Amanda Hocking

Amanda's Blog Post

Distractions & Balance

April 30th, 2014 by
This post currently has 6 comments

So. I’m still working on blogging more, which obviously is not my strong suit lately, but I’m determined to somehow figure out how to get back into it on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. I think that seems like a reasonable frequency to blog, because honestly, my life is not exciting enough to blog about every day.

For instance, I’ve spent a better part of the morning trying to get an Icy Hot patch to stick properly on my neck/shoulder area, and I also spent too much time trying to convince my dog not to destroy the cats’ toys and let the cats actually play with them.

Below is a destroyed Peeps Bunny-style cat toy, with catnip filled stuffing torn out of it, as evidence that my dog does what she wants: 

My work days usally alternates between getting distracted on the internet until I turn it off, yelling at the dog and cats to behave, actively writing and getting work done until the animals do something again which interrupts my flow, and then I go back to getting distracted by the internet. And that’s how I write books.

Some people have children, like more than one, sometimes even infants, and they manage to write books. I am in awe of them. Literally in awe. I don’t know where their energy and motivation comes from, but it must be some magical deep well within them that I am forever jealous of.

I don’t write with the same ferocity I once did. I knew at the time, when I was writing 10-14 hours a day for several weeks at a time, that it wasn’t sustainable. I knew that if I tried to keep it up forever, I would risk burning out in a very severe way.

And if I’m being honest, I do think that I got close to that point. Especially in conjunction with the amount of time I was spending online, reading reviews, responding to people, obsessing over publishing. Everything was happening at once, and I was still trying to write books overnight, and nobody ever really taught me about balance.

I mean, I’ve heard of moderation, obviously. I know that exists and people do things in moderation all the time, and from what I’d heard, it was supposed to be very healthy. But I’ve always been all or nothing – it’s a feast or a famine, no in between.

The past year or so, in particular, I’ve been trying to create more of a balance for myself – with my friends, family, pets, and with my eating habits, sleeping, and exercise, and of course, with my career, writing schedules, and online interactions.

If you look through my pasts blogs, I was blogging pretty regularly until November 2012. Then there is a rather stark drop off, where I was still blogging, but it wasn’t the same. The big change was my gramma’s death in December 2012.

After that, I started reevaluating everything. Looking at my life and how I was living it and how I would want to be living it in ten years. Losing Nanny was hard for me in a lot of ways, but one of the good things that came out of it was my realization that I needed to change.

So the long and short of it is that I’m going to make a concerted effort to make blogging part of my balance. It is something I have enjoyed a great deal in the past, and I think it’s a fun way to connect with people about a variety of things.

But alright. I promise this is my last blog where I write about not blogging. The next one will be entirely different.

Leave a Reply

  • Emil Elm says:

    I can’t imagine the on-again off-again schedule a professional author like you deals with on a constant basis, if you get a chance, check out my blog

  • L Suletha says:

    Vow! Very timely post. Well said. A topic that i’ve been interested in for quite a while.

  • Cathy Keaton says:

    I understand this. I have trouble coming up with blog content regularly. What should I blog about that’s so interesting about me? There’s not much. I write and read and play video games. Is that really interesting? It’s so hard to figure out what to blog about let alone actually blog regularly. That is also tough to keep up with, but I sort of wish I had that problem, instead.

  • Hi Amanda,
    We need to take care of ourselves and I understand you well. I had three blogs, plus my books and my “normal” job, as Laura say.
    I was next to becoming impotent and nearly sick, missing my family life and the time with my loved ones.
    So I decided to stop the three blogs and concentrate on my books and my little writer blog where I write when I feel convenient to do it.

    Now I’ve found a better balance too and also taking more time to read, also your books 🙂
    Take care

  • I am totally with you. The whole finding-your-balance-thing is so important, yet sometimes so difficult.

    I have a “normal” job, which pays my bills and in the evenings, I write. Most of the time, I get less done than I’d wish, but I’ve learned to accept, that I am no robot. When I only manage one or two pages, that’s fine. I just try to really work on my book every evening, so I don’t feel like I am totally stuck with the progress.

    I don’t manage to blog (in fact, I have two – one is just private for fun, the other is all about food blogging) that regularly as I did in the past. But that’s okay, too. Writing and especially blogging is not something where anything good comes out, when you are too forced to do it.

    Just keep up with the writing you feel comfortable with 🙂

  • I’m a firm believed that blogs are supposed to be something free and fun, not an obligation, even though now, that they’ve become part of “business”, so to speak, it gets harder to blog just for fun. But, still, I think that you can’t force yourself to share stuff on a blog, just as you can’t force yourself to feel creative or motivated to write just because you “have” to. :S These are things that come and go, depend on our mood and it’s really hard to do them constantly, without breaks or, at least, the certainty that you’re free to stop doing them for a while, before you make yourself be fed up with them. >.<

    So, yeah! Take it easy, blog if you feel like you want to and don’t force yourself. Writing as a work is already hard enough and I bet it takes a lot of effort to focus on stuff even if you don’t really feel like doing it, sometimes. :S So, my humble advise would be to take it easy, and share your life with us whenever you want, not as a part of the stuff you MUST do, because it’s no fun to do it like that. I, for one, would rather know you’re enjoying yourself and in a good mood, than to know that you’re posting every week just because you’ve imposed it on yourself to do so! ;D

    A big hug and energies for you to keep on going! <3