Friday, 26 April 2019

Review of Everything I Do by MC Frank

Robin Hood is about to steal your heart.

A robber and a princess.
A girl disguised as a boy.
A medieval reimagining of the legend of Robin Hood packed with adventure, sacrifice and romance.

Robin Hood, hidden deep in the Sherwood Forest, is fighting to restore the crown to its rightful king, surrounded by faithful friends, green leaves and clear skies. Burdened with secrets, betrayal and an incredible responsibility, he struggles to stay alive and keep the starving people fed. One day, a boy saves him from the Sheriff’s poisoned arrows. Robin, impressed by the slender youth’s courage and skill, takes the boy with him to the forest.

Only, the boy is not a boy.

In the castle of Nottingham, a maiden who used to be a princess is forced to obey the wishes of a tyrannical Sheriff. She dons on male clothes and trains to become a fierce assassin, vowing to catch the greatest criminal in the kingdom. But when she saves Robin Hood’s life nearly losing her own, she is rescued by the outlaws.

When Robin and the “boy” meet, two worlds collide, resulting in unimaginable danger and intense romance. Who will survive when they learn each other’s secrets? What happens when the assassin falls in love with her victim?

My review: 5 stars
I picked this up because I adore Frank's writing and the worlds she creates. This had been a long awaited release and I dove into it the day it was released. The story picked up from the first word, a mysterious stranger saving the life of Robin when all hope is lost. I loved the imagery, the writing, the prose, the way the story moved from Robin's point of view to the boy who is not a boy. I was hooked from the first word and couldn't stop reading until late into the night. And that ending almost killed me! An amazing book from Frank and one I very much recommend!

You can follow MC Frank on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, her website, and The Book Robin Hoods.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.


Thursday, 25 April 2019

That's The Tea With Joey: Reviews [CC]


Spilling some tea on reviews today! #Authortube

PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD
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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

#TEASERTUESDAY


It's terrifying to imagine that her dad might already be gone. 


Pre-order here: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD


[ID A teaser for Dying Thoughts - Seventh Death with the release date just underneath as May 15th 2019. The excerpt reads:
It was then that the next scary thought entered my mind. Was the vision triggered because it was an accident that had made my father lose consciousness, or was it more sinister? Was my father already dead and just being kept alive by machines? 
END ID]

Monday, 22 April 2019

Winning An Award - The Creative Process


WINNING AN AWARD

I have to admit that this isn't a post I ever thought I would get to make. It wasn't that I didn't believe in my work, I do very much believe in the stories I've told and the books I've published. However, awards always felt like they were just outside of my grasp so when I was asked about submitting for the New Apple Literary Awards, I mostly decided that it would be an exercise in frustration. But I entered anyway. I put It's Not Always Rainbows and Walk A Mile up for separate awards and mostly forgot about it until the email came through on February 19th saying they needed a couple more days.

And then nothing. I heard nothing at all. It was an anxious time, getting up in the morning and wondering if I dared dream that this could be real. In the end I didn't find out until March because my email provider had marked the congratulations email as spam. They did email on February 21st to let me know that It's Not Always Rainbows had been chosen as the solo medallist in Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Trans category and Walk A Mile was an official selection in YA Mystery/Thriller. And just like that I had not one, but two awards. I was finally reaching a goal that I'd set myself way back when, but had never really thought would happen.

I announced across my social media and on my Authortube channel in my Life Of Joey video (found here) and have been on cloud nine ever since! I don't yet have my certificate, but it's there in black and white on their website (found here) and I still can't quiet believe it. It's not just about getting to say that I won two awards, but also about getting that confirmation from official people that I made it, I have finally arrived as an author.

Which is a little silly I guess, because I have almost fourteen books out and two more due in the coming months. I have always been an author and will always be one, but to have something like an award to point to, is very much a validating experience. It's no secret that I am very much a small fish in the writing world. I don't expect that to ever change and I am more than happy with the status quo. While I'd love to have more sales (who wouldn't?) I'm also very happy for the readers I do have that come back time and time again when I release something new. I love the community that has been built up within that group and it matters to me that I not only acknowledge them, but also the work I've put in to my author brand.

I think a lot of the time it's really easy to see people who are doing better than you are, and to feel like you will never make it. Hell, I have moments like that still, I'm pretty sure it's part of being human. And while I have talked about not comparing yourself to others in both my Monday blogs and on Authortube (pieces found here and here; video found here) I think it's just as important to admit that we all have days when we find ourselves thinking the worst of our work, and wishing we could be doing as well as so-and-so. And that's normal. It's why we have to get perspective.

