Writers — 5 Tips to Balance Your Creative Life

These 5 tips for balancing your creative life and your published author life might just help save your sanity. Every day when I wake up, I wonder whether I should be the writer or the author — should I spend my time on my new work-in-progress or promote my novel, The Renaissance Club. Creating and promoting are two different mindsets, thiough both involve creativity. But here’s the thing: imaginatively traveling to another world takes a lot more time than engaging with this world and your audience. They also require some different skill-sets. So what’s an author to do with a given amount of time to devote to writing on any given day? These 5 tips to balance your creative life might keep your creative juices humming and your books getting read.

5 TIPS TO BALANCE YOUR CREATIVE LIFE

1. The best thing you can do to promote your book is write a new one.

This is a way the creative writer and author in you become one.Think of your fans as you write the new book. Remember that you’re writing for people, as well as for yourself. Pick one reader and write for her or him.

2. Allocate 3/4 of your time to creating new work.

A quarter of your writing time is plenty enough for book promotion. Sometimes even less. But creative work, especially drafting a new story, takes far more time and should be done with care, without rushing. You can dash off a few tweets and memes on Facebook or Instagram. But you can’t dash off a chapter — at least, not well. At the end of the day, the best book promotion is your best writing.

3. Alternate book promotion days with creative writing days.

I’ve put this into my calendar: Writer morning, Author morning, each getting an hour or two at the top of the day, which is my most creative time. Promoting my book requires creativity too, and I can’t often do both things in one day, unless, per #2, I give most of the time to writing and a small amount to promoting.

4. Pay someone to do book promotion.

I’m not going to recommend services and websites, but they’re out there. Book tours, reader newsletters, etc. can be working for your published book while you’re writing the next one. Here’s a good list from Reedsy of book blogs. You can do it yourself, or pay a tour service, which is what I recommend.

5. Get off social media and promote your book in person with friends & acquaintances.

Take your book business cards and bookmarks to parties and other gatherings. Find ways to introduce the topic, and hand them out assertively. Always take time when someone wants to talk to you about your book or writing — or their book or writing — to listen, support, help, explain, enjoy books together. Building an audience in conversation builds your creativity as well. I’ve found ideas from all kinds of conversations about my book and the writing life. This is another way the creative writer and author in you become one.