resembling authentic attachments.
Melody Rodriguez kept her head down for years—working hard, making her own money, trying to get ahead with every deck stacked against her. She’s determined to move beyond the ugliness that haunts her without anyone’s help. When a mutual friend sets her up with Trent, she’s determined to have some fun with him and move on.
A man with nothing left to lose. A woman hiding behind her past. When two lives spent in emotional denial collide, it’s a perfect match—at least on the surface. But neither Trent nor Melody is prepared for the full force of their true feelings, once fate intervenes and blows a cold breeze into their white-hot relationship.