And what do I mean by that? I mean that Erin Kinsella did an amazing video recently (found here) about what happens if you hate your work? She talked about how part of writing was getting critique and that of course comes with it's own anxieties and pitfalls. You see too often the persona of the writer who hates everything they write, and it's a stereotype that exists, but there are those of us who are actually really proud of what we've done. And that's okay too. I'm not saying that you will love every word that comes forth from keyboard to paper, but it's okay to be happy and proud of the finished result. You crafted that from nothing and you should be damn proud of how it's done.

So for those of you who, like me, never really thought they'd get noticed, or that they'd love to win an award one day but feel like it's out of your reach, take a deep breath and tell yourself that it's okay. That your story matters, and that you will get there in the end. You just have to keep putting fingers to keyboard and keep writing. You grow as you do, you get better as you write, as you draft, as you revise and hone your skill. You will get to a point one day when you can point to that finished novel and be damn proud that it has your name on it.

I've been at that point for a while. Once all the new covers were done, I felt like I could happily show people my books and be like: I wrote these! On top of that, getting that outside validation from people who do not know me, have never met me and have only read two of my books, it helps a lot. It's still a feeling of being on cloud nine because I not only wrote, but I did so in a way that people thought was award-worthy.

So keep writing, keep growing and keep telling yourself that you will get there, because one day you will! Good luck!


Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Top 5 Tropes I Hate in Crime & Msytery [CC]


Talking about the top five tropes I hate in the crime & mystery genre! #Authortube

PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD
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Friday, 19 April 2019

Review of Fate Reclaimed by L. Danvers

One newly crowned queen. One giant problem.

On the heels of reclaiming the kingdom from Hartley, Daphne learns the giants are planning an attack. Vires has already seen much bloodshed, and Daphne isn't sure her army alone is enough to fend off another strike. But there is one hope of defending the castle: rumor has it that there is one last dragon in existence. However, in a cruel twist of fate, the only person who can help her find it is the very man she reclaimed her kingdom from.

Left to choose between pride and duty, Daphne puts her trust in Hartley. But will that prove to be a grave mistake?
My review: 5 stars
I had to read the final book in the trilogy after loving the first two books. Picking up almost instantly from where the second book left off. Daphne and the others have a huge task ahead of them, and the fate of Vires is left in her hands. I adored the fast-paced action, the way the story was weaved together and the ending left me content and happy. I completely recommend this series as a good read and one for those who may think they don't enjoy fantasy but get pulled in and love it anyway! An amazing read!

You can follow L. Danvers on Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Tips & Tricks: Editing [CC]


Talking about tips and tricks with editing. #Authortube

PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD
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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

#TEASER TUESDAY


Tara isn't sure she can do this. Her dad so sick and not knowing the first thing to do to make it better.


PRE-ORDER HERE: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD


[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A graphic for a teaser of Dying Thoughts - Seventh Death, with the release date of May 15th 2019 under the title. The teaser reads:
This was real though.
My dad had a machine breathing for him and even that might not be enough. I tried to tell myself not to think the worst until I spoke to the doctor, but the thought of my dad not waking up, of being on this machine until one day he was gone made my thoughts go to horrible places.
One thing was for certain I had one match left to light the way, and losing Dad would blow it out. I couldn’t live in the dark.

END IMAGE DESCRIPTION]

Monday, 15 April 2019

Promoting Other Authors - The Creative Process


PROMOTING OTHER AUTHORS

If you've been following me for a while, you'll be aware that I highlight an author on a Friday. Whether I have them for an interview, or a review of their book, or even a guest blog, it's something I've been doing for a good couple of years now. If you're interested in being one of those authors, the form is here.

But today I wanted to touch on something that I don't feel like enough people realise and that is: promoting other authors helps promote you as well. It's not all give and it's not all take. I've been involved with The Book Robin Hoods since it's creation. I know a lot of people through that site that have helped me find beta, my CP, and bloggers who will help with cover reveals and ARCs all year round. It's a valuable resource, and it's something I really do think you should check out. If you're a reader the form is here. Authors, the form is here.

