On May 11th at 8:03pm I sent a tweet that simply stated "I'm off!" With that tweet I started a 10 day vacation that ended Monday the 21st. If you read my earlier post entitled How To Take Time Off you will know that I was quite nervous about taking time away from writing and marketing. But I did it! While I was off I did check my Amazon ranking a few times each day only to see it soaring, but strangely enough, it didn't bother me. I knew it was going to suffer, and I told myself if I got the Boyfriend From Hell ranking down to #168 overall, and Earth Angel down to #169 before, I could not only do it again, I could better those rankings and finally enter the vaunted Kindle 100--the top 100 overall selling ebooks on all of Amazon.
So the vacation did its job and cooled me out--no panic attacks, no paranoia, just walks on the beach and Mai Tais. Now you could say that's because I not only took a vacation, I went all the way to Hawaii. The photo at the top is sunrise over Maui's Haleakala, a 10,000 foot mountain that is a dormant volcano.
Every morning at 4 am or earlier pilgrims make the trek up Haleakala to witness one of the most breath-taking sunrises you will ever see. It was 20 degrees atop Haleakala the morning we trekked up there. You see I'm not smiling in the photo below, right? That's because I was literally freezing my you-know-what's-off. Can't you see the frost forming on my mustache? For most of the day afterward I couldn't feel my fingers and swore I had frost bite. Don't worry. I didn't. By mid-afternoon and several margaritas later, I was fine.
The trek up Haleakala was important because I spent my first morning in Hawaii purging myself of all the anxiety I'd built up over the past year of chasing publishing success. The purge worked. I am back with new perspective and rearing to go. I spent today still trying to get through an edit of the first novel in my Hollyweird series: The Zombie Always Knocks Twice. The publisher told me I needed to have it in by June 1st to make the summer deadline. I will make it.
The answer to how do you take time off? is simple --you just do. You just stop what you're doing and relax. You don't have to go away like I did. I know you feel time away will cost you money... sales... income. But time away from the rat race is valuable. It doesn't weaken you, it makes you stronger. So please, please take a break from the race--one day, two days, it doesn't matter. We all need time off. Hey, look at me, a week ago I was fretting, now I'm Yoda.
This last photo is of me walking in the surf. I chose it to show the contrast Maui offers, and what the heck--for an old guy who sits at a computer all day I'm not too shabby without my shirt on ;-) Anyway, now I'm back to annoy you with tweets, and contests, provocative blog posts, and hopefully some really good books. You will be hearing something new and exciting from me very soon. In the mean time, Peace.