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Monday, December 01, 2014

The Care & Feeding of An Author - Professional Author Tips

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her hunky hero husband have a full life with four children, a Maltese Menace, and a retired military working dog in beautiful Northern Virginia. 

Ronie can be found at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction), Twitter (@roniekendig), Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/RonieK), and Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/roniek/)!
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Somehow, December has carried out a strategic, stealthy ambush of the unsuspecting--me! One second it was still November, celebrating God's blessing with friends, and Christmas a ways off, then--

BAM! 

It's December! 

As an author, that means not only holiday cheer (and yes, stress), but dividing time between holidays and writing, whether WIP-writing, editing, and/or deadlines. For me, this has been an amazing year, but it’s also been an amazingly draining year, having written the equivalent of four full-length novels in the last twelve months. I've loved it, but I confess, I'm in recovery mode, remembering how to love life and writing. Don't get me wrong--I have no regrets. I signed up for this gig, but maybe...just maybe I still have things to learn about protecting myself and my writing energy/stores. 

So, as I approached the time to write this article (okay, yes—that was part of the sneak attack, too), I really wanted to share tips on the Care & Feeding of an Author, and I wanted to hear what my friends thought, how they took care of themselves to manage holidays and their careers. With that in mind, I extended an invitation to some very dear friends, asking them to share their wisdom with you. Without further ado, here’s their sage advice!





Authors should take the time to let their subconscious “play with the story” and do something fun, yet creative. Some scrapbook, some knit, some crotchet, some sew....it doesn’t matter, but I believe it’s vital to an author’s well-being. ~~Robin Caroll, author of Southern suspense & mystery



All authors need to exercise. I've gotten slack in this area and, boy, can I tell! One of the things I've started doing is using a pedometer to make sure I get my steps in each day. So a pedometer could be a GREAT gift for your favorite author! And if you want to go all out, why not a gym membership? But if you're a guy buying for your girl author, check with her first. Otherwise she might read things into that gift that you totally didn't mean! Of course if you add a box of chocolates with the membership, all would be forgiven. Just sayin' ~ Lynette Eason, award-winning author of the Deadly Reunions series

To counter the resulting isolation that I often encounter from long stretches of dedicated writing in order to meet deadlines, I’ve found it imperative to foster relationships with other authors who understand the highs and lows of this business. For example, every morning, I talk with my writing partner on the telephone and we talk through plot issues, marketing ideas and career issues . . . all strictly confidential, of course! ~~Kellie Coates Gilbert, contemporary women’s fiction author




Make sure to get away from the screen! As writers, so much of our day is spent in front of the computer, writing or engaging on social media. Sometimes the healthiest, most productive thing we can do is turn off the screen and spend time with real-live people. ~~ Katie Ganshert, award-winning author

Pace yourself. It's exciting to work on multiple contracts but sometimes the deadlines can collide. Be focused and disciplined with your time. Know what you need to do to meet your goals and work at it. Write when you're a little bit tired. Write when you feel a little bit under the weather. Write when there is noise and when there's quiet. Write and rewrite. But when you meet those goals for the day or week, stop. Give yourself time off. Enjoy your small as well as big accomplishments. ~~Rachel Hauck, award-winning, best selling author of The Wedding Dress and Princess Ever After


Burnout and depletion crouch at every author’s door, sneaking into our lives with an interview here, a deadline there, etc.. It’s imperative to preserve “you” in the growing of your career. Learn that it’s okay to say “No,” to ancillary commitments. Strike a balance between ancillary commitments, because each one reduces the time you have for yourself and for writing. Saying “no” does not make you a diva. In fact, it speaks of wisdom to protect yourself and your creativity. ~~Ronie Kendig, award winning, best-selling author of Rapid-Fire Fiction

Give thought to your surroundings. When you're stressed, it's easy to let cleaning and organization go by the wayside—trust me, I know, I'm a TERRIBLE housekeeper—but I've found that eliminating physical clutter eases mental clutter as well. A clean, cozy, and organized writing zone has done wonders for my productivity! ~~Carla Laureano, award-winning author of Five Days in Skye and Oath of the Brotherhood. 


My agent passed on the following tip to me.  Get up every hour and move for ten minutes. Writing is such a sedentary profession, it’s important not just to exercise on a regular basis, but to give your body regular movement throughout the day. I happen to coordinate every second or third movement session with a much-needed coffee break—movement and motivation all in one. ~~Dani Pettrey, Best-selling author of the Alaskan Courage series 

I think exercise is pivotal to a writers well being.  We tend to be a sedentary group who spend a lot of hours indoors -- sometimes even in small rooms closed off from the rest of the house and family.  I do gym workouts and classes, but the best thing I do, exercise-wise, is tennis.  Not only is it good for me physically, but it gets me outdoors and around people who I can talk and laugh (and sometimes even squeeze in lunch) with. ~~Becky Wade, award-winning, best-selling author

No one can write the book that’s in your heart except you, and none of us can write that next beloved story unless we are alive. Many aspects of life and novel writing seem more important than eating right and exercising, but we need to tend to our health ahead of our careers or hobbies. Promises of what we’ll do tomorrow won’t get the job done. ~~Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, USA Today best-selling author who has written fifteen works of fiction and one of nonfiction.


Well, there you have it, friends. Hopefully there is something in this post today that will help you in your writing career, in preserving your sanity and creativity. Have a wonderful, blessed December & Christmas! 

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 "Kendig brings the heat..." ~~RT Book Reviews

Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe, struggles with his inner demons and faces a dishonorable discharge. When a deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make a choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

6 comments:

Lynette Eason said...

Loved reading other authors posts! Thanks for including me, Ronie!

Ronie Kendig said...

Thanks for joining in, Lynette! It was fun to me, too, reading everyone's tips!

Robin Caroll said...

Loved being included and so enjoyed hearing what others do! Great article, Ronie!

Carla Laureano said...

This was fun! Thanks for inviting me to contribute! I'm beginning to think you guys are trying to tell me something about exercise though... lol. :)

Katie Ganshert said...

Thanks for including me, Ronie!

Michael Ehret said...

This post made me wonder about the psychology of book covers ... almost NO full faces and many cut off or turned away from the camera. Made me love Becky's cover even more. :)