Author overwhelm can be like that 4-letter word that your kid likes to scream at the top of their lungs when they learn it… F*ck, F*ck, F*ck!
There is so much to DO!
First, you’ve gotta write your book.
Then you’ve got to find an editor you like working with, get it edited, formatted, published, launched, marketed, etc, etc…
It’s like a merry-go-round that is in overdrive.
You’re holding on for dear life!
You feel stressed. That you don’t have enough time to do it all.
But guess what?
Just because there are all these tasks and “urgent” things that need to get done, doesn’t mean you should be doing them all right now.
I remember when I got started on my author business.
I had all these ideas and plans about what I wanted to do, but I was constantly chasing my tail, trying to do it all.
I had no plan. No timeline.
Instead, I ended up feeling defeated, overwhelmed and like a complete failure.
If you wanna avoid feeling the same, sit back, take a breath and put in place these strategies to get rid of author overwhelm from your business once and for all.
How to Stop Author Overwhelm
Remove stress and get clear steps on what to do and when by implementing just one of the strategies below.
Five Ways to Beat Author Overwhelm
Before we can get stuck into the solutions, we need to start by acknowledging that we are feeling overwhelmed.
I know it goes against every fiber of your being to admit this but do it anyway.
Tell Neville to pipe down and follow these steps:
It’s ok to feel this way.
We are not super-human. We can’t control everything.
No matter where you’re at on your author journey, you’re going to feel a little crazy at times, maybe even manic.
Author overwhelm didn’t just choose you to mess up your life. It happens to us at least once or twice in our author careers.
#1: Write down your goals for your author business
Every time I find myself feeling overwhelmed, it’s because I’m not clear on what I’m meant to be doing.
It also means I’m not clear on my goals.
Without clarity around your goals for your author business, you can feel like you’re bobbing on top of a wave, not moving forward or backward, just staying in one place.
How do you set goals for your author business?
Follow these steps:
- Write down what your main goal is for your author business for the next 12 months
- Start by writing down what you want to achieve in your author business for the next 90 days
- Write down any book launches that are happening in the next 90 days
Once you’ve got these written down, it should become quite clear what you should be focusing on right now.
If you have a book launch scheduled within the next 90 days, that’s your top priority. Make sure you’ve got everything in place to make it happen.
Next, look at the list of things you wrote down that you want to achieve in the next 90 days.
How are you going to achieve them? What do you need to do and when to reach those goals?
Start mapping it out!
I create a project inside Todoist to set all this up. I set due dates and reminders and this helps keep me focused.
If you want to learn how to use Todoist in your author business, check out Steve Scott’s book on Mastering Todoist here.
Lastly, review your main goal for the next 12 months and make sure you’re working towards achieving that.
Much like you did with your 90-day goals, work out what you need to be doing and when to make it happen.
#2: Write down #allthethings
If you’re still struggling to stay focused, grab a pen and paper.
Set the timer on your phone or watch for 15 minutes.
Start the timer and use the pen and paper to capture EVERYTHING that’s running through your mind right now.
Don’t self-edit. Just allow the thoughts to come and jot them down.
Once the time is up if you’ve still got more thoughts coming, keep writing them down until you’ve captured everything.
I like to do this process at least once a week (Monday’s work well for me) and sometimes I might need to do it 2-3 times a week.
Our mind is crazy smart, and because of this, it can be thinking of a multitude of things at any given time… yet, we are not always in a position to take action on those things.
By writing them ALL down, you’re able to free up space in your head to concentrate on one thing at a time, while also recording what you might need to do in the next few days.
This is my go-to exercise when I’m feeling stressed, flustered and overwhelmed.
Give it a try now!
#3: Move (b*tch, get out da way…!)
Recognize that song?
It’s exactly what you need to do. Get out of your own way!
Sometimes, that means physically moving.
Changing where you’re sitting.
Changing your location.
Getting outside. Going for a walk.
Having a mini-dance party.
Whatever you need to do to get out of your own way, aka get Neville to shut up, do it.
I find getting out to a cafe 2-3 times a week works well for me.
I also exercise 3-4 times a week to shake things up.
Moving is one of the best things you can do to get out of your own way.
#4: Get accountability
If you feel like you can’t get anything done, even with all the strategies I’ve outlined above, then try accountability.
This can be done in a number of different ways:
- Finding another author who will hold you accountable to your goals and deadlines, with you doing the same for them
- Making a public declaration on your personal Facebook timeline about the goals you’re looking to achieve and what the consequences are if you don’t
- Use something like the Pavlok to break your bad habits around getting things done!
- Join a mastermind group where everyone holds each other accountable
Accountability is what helped me in the first 12 months of my author business. I belonged to a mastermind group that met every other week.
Each fortnight (bi-weekly) we’d jump on a call and share our goals, our wins and what we wanted to achieve in the next two weeks.
On the next call, we’d have to say whether we achieved our goals or not and if we didn’t, why.
I can tell you, it’s embarrassing not meeting your goals because you weren’t focused etc.
It definitely worked for me. Figure out which option works for you and implement it.
#5: Take a break
I know this might seem counter-intuitive, considering #allthethings, but sometimes your brain and body just need a break.
And I’m talking a real break here. Unplug from your devices, your laptop.
Give your body and your mind the break it needs. Recharge.
My personal fav for doing this is going to the beach or reading a book. Watching a movie is another great option.
NO NETFLIX! This is not the break you need.
Get a massage. Do something for yourself for a change.
I love taking a mini-holiday every quarter to recharge my batteries. I leave my laptop at home so I can’t check my emails or whatever else I might ‘need’ to do.
I do take my phone with me, but I turn off all notifications so I won’t be tempted to check.
It’s invigorating taking this time out. I normally aim for 4-5 days.
Now it’s Your Turn
Are you ready to stop the author overwhelm and get off the crazy train?
Implement just one of the strategies above and watch how much shit you get done!
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