Indie Author Weekly

132: Book writing & life update

October 05, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 133
Indie Author Weekly
132: Book writing & life update
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered about the complications of writing a book when navigating big life changes? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! 

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to find out how your host has navigated chaos and adventures, "life administration" of moving to a new city and buying a new condo, and sorting out her author career and the rest of her business as an introvert throughout it all...    

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Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever wondered about the complications of writing a book when navigating big life changes? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

But first, don’t miss an episode: You can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share a life update, especially as it relates to my author career.

I feel as though in these podcast episodes, I occasionally touch on what’s going on in my life and business, but it’s been a while since I really gave you the full scoop on where things are at, and how all of that affects my book writing. 

So. Here we are, the first week of October 2021, and I am recording this from my brand-new condo in Kamloops. Yes, I have moved to Kamloops! When I first started this podcast back in April 2019, I was living in the Exchange District in Winnipeg, with my spouse, Mr Science. He was working in a tiny little lake town in BC, so he would stay in BC for 2 weeks while he did field work, and then he’d return home to Winnipeg for a week, and that was how we navigated our life year-round. 

I shared more about all of that back in Episode 50, so definitely give that episode a listen if you’re curious about the full backstory on my polyamorous beginnings, and how I started writing and publishing novels. Again, that was Episode five-zero.

So, when the pandemic began last year, Mr Science couldn’t travel between provinces. As a result, I went to be with him in the tiny little lake town in BC. Then, this summer, he got a new job working on the wildfires, based out of Kamloops, so it was a very quick transition to move to Kamloops, find and buy a condo, and then move in. We were staying in Kamloops for a full month before we got possession of our new condo, so we spent the month of August living in a motel. It was a very hilarious Schitt’s Creek type of experience. My “desk” was just a couple big boxes stacked on top of one another.

And then, my parents very kindly gifted me a flight back to Winnipeg for my 33rd birthday last month. This means that I spent all of 3 days at the new condo, most of which was spent moving in and cleaning, before flying out to Winnipeg for a few weeks. My mom came back to Kamloops with me afterward, and she helped out a ton with setting things up in the condo, which was incredible, and then she left to go back to Winnipeg yesterday, so I’m only JUST starting to settle in and figure out a routine in my new place. My office desk should arrive within the next week, and then I’ll be able to get all of that set up—for the time being, I’m working at the kitchen island and sitting on a barstool. Speaking of which, we currently have very little furniture and don’t have art for the walls or anything, so if this episode sounds a little echoey, that’s why! I might need to experiment with recording podcasts in different areas of the condo for a while. Thanks for bearing with me!

I’ve been without a proper office space for almost 3 months—most of my office supplies are still in boxes and that kind of thing. My work hours have been significantly reduced during the move and while I was visiting family in Winnipeg. And I basically didn’t get any alone time for the entirety of last month—which, don’t get me wrong, was wonderful and AMAZING to get to spend so much quality time with the people I love! But also, I’m an introvert, and I spent pretty much all of the past year not seeing anyone except for Mr Science, because we were so isolated in that little town and didn’t want to see people until we were fully vaccinated. This means that last month definitely tired me out! I wasn’t used to all that socializing. Again, it was awesome—just not how I get my energy.

All of this is to say—my creative energy levels have been pretty low, and I haven’t had the space or capacity to work on my novel for the past month or so. And before that, I had put my manuscript on hold for several months while I was trying to focus on other aspects of my business. I shared more about how that didn’t quite go according to plan in Episode 121 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast. Actually, funny story—I think it was the very day that that podcast episode was released, that I happened to find out we’d be moving to Kamloops!

At this point with my current novel that I’m writing, I’m feeling really good about the story, but it’s also gotten a little too unwieldy, so I recently printed out the manuscript, which will help SO much moving forward. I found that I couldn’t “see” everything that was happening in the story when it was just on the computer. I love being able to spread out my book, turn the pages and refer to scenes on paper, and then have the digital copy open at the same time, etc. I couldn’t keep everything organized in my head when it was just on the computer.

So now that it’s printed out, working on my novel feels less daunting. I’m a very tactile person. Integrating our learning styles more deeply into the writing process is SO helpful when we get stuck. By the way, if you want to learn more about my current novel I’m writing, it’s called Small Town Stilettos—you can find out all the details on that romcom at SaganMorrow.com/books

Something else that’s become increasingly apparent in recent weeks is that it’s PAST time to reassess how all of the different pieces of my business fit together—including the books I write. As you know if you’ve listened to previous episodes here on the podcast, I was experimenting a TON in my business this year and really focused on lots of action, and it’s definitely time to take a step back to assess all of it and reflect and breathe. That’s why I blocked off time this week to do another solo business planning retreat for myself!

Business retreats are great for setting goals, checking on whether we’re on track with those goals, mapping out timelines, and so on. I strongly recommend them if your life has been in flux, or if you’re struggling to juggle everything. It’s great for anyone to do, to be honest—not just in business, but as an author, or even to check in on your personal goals and such.

If you want to learn more about how to do your own retreat, I have an awesome free training that you’ll love—the Business Planning Retreat Workshop. Grab it at SaganMorrow.com/retreat… link is in the show notes.

So, there you have it! A little update on what’s been going on in my world recently. The inside of my brain has felt very chaotic, so it feels like a huge sigh of relief, or like I’m releasing a breath I’ve been holding, to do my business retreat this week and sort out a plan. I can’t wait to create a schedule and set up my office! My brain really likes having those things all organized—if I don’t have that stuff sorted, it definitely diminishes my focus and concentration. 

This, by the way, is also why, as a Productivity Strategist, I strongly encourage my clients to use personality-based productivity and integrate learning styles and customize your processes to your unique situation and all of that. It makes a world of difference. When you understand what you need and how you work best, then you can adjust your systems and strategies and processes to reflect and honour that. And you can get more done to achieve your goals, without the overwhelm, as a result! Love it. 

So: Does it get more complicated and challenging to write a book when everything’s in upheaval? Yeah, absolutely. 

But here’s the thing… It’s not about being busy all the time, or “forcing” yourself to work when you don’t have the energy. It’s about leveraging the energy we have, and using it intentionally. It’s about bouncing back and getting on track when things veer off course. If life is always going to “get in the way,” then how can we work WITH that, and accommodate for life, and continue making progress? These are the questions that I love addressing with my productivity clients, but also in my own life and business. That’s how we can keep moving forward. That’s how we write the book, publish it, and write the next one, and so on.

All right. That, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly. As always, you can access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.