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The Rest Isn't Easy.

Updated: May 1, 2023

Apparently, I do a lot.

Mama tells me that.

My close friends tell me that.

Once in a while, my peers may tell me that.

Despite all that I currently do, which includes the author side of things, an intense exercise regime (I'm known for not skipping leg day), overhauling the house, etc. etc. etc., I'm not so slavish to the craft of writing. I do have a life; a pretty well-rounded life, considering.

In author terms, there's writing, editing, shopping my work around, promoting my work, mentoring/guiding other authors - that's off the top of my head. My reputation as 'always working' seems to precede me.

What intrigues me is that those finding out for the first time that I'm an author are surprised by how much work I've got published thus far (I've been writing with professional intent since 2009). Currently at a mere 27 titles, I wouldn't say it was groundbreaking; I'd say it was a start (and when my body of work fills not just a bookshelf, but bookshelves, I may be more content). Even among my peers, it might seem that I'm *some* kind of prolific. Even if I were to stop writing, I'd still have existing work coming down the pike, due for publication. From later this year to some point next year (or it may be the year after). I shit you not.

But here's the thing. Your output; your frequency and quality of work needs to be tempered with rest. Otherwise, the quality of your work might suffer. Can't be having that now, can we?

As an example: I'm not known for skipping leg day. For those that see me squat a poundage that starts to bend the bar at both ends, know this: that level of prowess is business as usual. Why? Because every damned session I clock in to lift, I'm repping that weight over and over. Time in the game. So while the uninitiated might ask how many days I train and be surprised when I say 'two days a week', they're not seeing the big picture. They're not seeing how long I've been doing the 'two days a week', they're not seeing how I fought for every damned rep, 'two days a week', and they're not seeing that when I could have been doing something more fun/chilled/you name it, I dragged my ass across town to that church of iron and put in work 'two days a week'.

For me, writing is no different. It's not just the hours you put in, it's the regularity.

I'd like to think I rest enough. Right now, I'm ...less exhausted than I have been of late; but I still recognise I need to rest. Thankfully, the current workload of edits should be wrapped in the next few days.

And then, I can rest.

Which, for me, usually means beta reading for my peers. It serves a number of purposes, from helping other authors to keeping my critical eye sharp for when I return to writing something new. My standard disclaimer when I whore myself out to beta is that I'll take on as much work as I can comfortably manage. Which appears to be a lot; for the most part, I work at pace. That being said, if I feel I need to rest (ha), then I'll have no qualms about stepping back and saying enough is enough. My time's valuable; I offer it, I'm not obliged to give it. Just taking a break from writing helps refresh and recharge me, which is a good start. And beta reading gives me time away from my own work in looking at someone else's.

I do, of course, actually take rest - and it feels pretty damned good. Everything from watching TV shows/boxsets and films, to hanging with friends, playing some bass. It's relaxing, refreshing; all the good stuff. I'm due back in Toronto at the end of August; the first time since 2019. A much-needed holiday where I get to hang with friends, get some eating/drinking done, head to FanExpo (because, among other things, I need more Spidey t-shirts), do a little sightseeing, etc.

But you know the silly part? I have to work hard at actively taking time away from something, because the output slows if I do. No, the rest isn't easy. Not at all.



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