This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher to celebrate the release of Vanessa Mulberry’s The First Act.
And then I had a child and became a stay at home mum, which although rewarding, isn’t always the most mentally stimulating work. I became more serious about my writing, and what had been a hobby became a job.
Now, I’m not having a moan. Being a published author is a dream come true for me and I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I still have to pinch myself in disbelief that I’ve got a book coming out. It’s just meant I’ve needed to find new ways to relax. Reality TV is a continual source of comfort.
But that was the easy part. Switching off to actually do the relaxing is nigh on impossible for me. I can stay up until 2am writing if I let myself!
I still do push myself too hard, too often, but I’ve learned to recognise the signs now and rein myself in. I thought I’d share a few of my top tips for winding down when you’re a writer.
1. Human contact
Writers need a lot of alone time for thinking thoughts and typing words, but most of us need some interaction too. Go see a friend or family member, chat to a pal online, anyone that will get you thinking about something other than your work for five minutes.
2. Read for pleasure
Any writer should be a reader, and preferably a prolific one. But if you’ve been reading a lot for research then put down the book and pick one up that’s just pure fun. I cheat at this I must admit, because I both read and write romance, but I never fail to enjoy myself when I’ve got a book in my hand.
3. Write for pleasure
If you just can’t kick the writing habit, scribble something that’s only for you. Even if it’s a drabble, write yourself something effortless again.
4. Make your routine more fun
Writing professionally, running a household, parenting, holding down a full time job… That’s a lot of time taken up right there with any of those and doesn’t leave much for relaxing. I’ve tried to enjoy the things I have to do a bit more. Trying out new recipes, or even taking a night off cooking and getting a takeout occasionally. Getting some fancy bubble bath or shower products. Giving myself five minutes to drool over the expensive handbags when I’m shopping in town.
5. Make friends with other writers
No matter the genre, no matter whether you’re indie, epub, trad pub, authors have similar experiences. If writing is stressing you out then there’s nothing like a good vent to someone who understands!
April 1594. William Moodie thinks he’s in love with celebrated actor, Richard Brasyer. When Brasyer’s playing company, Goldfox’s Men, comes to town, William is only too willing to leave his country life for the opportunities of the theater and a life in London. Determined to become Richard’s apprentice, William seeks to impress his mentor with his acting—and please him in bed.
Meanwhile, Richard struggles to escape his past as a spy and disentangle himself from the manipulations of his former master and ex-lover, Bennett Goldfox. Swearing off a relationship with his new apprentice proves difficult for Richard, as William uses all his youthful charms to seduce him. When Bennett’s life is threatened, Richard is lured back into the game for one final mission, and he and William travel to Cambridge to hunt down a list of traitors to the Crown.
In the midst of danger and deception, Richard and William come to truly see each other, faults and all, and realize their feelings run deeper than either expected.
About the Author: Vanessa Mulberry has been reading and writing since she learnt to read and write. She has been an MM romance reader for a decade now and took up writing the genre because she loves happy endings and, ahem, happy endings. Her hobbies include Gin and Tonic.
She lives in Buckinghamshire (which is significantly less posh than it sounds) with her long-suffering husband and their adorable daughter.