I finally made it to my local RWA meeting! Sadly, I hadn’t been to one in over a year. I’ve missed it. It’s awesome to be around other writers. I don’t get to do that often, and it’s always reenergizing.
Our speaker was Mary DeMuth, who talked about Rhythm Writing: Succeed in Publishing Without Burnout. I was extremely interested in the topic, since I completely burned out last spring, and I’m starting to stress about meeting my current deadline.
One of the things that stood out to me was how much she emphasized taking strategic breaks while writing. She sets a timer for 25 minutes. During that time, she concentrates on one task. That task might be writing, answering emails, working on some kind of promo/marketing thing, blogging, etc. Then, when the timer goes off, she takes a five minute break. After four 25 minute work/break sessions, she takes thirty minutes off. I’m going to try that strategy this week. I think there might be something to it. Last Thursday, I had to interrupt my writing to run an errand, which ended up taking about an hour and a half. Somehow, I wrote more words than when I sit there and write the entire day. Will let you know how it works out.
The other thing she said that made me want to hug her was that, when she had little kids, she doesn’t think she could have been a good writer. I feel a lot of guilt and stress because I don’t feel like a good writer. And I’m not exactly talking about the writing part – though some days I do think I suck on that front, too – it’s all the other stuff that goes along with writing. The blogging, promotion, business part of everything that always gets pushed off.
The last thing I came away with is four books that I want to put on my reading list. Some of them, I’ve heard of before, some of them sound interesting and helpful.
- Platform by Michael Hyatt (Endorsed by Dave Ramsey, whom I heart.)
- Tribes by Seth Godin (I’ve heard so, so much about this book!)
- The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell
- Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
Oh! The other exciting part of the meeting – other than all the happy news from writers getting first sales and new sales! – was that I got to meet Elizabeth Essex! Her book, Almost a Scandal, was recommended to me and I loved it! So awesome that she’s a local author. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, A Breath of Scandal, which comes out in December.
Question: Who else here is a member of RWA? Are you able to make it to your local chapter meetings? I love RWA and highly recommend it to anyone who has even the slightest bit of romance in their books.