I’m kicking off the New Year with a guest post from fellow writer, Charles Yallowitz. Charles has just released the final book in his Legends of Windemere series. Last summer, I completed the final book in my Point Pleasant Series, and found the experience both challenging and rewarding. It was my first time creating story arcs that spanned multiple books. Three books to be precise. The Legends of Windemere spans fifteen books. Mind-boggling! How does Charles maintain the focus and energy needed to write such an involved series? Check out his tips below—and don’t forget to check out the Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age while you’re at it!
Thank you to Mae Clair for letting me write a post for her blog and helping to promote, Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the final book of my fantasy adventure series and it’s been a long road that has spanned 19 years and 15 volumes. It isn’t easy to keep things flowing, especially when you’re publishing 3 books a year. This goes along with a heavy outlining, writing, and editing system, which wear on the mojo. Avoiding burn out is a key to making it through such a massive project, so here are some tricks that I’ve used over the years to push forward.
- Rewards for finishing a stage of the process can be a great motivator. I know many say that writing and publishing are their own rewards. That’s true, but you can’t have enough bronze rings on a long journey. Just ask Sonic the Hedgehog. This can be anything too. I use pizza to celebrate finishing a first draft and publishing a book, which is something I don’t treat myself to when I’m working. So, there’s a denial aspect in here too.
- Side projects can help because they take you away from the main one. You know how people tell you to leave a book alone before you edit? Well, this is the same thing only it adds the idea of doing something else. Now, this can be poetry, another book, or even something that has nothing to do with writing. By the time you finish this other project, you’ll be returning to the main one with renewed energy and excited.
- Push yourself to the limit, cry in public, and rant about how nobody understands artists. Throw in at least one mention of ‘suffocation’ or ‘stifling’. End this by thanking everyone for coming over for the holidays. You can get a good week or two of focus out of this one, but it might cost you some birthday cards.
- You know how I hinted that sitting there and doing nothing might not be a good idea? Well, don’t knock lounging around for a weekend or week. It really depends on how worn you are and what you want to do for recovery. My favorite thing is to choose a DVD boxset and watch that while keeping a notebook nearby. I don’t consider outlining and character designing as heavy work, so they’re part of my relaxation period. Other options are reading a book, doing a thorough cleaning of the house, and seeing if your family remembers who you are.
- Never be afraid to take a day off from writing if you feel that something is off. I’ve had quite a few instances where my mood wasn’t right because of something going on in my life or some other outside influence. Even the weather can wear me out in hours, which puts the writing at risk. Pushing yourself through these periods can work in your favor, but it’s just as likely that you burn out. This sensation of feeling off could really be the onset of a writer’s block or doubt, so pay attention to your instincts.
- Believe it or not, exercising can be a good energy booster. It surprised me too when I started using my stationary bike every other morning. Aside from building up some adrenaline and waking up your body, you can let your mind wander on the writing of the day. Consider the scenes and decide on the points you want to hit or simply imagine what it might turn out like. This has a secondary benefit of helping you go into the writing with less mental clutter since you’ve already sorted through stuff to some extent.
- Talk to other authors. Sure, we aren’t known as the most sociable bunch, but that’s only with outsiders. When you need someone to understand your worries and pains, another author is the way to go. Maybe somebody has a tactic to help you over a hump or you’ll find inspiration for something that was giving you trouble. In the end, it’s just nice to share your thoughts without being judged.
Again, thank you to Mae Clair for giving me this time. Please feel free to check out Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age or help spread the word to those who love fantasy adventures. Enjoy the adventure.
About the author:
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN