It’s the beginning of a whole new year; what time could possibly be better to become more motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count, so we're asking authors what they've got planned for the year ahead!
Mimi Matthews reveals her top tip for recharging and refreshing before starting a new writing project: binge-reading a new book series!
Recharging Your Batteries with a Binge Read
My first books—one indie historical romance novel and one traditionally published non-fiction history book—came out at the very end of 2017. Since then, my writing life has been a whirlwind of new projects, deadlines, promotional commitments, and administrative tasks. It’s a juggling act I haven’t quite mastered yet. Throw in a few family crises, pet illnesses, and the general business of living my life and you have a recipe for stress, stress, and more stress.
How is a romance writer to manage all of this and still stay motivated to write hopeful and heartfelt happily-ever-afters? There’s better time management, of course. And the perennial challenge of learning that it’s okay to say no on occasion. However, for me, remaining inspired is the real trial. For that, I rely on the very thing that caused me to fall in love with the romance genre in the first place: the marvelous books, of course.
After each novel I’ve finished writing, I have rewarded myself with a good binge read. For example, after my second book was safely sent off to my editor, I curled up in bed and binge read Jennifer Ashley’s magnificent Mackenzie series from start to finish. This took a few days—glorious days in which I was thoroughly immersed in the world of Victorian era Scotland.
When my third book was completed, I binge read every single book Mariana Zapata has written, starting with fan favorite The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and ending with the fabulous From Lukov with Love. No sooner had I finished one than I bought and read the next. Seriously, I had no self-control at all.
After my most recent book was finished, I took a nice long break (probably too long, I confess) and binge read Gail Carriger’s phenomenal Parasol Protectorate series. Again, I read them one right after the other, from Soulless to Timeless, drinking tea right along with the series’ heroine. When I’d finished, I wasn’t quite ready to start my own next book, so… I bought Gail’s next series as well.
A binge read has many benefits for the burned out creative. For one, it takes quite a few days to accomplish it. Days during which you are obligated to shut off that busy part of your mind and thoroughly give yourself over to another author’s creations. It forces you to take a rest. To set aside your worries and be still. When I’ve finished a good binge read, I feel refreshed and inspired and reminded of just why I love novels—particularly romance novels—so very much.
The new year is right around the corner. I’m hopeful that, in 2019, I’ll employ better strategies for budgeting my time and managing my day-to-day stress. One thing I plan to continue doing is recharging my creative batteries with an occasional binge read. I’m presently finishing up my fifth Victorian novel. As soon as it’s been emailed off to my editor, I fully intend to embark on my next binge. I have Stella Riley’s Rockcliffe saga all queued up on my Kindle. The romance lover in me is heartily looking forward to it.
Mimi's latest release, A Holiday by Gaslight, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.