In this continuing series, I will show you how not to give a fuck about your book rejections, bad reviews, and disappointing sales. Please see the table of contents at the bottom of this post for more in this series.
Writing, although an amazing hobby for some people, can easily become your job. And even though it’s an awesome job (I would argue it’s the best job ever), it can also become a life sucking leech. Don’t deny it! There are times when we feel drained of creative energy, ready to throw in the towel, and have no place to turn.
It used to be I would stop writing and try to convince myself that I was writing for “a good cause” because I was making money at it or gaining some kind of ground as an author because of all my hard work. I would walk away from my manuscript and look at my sales dashboard. Hoo boy, what a bad idea that was! You know what’ll drive you into a deep depression as an author? Knowing you spent $1000 or more on editing, cover design, and formatting, only to find your total sales for a month are $4.92. And you know many fucks you’ll give about that? A lot. You’ll throw time and effort and money at the problem, but most of the time, you’ll just dig a bigger hole to fall in.
This is when you need a hobby OTHER THAN writing. I remember when I used to have hobbies *sighs wistfully* and I need to bring them back! Your hobby can be anything but writing! Gardening is nice. You spend time outdoors, doing something physical, and you can listen to music or podcasts while doing it or just let your mind wander about your writing. Same with coloring books. It’s no wonder adult coloring books are a super hot commodity especially among authors. Some like scrap booking. Others like hiking (which goes back to my section on exercising, which can be a hobby as well). Race car driving, cooking or baking, volunteer work, video game playing, metal working — these are all great ideas.
By focusing your creative energy, your mind or body, on something other than your writing career, you’re giving your overall well-being a chance to grow, relax, and move on from the anger, disappointment, or depression. And when you come back to your writing, you’ll feel a sense of renewed purpose, your mind will be unblocked, and you’ll be ready to go.
My hobby is knitting. I have a project I can always pick up and knit on when I need a break from writing and its related bullshit. When I’m done, I have something tangible I can wear or use! And I can knit while letting my brain take a rest or I can knit while listening to podcasts or an audiobook. This is what I love about coloring, too. I can either take a break or double-down on the creativity. It’s a break from writing but it can be fun and educational too.
Consider a hobby that’s easily picked up or put down when you have five minutes. Race car driving is fun but I’m sure you need several hours for that. So maybe that’s a secondary hobby but painting a watercolor is your primary hobby. Think strategically. You’ll never know when you need to distract from something that will try to take all your fucks.