If you're deep in the writerslife it can be hard to keep up with latest and greatest lessons for authors, but sometimes they're right in front of you.
A break and a change of scenery often brings space to breathe and clarity of thought. I do find that our family life provides regular lessons that I bring into our business. And this is especially true when we go away. Here I’ve shared my nuggets of learning from our brief escape out of the city.
1. You don’t know what you don’t know
Our kids have never been to the snow before. They have seen flakes on the ground once and that’s it. With a lighter than usual snowfall and covid restrictions sometimes it was harder to find a patch of snow for them to play in. At Thredbo we found a lump of ice, about 1m3 and they were stoked. They slid on it, built tunnels with sticks, and generally had the best time ever. They even created a little snowman.
Lesson: Others may not have the same expectations you do. Don’t push your pre-conceptions onto them.
2. Always bring your books
As we explored our holiday house and discovered a kids playroom, I was cursing my own lack of planning in not bringing a few copies of our books with us. Bringing your books wherever you go allows you to take advantage of opportunities such as:
- Social media photos
- Introductions and selling to bookstores
- Seeding copies as a surprise gift in holiday houses
- Meeting people who may help you and giving them your book
Lesson: A simple one - always bring your books!
3. Keep things simple and flexible
Travelling with children can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. It can be tempting to pack as much as possible into the days, to create amazing experiences with multiple things in one day. But kids sometimes just want to play. Our kids spent a whole morning playing hide and seek tip around our holiday house full of nooks and crannies. This effectively ruined my plans for the day as it greatly shortened our time out of the house. It was very frustrating that they weren’t on the same page as me. But they are still talking about the fun they had around the house.
Lesson: Listen to the vibe and roll with it. Everyone will have a better time.
4. Mistakes don’t destroy wins
We took a gamble based on our experience at one resort, that we could give the kids a quick go on boards and skis without a dedicated lift pass at a different resort. Our gamble did not pay off and they only had five minutes on the hill. This was disappointing for everyone. But the massive win for us was that the kids were excited and happy to give it a go. This means next time we go, we are one step ahead.
Lesson: Every mistake provides a lesson and a win, do not let fear stop you from diving in.
5. Social Media won’t disappear in a week
We had barely any mobile reception at our farm stay and no Wi-Fi. Talk about a forced slowdown. I generally use early mornings and late evenings to catch up on social media and stay in touch with people. Whilst I felt a little disconnected, very little changed over that week. So sometimes it’s worth stepping back for a minute and seeing whether your time investment on socials is worthwhile.
Lesson: Keep an eye on your time on social media and consider if it’s the best use of your time. What happens if you stop?
Where to Next
I hope this lighter piece has given you at least one a-ha moment. We do have a whole selection of free indie author guides and parent reading tips available for you to browse. Please do let me know if there’s a topic you’d like covered. We email our authors and our readers once a month with news and special offers, so please do sign up if you are interested. You can also see all our books in our shop. And of course you can find us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.