Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor of love

Happy Labor Day! The holiday is supposed to be one of kicking back and relaxing, but I always try to spend at least part of it doing what I love best: writing. For me, it's not work. When I get into a story flow, hours can fly by like minutes. Afterward, I know I've been in The Zone - a sublime place where nothing exists but my characters. I'm in their world, separate from time and space. If I'm very lucky, it's flowing so fast that I'm simply transcribing, fingers scrambling across the keyboard to keep up.

One of my challenges is balance. Sometimes I have to remind myself to step away, even if I've hit that wonderful flow. Without my family, my writing would mean nothing. They've been such a huge support throughout the process, especially my hubby.

This weekend I was lucky enough to have a brief visit with my family back home in New Jersey. I spent Friday night with two dear friends I've known since grade school, whose friendship has also sustained me through many ups and downs. Later, I spent precious time with some of my brothers and sisters on the banks of the Delaware River. The town celebrated the last of summer with its final fireworks display.

My little camera doesn't like night photos much, so these aren't the best quality, but I do kind of like the second one - a reflection of the fireworks in the river, and some of the nearby boats. A moody shot.

On the topic of balance, I've had to decide what to do about TBR. I launched it in January with the aim of hosting other authors, and while it's seen some success, it doesn't seem to be reaching enough readers. I don't have time to properly promote it except through Facebook and hosting blurb fests. Keeping up two blogs has been difficult but I don't want to give up on TBR. I have decided to cut back, though - from three authors a week to two, and no Featured Author of the month. I'll try that schedule for six months, and if my time craziness eases, I may go back to three authors. We'll see how it goes.

To balance it out, I am going to host more authors on my own blog in the future, though. I've missed having guests here! In October (wow, next month already! I have to get busy organizing), I'll have a monthlong Halloween celebration. Any fantasy/paranormal authors who want to join in, just drop me a note! I'd love to have you.

I'm also going to revive the author chat I used to have, with the new name of Spilling the Beans. That will likely start in November, after the Halloween bash. I found these two cute graphics on Dreamstime for event badges.

Hope you're celebrating the holiday with those you love!


KarenG said...

Balance is a constant struggle with me, probably with everyone! Right now I should be leaving for work and instead I'm browsing the net-- not real balanced LOL.

Cate Masters said...

So true, Karen. I'm sure everyone, regardless of profession, struggles with balance. You'd think by now I'd have a better handle on it, lol.
Sorry you're working today! I appreciate you stopping by.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Cate, I'm amazed with the number of blogs you have. It's all I can do to handle life and one blog.

Having guests is a fun way to get to know authors and their process. But it does take time to build a blog like that.

Looks like you had a marvelous time this past weekend! I love fireworks!


Cate Masters said...

Thanks Sia! Except for TBR, I'm only a partial contributor on the other two. :)

I did have a wonderful time, thanks! Always great to spend time with family and friends.

DMS said...

Hope the writing went well today! I hear you about the balance! So much to juggle and try to attend to each day. I can get caught up writing and working on the computer and have to remind myself to spend time with the outside world. It sounds like you are coming up with some ways to give yourself a bit more time. :) Yeah!

I love the fireworks picture! It looks so cool. I got to spend some time catching up with old friends this weekend, too.

Maria Zannini said...

I don't know how you juggle it all. I don't blame you for re-balancing your blogging schedule.

Blogging with new material is exhausting work. Visiting other blogs even more so. I know there's a happy medium in there somewhere.

Cate Masters said...

Glad to hear you spent time with those you love, Jess. That's what holidays are all about!

I never stop to wonder how I'm going to fit it all into my day, Maria, or I'd probably never do it, lol