But back to what I was saying, how does promoting other authors help to promote yourself? It's simple really. If you're the one shouting about this or that book, posting about it on your social media, writing a review and highlighting it, then you're getting a new audience who might look at your work and think they should check it out. This helps everyone from the small bitty indie to the huge traditionally published and it's something that so many people miss out on. They think that the only way to promote is by talking about their work and pushing that to the front of the auidence. And I'm not going to say I didn't make the same mistake because I did, but I've learned from it and hope that by telling you all this, you won't make that mistake.

Being a part of the writing community, whether that's purely online or in person or a mix of the two, is an amazing thing. I did a tag video about the writing community a few weeks ago on my Authortube channel (video here) and I have to say it's brought so many different people into my life. I always found the act of writing books to be pretty isolating, and it was really only when I startd to get serious about promoting myself and taking my work as a career that I realised that there are people out there who will help you. Sure there's those who will hinder, but let's not dwell on them today.

So how can you go about promoting other authors? If you're a blogger, you can have a certain day a week when you showcase other authors. I have a list of fourteen questions and ask that each author answer at least seven of them. I change them yearly and beyond that I've had some amazing people come through my pages and have found some amazing books. I've also have made so many different friends, all of whom are happy to help return the favour when it comes to my own promotion.

If you're on instagram, you can post pictures of books and do reviews that way. Again it could be that you set one day a week when you'll showcase another author's work. You can do the same on Youtube, where maybe once a month you do a round up of what you've read and talk about each author. Facebook can lead to things like group takeovers or sharing graphics, and twitter has a whole writing community tag that allows you to meet new people and choose what to share and when. There's just so many different ways to go about it and the people you meet are usually pretty damn amazing.

When you're out there as an author, hearing other people talking about your work is something that not much else can top. Recently I was told that I inspired two writer friends of mine as one of their top four female authors. Knowing that I make that kind of impact matters to me, and knowing that I can help promote other authors through my own audience matters too. There may be times when I feel like it's a lot like shouting into the void, but a lot of the time the void shouts back.

It's not just about getting to geek out about books I love, but about making connections, forging relationships and being a part of the writing community as a whole. Being an active part rather than someone who just sits, writes, publishes and watches from the sidelines. I don't talk about the side of me that's very introverted and anxious a lot, but when I first started doing the Friday posts, it was something that I battled with. I didn't want to say no to anyone, and nor did I want to give a bad review. Not just because it's not something I usually do - very few books disappoint me and I know I'm lucky in that regard - but also because I knew it would have a negative effect on my blog and what I was trying to do.

However, since then, I've learned to be more picky about who I showcase and what I read. I want to read all the books, but I get that not all of them are ones that will meet my very loose five star rating. And that's okay. Not every book is written for me. I am not every audience and liking something is more than a little subjective. So my one cautionary note to anyone worried about fallout should they do the wrong thing. You can meet the bad people, but the writing community is huge and mostly welcoming, stepping outside your comfort zone is hard, but it can be a big payoff. Take it easy, take your time, and know that you are not alone.


Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Friday, 12 April 2019

Review of Zero Sum Game by Stefani Deoul

Zero Sum Game finds our high-flying lesbionic brainiac Sid Rubin and her unlikely posse of friends, grounded, with wings clipped from their live-action-role playing misadventures.
To break out of parental jail, Sid, Jimmy, Imani, Ari and Vikram enter a school robotics competition. But just as things get interesting, Vik learns that his super-star status and hard-won trophies from the frantic online game Contagion have been stolen.

"Tu n'as pas envie avec mes amis. You do not mess with my friends."

Watching Vik fall apart, Sid is determined to track down the trophy thief, no matter how much late-night gaming and sleuthing it takes.

Sid and the gang join newcomer Ze to chase ghosts and trawl dungeons in a frantic race against time to save not just Vik's bevy of stolen gaming goods, but also the life of a hostage teenage gamer.

My review: 5 stars
Having read the first book I was super excited about getting to read this one. I LOVED it! Pulling you in from the first word. Sid is an amazing protagonist and I feel like I get her on so many levels. The fearsome five are off on another adventure when someone loots Vik's online game. Sid has to correct this faux pas, no one messes with her friends. I feel for Sid, I weep for Sid, I adore Sid and her wit, her forays in love and her ability to try and turn everything around for everyone. It's an amazing story and one I recommend to so many people. Young or old, Deoul's writing is spot on and for everyone to enjoy! Highly recommended!

You can follow Stefani on her website, Twitter or Facebook.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Life Of Joey - April 2019 [CC]


Telling you all what I've been up to in the last month! #Authortube

PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD
SIGN UP FOR AN ARC OF DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: https://goo.gl/forms/ThxW1hViDlz6IQl83
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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

#TEASERTUESDAY


When everything was going so right, and then it goes so wrong. Can Tara cope with all of this?


