I have multiple projects going at once, plus graduate school (again), plus raising three children with special needs, plus maintaining this thing we call sanity. Despite the seemingly insane (and sometimes truly crazy) workload I carry, it’s not driven by insanity. You see, I’m a fan of my own muse.
Sometimes the work goes well. Sometimes it doesn’t. Usually, if one project isn’t going well, I can divert energy to other projects that are going much better. Occasionally, as has happened for the last few months, I get into a slump. I get tired. I get stressed. I start to feel the pressure and I pull back. I get sick. I slowly get well. I slowly get back to work.
Now, I am working again and I love the groove. I have two projects that are going quite well, which I’ve been plugging (slowly) away at while in my funk. Now that my enthusiasm is back, I’m also feeling the call to jump back into my other projects. It may seem like a strange way to live, and I’m sure it wouldn’t work for a lot of people, but it works for me, if not always at the pace I’d like.
Through it all, the thing that gets me up again is the opportunity to share bits of my projects with others. From the start of a project, before I even fully commit to it, the marketer in me starts sending out feelers to taste the potential for demand for a given work. When the demand is there, the project is nurtured.
I’m co-writing a book about special education testing and the demand is most certainly there. With multiple people, even my slackened pace hasn’t slowed the project down much. I’m also writing my memoir and the demand is most certainly there. This is all on me, but that’s the way this one needs to be. And the force that drives me is knowing that there are people waiting for this book to become real. These are the two projects I’ve kept going, partially because these projects both have built-in accountability to others (however flexible those others might be), and partially because they have the most real-world urgency.
Once I’m a little more confident and a little more established in my groove for those projects, I’ll divert a little attention to two other projects I’m building. One is a book called Marketing for Authors and the demand is most certainly there. The other is a fiction novel, which is my own baby. While the demand is there, this project blossomed from my own needs as an artist.
Getting in the groove can be a struggle, but nurturing the muse is an endeavor with myriad rewards—not the least of which is better writing, better work, and better reach. So, what’s your groove?