Joining a couple of social circles that match your passion. Depending on what your interests are, there’s a lot of Meetup Groups or events you can join (post-Covid) to meet other passionate people. For myself, I’d like to join a volunteer group to help with a cause & I’d also like to go to a few business events/lunches. As an indie author, my passion level is high. Not everyone will get me, but I’m more likely to find like-minded people in activism, arts groups, and small business circles. You can, in turn, make a couple of friends who match your energy level and drive when you’re in the right social group. It’s important to seek circles where people encourage you to take the path that makes you feel happy and alive.
Befriend/date people who encourage and support your writing. This one is so key. I love those outings with a friend where you feel inspired, lighter, energized. This always happens after a good conversation where we listen to one another’s goals and then encourage one another to go after them. Negativity and mis-matched values can zap your energy as a creative, so beware of people who make you feel this way consistently. The people we choose as friends/dates/partners are very important and I think especially as authors, you want people who also invest time in things they’re passionate about – just like you do.
More recently, I’ve observed the people who inspire me – they all have something in common: They invest time in doing that thing they really love – be it volunteering/activism, arts/creativity, extra projects, research and education for their career, etc. These types of people will often be more understanding of you, because you’ve also got that extra thing going on that excites you. They’d never book a super long vacation with you, because after a couple of days you’d both be restless and want to get back to doing your thing. (This is something I’ve noticed when I take a vacation, it’s nice to have a couple of days off once in a while, but then I have this drive to get back to my original routine and work on my next book – that’s how you know you’re doing what you love!). Now, of course, no one’s perfect and there will be some disagreements or misunderstandings with people who are good for you, but I’m talking about the big picture – overall, the people who encourage and support one another are the best matches.
Protect your energy. This is key for everyone, but especially for creative people, energy management is huge. You should always invest your time and energy in things that build you up and make you feel inspired. Proceed with caution if something makes you feel drained. Of course, sometimes you have to do things that don’t excite you – maybe it’s book formatting, budgeting, running an errand that makes you cringe, but in the grand scheme, your current life should match the one you want to live.
Most of us use social media for promotion and networking, so creating healthy boundaries is key. Too many times in the past, I’ve let my curiosity get the best of me when I’d get a random DM from a fake account or troll, wondering if it’s someone I know or what their purpose was, but it never ended well. Don’t reply to DMs unless they’re professional and respectful. Many people will want to distract you online, because they’ve allowed themselves to waste time. They want to slip up other people up for their own entertainment. Don’t let them distract you.
Social media is also a gold mine to connect with kind, creative people who will support you on your journey. I’ve made a few friends through Twitter and WordPress and I’m so lucky to have them! 🙂
Also, as an introvert, space and alone time are key. I’m quite introverted, and though I mentioned the socializing above, it’s important that you don’t over-socialize or you’ll feel burnt out, even if it’s with amazing people. Set healthy boundaries where you’re including a few people in your life while allowing yourself the time you need to do your work and take care of yourself. Find the balance you need and make it work for your routine.
Relaxation and exercise. I combine these two, because exercise is something that helps me feel relaxed after I do it. You can even combine the two by going on a nature walk – you’re moving in a relaxed atmosphere where you can clear your mind. Some form of exercise is key for every person and writers are no exception. Be sure to invest time in stretching, walking, a workout routine, hike, beach day, spa day, movie nights, etc. because self-care is key to overall wellness. Get your sleep, eat well. You will actually be more productive when you balance out the hard work with leisure and relaxation.
Reading. It’s important that writers also be readers. Not only is reading enjoyable (and hopefully relaxing), but it can help you improve your craft and inspire you. It’s also a nice gesture to support the work of other authors, particularly in the indie community where support is essential since we don’t have a marketing team promoting us.
Planning your book release in advance. I’ve released books in the past without much planning beforehand and it was to my detriment. I’d earn a few sales and it didn’t reach as many interested people as it could have. You can try investing in a book blog tour, or ask a few blogger friends to post about your book on release day to help generate more buzz. Some people find that doing a pre-order can help generate more sales, too! Talking about your book release a few weeks in advance can help prepare people for it, and that will hopefully translate to more reads and buys on release day for you. Of course, promoting your book after release day is also important to keep up the momentum. Nothing entices new readers more than a new release, so do your best to tap into the new-ness of your book while you can.