PRE-ORDER HERE: www.books2read.com/DTSD


[ID: A teaser graphic for Dying Thought - Seventh Death with the release date below the title: Coming May 15th 2019.

The excerpt reads:

I watched as she nodded a few times and then hung up.
“Is everything okay? Is something wrong at home?” I asked, my brain still not clicking that it was *my* phone.
“Tara, it’s your dad,” she said and I felt my heart jump up and lodge in my throat. As impossible as that sounds, I swear I could feel it pumping away just below my vocal cords. “There’s been an accident.” 

END ID]

Monday, 8 April 2019

Refilling The Creative Well - The Creative Process

REFILLING THE CREATIVE WELL

Last week I talked about fighting burnout (found here) and so it made sense that I continue with how to refill that creative well once you've reached that point that you feel you can't keep going. One big thing that I advocate for is self-care, making sure that you don't get to the point where burnout is imminent. It might not always be possible, and it might be something that takes a lot of learning and rearranging to find what works for you. Personally, I'm a very organised person and block out my time using Sticky Notes on my PC. At the beginning of every month, I colour-code and block out writing days, recording days and days when I'm going to take time off and do absolutely nothing but read, chat with friends and just have some me time.

It's only really been a recent thing that I've started to block off complete days where I do nothing writing related. That includes vlogs, and blog posts, books and other author duties. I might be on social media, but I'm not actively doing any work because I need that time to recoup my own creative well and to practice my own self-care. And it's something that's very important for all creatives to do.

Think about it, whether you're an artist, a writer, a dancer, or a musician or any other kind of creative, there are times when you're going to be stretched thin and when that happens, it makes creating new content harder and harder and eventually it leads to something like burnout. The only thing you can do when you reach that point is to step back completely and focus on healing. So you need to be sure to take time to refill when you can. It's not about being lazy, nor is it a sign of you doing something wrong, it's just good mental health.

I think it's especially hard for people who work another job alongside their creative pursuits. They work a normal job and then come home and have a limited time to spend creating. It means that they have other stresses in place that inhibit them already and when you throw in the ime constraints you can't help but see that it's pretty easy to forgo self-care as a way to try and squeeze more hours into the day. But it's something that will bite you in the arse at some point so it's better to take your time and accept that things will take as long as they take.

So what can you do when you're past that stage? What do I do to help refill my own creative well and how does that apply to other writers? Personally I have a few things I can do throughout my day and working life that will help me stay filled with creativity but also allow me the space to breathe and get my head on straight. Now these are things that work for me, I can't speak to anyone else. On top of that my situation is different to the majority of writers in that it is my full time job. I don't work outside my author life and I couldn't even if I wanted to. So with that said, here's my list of tips.

#1 - READING
I know that it's pretty well known that I'm a huge advocate for authors and writers reading. I love losing myself in a good book and it's one of the last things I do before bed. Personally getting a Kindle opened up reading to me again, before that I'd never had the energy to sit and hold a book for a long period and the only time I could really read was waiting for hospital appointments or as an inpatient and even then it was in short bursts which made finishing a book harder and harder. Now though I go through loads and that's because of my Kindle and the advent of e-books.

#2 - CHATTING WITH FRIENDS
This is a huge one for me, the majority of my friends are either other creatives or they're writers themselves. So we can chat about everything and nothing. It doesn't have to be work related, it can just be catching up and enjoying each others company. It's a great way for me to recharge and something I do on a daily basis to make sure that I have little breaks to refill my well.

#3 - MUSIC HELPS
I've got Auditory Processing Disorder so it's harder for me to listen to music while working. I can just about manage to listen to ambient sounds but they have to be the right ones, and at the right time. It's one of the reasons I'm not an author who has a playlist for their books. I just don't process sound the way the majority of people do. However, if I'm having some down time, then listening to my favourite album, or a playlist is a perfect way for me to spend that time. It rejuvenates me and helps me get back into the right mind frame for writing.

#4 - NAPS ARE AWESOME

Now I know that there's a lot to be said for napping being a way to create bad sleeping habits, but for someone who has chronic illnesses, they are the way I am able to stay as productive as I do. Simply put, on a good day, a nap is a way to recharge and on a bad one, it's a way to make sure I get through the day completely unscathed. Your mileage may vary.

