The Book Shepherds on Authoritis: Five Steps to Healing Author Overwhelm

You no doubt have high performance patterns and strategies, but do you throw them out the window when faced with … Facebook? We twitch instead of Tweet and become disconnected instead of LinkedIn. How do we overcome this perplexing dilemma? Your 5-point healing plan begins here.

Step 1 Go back to a time when learning was fun. Explore, play, experiment with the new media. You don’t have to be the perfect adult. Be willing to try something new—like my learning to Salsa. I looked foolish for a few months, but practice and more practice helped. Get out of your comfort zone. Be willing to look foolish. Embrace the learning curve.

Step 2 Start with the basic steps. Your established high performance pattern will help you select the right marketing and social media steps to take. Some of you who write articles might find that blogs feel natural to you. Others with a sales background may be comfortable starting with Twitter. Those who love to connect with people may migrate toward Facebook. Whatever you choose, go with your strengths and desires.

Step 3 Connect to your creativity. This is the fun part. Get ideas from others, but march to your own drummer. Integrate what feels and looks authentic to you. We often try to get someone else’s system work for us. And why not? Look at their success. Remember, their process works for them because it is their process. If you work in similar ways, it may also work for you. But if feels foreign, awkward, and you hate it—probably it won’t. Find one that fits you, or create a new one tailored to your needs and personality.

Step 4 Get organized. If you’re buried in clutter and keep adding more to it, don’t expect to get a lot done. It won’t happen. Clear out the clutter. Organize your writing life. If you’re too busy, hire someone to help you and focus on getting rid of unnecessary “stuff.” Having someone with you will keep you on track.

Step 5 Write something every day. In Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, he revealed that he sets writing goals for himself every day, including holidays. Most of us have some kind of writing routine—otherwise, we wouldn’t be authors. But do we have a similar routine for promoting our books. Let’s say you write 2,000 words a day, and you’ve finished your book. How will you use that now-free time? You are the author of your time as well as of your book, so explore the social media options and choose the ones that work for you.

Write your own prescription for overwhelm, and you will find your cure for Authoritis.

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