An inflection point is mathematics is the spot on a curve marking the beginning of a shift between a rising curve and a falling curve. Not a peak or a trough, but the spot where the curve starts turning the opposite direction. This time of year marks a similar shift in my life in a variety of different respects.
The moment that turned the tide forever. It’s my believe that all life is filled with little ups and downs and turns and wiggles. Nothing ever progresses in a straight line. Too often we think about moments of ecstasy or pain as the defining points of our lives. But I pay attention to trends.
I can usually see a low point coming from a mile away. When things start to get tight, either financially or temporally, it marks a shift. My trend line is turning downward, and dark times lie ahead. This is actually good, because I have a warning signal, and I can prepare for it. An example would be my budget getting tight. I turn into a penny-pinching tight-wad long before the brakes on the car go out and a tire blows.
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.
~ W. Shakespeare
In other words, once the shit gets close enough to the fan, I break out the umbrella and start prepping for the worst.
This is not one of those moments
I’m citing this preoccupation with oncoming troubles to illustrate what inflection is. Just like so many things in life, there are a multitude of stressors and aides that find a quirky balance that keeps life interesting.
I don’t know what autumn means to other authors and writers, but for me it means a slush pile of work. Because of my commitment to the NaNoWriMo community, I try to lead by example to inspire new authors to follow my lead. Whether they finish their book in a month doesn’t matter, what matters is that there are 30 days every year where they can taste what a writing habit feels like. I push hard to convince them not to stop writing on November 30th, or even after they finish that first draft. Writing, editing, proofing, and sales are a year-long endeavor. I’m ALWAYS working on something writing related. This has become my life.
As a result, I wrote Finish the Damn Book last year, and released it on Audible as well, to get the message out there. In addition, I wanted to do something extra special for NaNo 2017, and I wrote and edited daily writing inspiration posts for social media ahead of time. I would post daily in different groups, I wrote extra blog posts, I did everything in my power to help as much as possible. When the ink splatters from millions of writers spewing words all November, a good number of them “thanked” me by buying the book, even though I never tried to advertise it. And more, a lot of them kept writing, and some even sent me emails this year about their success in finishing their book, quoting FTDB as one of the primary reasons for that success.
It took a lot of time and effort to stay up on writing two novel drafts while also putting up post after post daily. And this year, I’m doing it bigger and better with my secret NaNo project, which we’ve named NaNoInspo. It’s still a secret, but I’ll lift the curtain a bit and give you a teaser. Several editors and writers have teamed up with me to give away prizes for NaNo winners this fall if they sign up for our daily inspiration emails, which will direct them to various blog posts and give them guidance on finishing NaNo. I’ve spent endless hours building this project (I’ve lost count of the actual number at this point), and I’m hoping it will be quite a show. So stay tuned.
I’m also planning on drafting a book that I’ve been bloody terrified to write, because of the complexities and how much I’ve already built it up in my mind. On November 1st, I hit the go button, and the story is coming out. So yes, I’m officially participating this year.
If this wasn’t enough, Stone’s Shadow releases next month as well, and I need to keep up on the regular marketing stuff for my soft-launch campaign to get it in the hands of as many readers as possible during October.
Yes, I’m going to be quite the busy bee, and I can see it coming a mile away, so naturally I’ll be blindsided by the workload that actually transpires. Especially since I’m trying to build a house at the same time, and working a day-job.
Why do I do this to myself?
Because I’m a masochist. I guess. I didn’t really plan everything like this, but it’s the way that it must be. I think deep down I need to have the hardest time and the biggest plate, so that my followers can compare their experiences and relate.
Everyone gets the same amount of time each day: 24 hours. How we spend them is largely up to us individually. You make times for the stuff you want to do. I want to write. I want to be prolific. I want to get these stories off the drafting table and out into the world.
What’s your passion? What do you make time for?
The equinox is my inflection point. The year has been winding down a bit on my writing life, but it’s time to kick it back into full gear and dart toward the finish line of the solstice. Today also came with a dramatic weather shift here in the Ozarks, as the mean temperature dropped about thirty degrees today. People are wearing coats. Yesterday it was almost too hot to handle.
It means that I need to prioritize. I have to be physically and mentally prepared for the challenges ahead, and that means making some little changes in how I’m organizing my time and where I’m putting my effort. Even though I’m still doing writing stuff daily, there’s always room to improve my methods. There’s always time to utilize, and better ways to organize it.
What are you doing at this time of the year? Cranking up the volume or riding out the rest of the year?