#5 -WATCHING NETFLIX
I don't mean it has to specifically be Netflix, but sitting down and watching a movie or TV show that you love is another great way to recharge and refill your well. It's a time for the majority of distractions to be forgotten and just another way to lose yourself in someone else's work. I personally love working my way through a series and can lose hours this way, but it's always worth it.

So there you have it, the five things I do to refill my creative well. As far as getting past the burnout I talked about last week goes, I'm getting there. Slowly but surely, I'm feeling back to my old self, and while my health is throwing me curve-balls, I'm managing. You just gotta take it one step at a time and you'll get there in the end.

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books

Friday, 5 April 2019

Interview with L. Austen Johnson


I am delighted to welcome L. Austen Johnson to the blog for an interview today. Here's a little bit about her.

L. Austen Johnson is a debut poet from Virginia and counts herself lucky to be from the lovers' state. She studied English, Archaeology, and Astronomy in university, which may explain her love for stargazing and time travelling. 

She's an avid reader, a sometimes writer, and an attempter of various art projects. When she's not in class, you can find her searching for animals to pet, singing off-key in the shower, and learning the art of making the perfect cup of tea. 

And onto the interview!

Do you read your own genre? Is it a favourite?
I definitely do. My only published book is a collection of poems, so I do try to read other poetry collections by young women. Right now, I'm in an academic program studying poetry, so it's definitely a genre I read a lot. My other WIPs are mostly fantasy and magical realism, which are two of my favorite genres.

If you had to describe your style in three words, what would they be?
Accessible, hard-hitting, emotional

Was writing always your dream choice of career?
I've written poetry since I was in middle school. I've always assumed that I'd do some type of writing, prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction.

Do you have a writing space? Pictures or descriptions!
I do a lot of my prose writing at the library, but when I write poetry it kind of just comes to me. I like sitting outside, letting my pen flow while my mind wanders.

Playlists? Yes or no? And why?
Yes! I think music can really enhance the emotion of a scene. One of my WIPs is a fantasy retelling of a Polish folklore, and for that I listened to a lot of remixes of Slavic folk music. I also think it's fun when people make playlists for their characters. I've listened to many an 8tracks playlist when reading other authors' books.

Which social media do you see as a must for writers?
I think Instagram is a great place to connect with other writers and readers. I also think that having a Facebook page when readers can see updates is a must.

Where do you hang out most online?
I post a lot to my author tumblr and have a bookstagram that I post on almost every single day. I have a Facebook and Twitter too, though I use them less often than the other two sites.

Do you have a favourite app for writing?
I use Evernote a lot for writing poetry and OneNote for organizing my prose WIPs. 

Organised or not?
I'm not very organized. I usually just spit out my thoughts or ideas and then use editing to organize them. When I try to organize too much, I feel like some of my wild creativity is lost.

Morning or evening writer?
Usually evening, with some warm tea.

You can find L Austen on Tumblr, her website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Join Joey here on the blog on Fridays for interviews, reviews and guest bloggers. If you'd be interested in doing any of those, you can contact Joey here

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Growing As A Writer [CC]


Talking about how you grow as a writer! #Authortube

EMILY BOURNE'S WEBSITE: https://emilybourne.net/
PRE-ORDER DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD
SIGN UP FOR AN ARC OF DYING THOUGHTS - SEVENTH DEATH: https://goo.gl/forms/ThxW1hViDlz6IQl83
THE BOOK ROBIN HOODS: https://therobinhoods.wixsite.com/thebookrobinhoods
BUY MY BOOKS: http://www.joeypaulonline.com/p/aboutjoeys-books.html
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GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/1UcS61E

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

#TEASERTUESDAY


Tara still feels the effects of her past. No matter how much she tries to forget about it, some things leave a lasting mark. 

PRE-ORDER HERE: http://www.books2read.com/DTSD

[ID: A Teaser graphic for Dying Thoughts - Seventh Death. The release date is listed as May 15th 2019. The teaser contents are as follows:

 I closed my eyes and tried to quell my shaking hands, but it didn’t seem to help. I counted slowly as I breathed out, and then in again, trying to calm my fraught system. If there was one thing I wished I could change it was that I didn’t react like this to stupid things that shouldn’t have even been triggers in the first place. I’d given up trying to understand my traumatised brain, but it would’ve been nice if there were at least *some* clues as to what set me off this time.
“Tara, are you okay?” Nate asked. 


