I’ve talked here a lot about my daily writing routine, and shared with you how waking up earlier in the morning is a great way to get more writing done. (Doh!)
Buoyed by this experience, I decided to try out other changes to increase my motivation, and boost my energy during the working week. I thought I’d share with you three small changes that have made me a happier author/entrepreneur.
1. Treating yourself
I love flowers, but recently I’ve felt a bit reluctant to spend extra cash, and rather wanted to invest every penny into my new venture. But when The Englishman bought some daffodils, and there were a few too many for one vase, I popped the rest into a small Aalto one and brought them into my office.
Now, this may seem silly, but you’ve no idea how much pleasure the sight of those flowers slowly opening up over the next few days gave me. Each time I came into the office and settled at my desk, a little smile hovered over my lips when I saw the daffodils. I decided that even if money is tight, you need to treat yourself occasionally.
2. Networking is pure gold
While I never seem to have enough time for all the writing, editing, outline designing, keyword tinkering, marketing, blogging, posting on social media, or organising adverts, I’ve found that it’s important to take time to meet and talk with other writers and people in general. Writing is a very lonely profession, and the walls of the office can sometimes feel as if they’re closing in on me. Besides, a discussion with someone to bounce off ideas, or just to complain about the cost of fresh flowers can be more productive than one might imagine.
Visiting bookshops, for example, is an excellent way to both raise your profile, get your work into a shopfront, or just have a lovely day out of the office browsing books and seeing what is happening in the book world.
Today I met a fabulous woman whose career has taken her all over the world. Her eventful life story wouldn’t fit inside the covers of War and Peace. We met because we had friends in common, and she wanted to find out about my new writing life. Because one of her areas of expertise is PR, in turn I got some invaluable advice and ideas on how to approach a new project I have in mind. (Sorry, can’t talk about it yet!)
I’ve also noticed that if I have a meeting in town and it takes up a quarter, or half of my day, I am more productive for the rest of the time. As long as I actually do get back home and don’t get waylaid by happy hour cocktails…. 😉
3. You’re never too old or experienced to learn
I’ve been in the writing business for longer than I care to remember, and have been independently publishing my books for years, but I’m still learning more and more about the industry. I try to keep myself up to date by taking part in writers’ events, online conferences, webinars, or face-to-face events. I’ve recently signed up to an online course on how to gain more readers, something which has made me completely rethink my keywords and the rest of my marketing strategy.
Good places to find out about free or low-cost events in the UK are Meetups, The Bookseller, Alliance of Independent Authors, Writers and Artists. Local bookshops and libraries often have regular author events, and local newspapers still carry listings of all sorts of writers’ and readers’ events in the area.
These small, but significant little changes to my daily working life have made me happier and more focussed.
Do you have a routine for your writing, and have you found that little changes in life make all the difference?