END ID]

Monday, 1 April 2019

Fighting Burnout - The Creative Process


FIGHTING BURNOUT

Over the past couple of months, I've been finding it harder and harder to keep the momentum going in regards to writing. I've never been someone who struggled that much with writer's block, or at least I haven't been for a good number of years. Once I got into the routine I use now, it became a thing of the past. I'm not saying that every word was easy, just that I rarely got to a point where I couldn't write. But in the past few months, with my health going down the drain and other factors draining my creative well, I've realised that I am, quite literally, fighting burnout.

It's something that happens to a lot of creative people, including writers, and it's something that can be fought, but it's also something that can not be avoided if you don't learn the signs, practice self-care, and sometimes, take a step back to allow yourself to heal. Because that's what you need to do, when you've reached that point of being burned out, there's no pushing through. All that happens then is you lose your love for the project and in some cases, make the burnout even worse.

So what have I done? How have I gotten through this period? Am I still going through it? The answer to the last is that yes I am, but I am also on the tail end of it. I know that I need to do better at practising self-care, and I need to do better about making my days off, actual days off. Not just days where I plan to do nothing and end up doing everything else instead. So how have I gotten through it? I'm gonna tell you so that hopefully you don't end up in the same position, but if you do, you know some ways to ease your mind back into the creative space without making the whole thing a hundred times worse.

#1 - EASE OFF
When I first started noticing issues, it was back in November. I was already pumped about starting NaNoWriMo, but I realised that with everything going n with my health, I knew it wasn't possible. I knew I had to cut back on work, and that meant not taking part in NaNo with the hope that things would improve going into the Christmas period. This felt like step one of a multi-step plan. Because while it worked for the short term, it didn't fix the issue because I was, as usual, back to normal in December.

#2 - FACE FACTS

It wasn't really until my sleep started to suffer in December and into January that I realised my plan of taking a month to get myself back together wasn't working all that well. I would find myself falling asleep early in the evenings, but being unable to stay asleep. It led to me being awake at odd hours, unable to get my usual amount of work done and then having to take long naps during the day. It meant that during the holiday period I was overtired, grouchy and not in the best place to be creative. It didn't help that I was having to keep working even though I felt like I was falling apart at the seams. There were outside factors that didn't help my stress levels and that of course just made me a giant ball of burnt out mess. So come January I realised I needed to do a few things and start to actually face facts and look after myself for the good of my writing career.

#3 - TAKE A BREAK
I've talked about this a little in my most recent Life Of Joey video. I got to the point where my health was suffering and I needed to take an actual break. I came down with an allergic reaction, that my doctors also wondered if it could be brought on by stress. I was ordered to take a break, and in doing that I realised that I needed some serious down time. I couldn't put it off any longer, and I couldn't risk getting sicker. There was also a period when I thought about not releasing all three books because of the massive amount of work involved. I knew that if I did go through with it, I needed to be doing a hell of a lot better. It was one of the reasons I got strict with myself about having at least one full day off every month that wasn't just Mepo.

#4 - TAKE TIME

And the next step was time. I took a serious chunk of time off in February, and did the same in March. I'm not sure to be honest where I will be back at the point I want to be by the time this blog post goes live, but I think it's important to focus on looking after yourself. If you need time to relax, to take a breather, to get away from creating and focus on healing your frayed nerves mentally as well as physically. There is no shame in needing to stop, and a friend of mine told me that resting was still time invested in your career. It's a way to make sure that you can keep going when you're back on the right track.

#5 - REFILL
Of course what comes alongside taking that time is refilling your creative well. For me that meant a whole lot of reading. I went through almost 40 books in January and February. I imagine it will be similar in March and April. It was a way for me to both rest my own creative side, but also still have fun enjoying other people's. It gave me a chance to reconnect with my stories and it also gave me a chance to just have some time off. Refilling takes as long as it takes. It could be weeks, could be longer, but the important thing is that you let it happen. Rushing through it, like I did initially, just ends up frustrating you and causing you more grief in the long run.

#6 - MONITOR

And finally, monitor yourself. Be honest with yourself. Are you ready to go back to work? It's okay if you're not, it takes as long as it takes and it's not something to skimp on. If you are, then be gentle with yourself. It may take some more time for you to get back up to where you were, and that's okay. If you're not, then allow yourself that time to refill and time to heal, it will come back and with it, you'll find yourself thankful for having taken the time to charge yourself back up and get back to writing.

If you've got any burnout tips, lemme know in the comments, and as always, good luck!



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