Lane Diamond

Author, Editor, Publisher, Coach

Tag: Random Musings

We Must Strike a Balance between Writing and Everything Else

If I may resort to a tired old cliché, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for some time now. As an author, I’m always desperate to find time to write, of course. Most of us, as authors, have one big problem to deal with in that regard: the day job. In my case, the day job is Publisher & Executive Editor at Evolved Publishing.

I have it easier than many, however, not having the added responsibility of a spouse and kids, as many of you do. My disadvantage is the sheer number of hours required each week by my day job, which is getting a wee bit nutso.

I scramble every day and every night to find time to get it all done. Yet despite this constant pressure—actually, because of it—I must break away on occasion to refresh. I do that in a couple different ways. I ride a bicycle to get some exercise, and to enjoy the outdoors. (Man! I really must get out of the cave once in a while.) My 20- to 30-mile rides through hilly terrain are always a physical grind, because I’m not just out cruising around—I push it hard. At other times, I just turn on the TV for an hour or two while I take a meal break, or kick on the stereo, crank up the volume, and sing along. Maybe I’ll just step outside and take a walk downtown, stop in at the local eatery, and enjoy some lunch and a beer (uh… that’s one beer).

The point is that I de-stress. Every time I do, I feel better, more energetic, and that makes me more productive. I get more work done as a result, more than I would if I took no breaks at all. That may seem counterintuitive, but I believe it to be true. Burnout is a dangerous thing in our business. It’s so easy to let the time commitment required to become a successful author overwhelm us. The process takes years, so when we grind away, trying to find a few hours here and a couple hours there to pursue those goals, we often become disheartened.

The first thing to do, I believe, is to accept our career goals for what they are. We can’t take shortcuts, which means compromising on quality of work, because that will kill our career before it even begins. Settle in. Accept that you’ve made a long-term commitment. The future will be bright.

The second thing to do is to treat your self to an occasional “mini-vacation” – two or three hours to refresh yourself. I recommend exercise first, as nothing will boost your energy quite that way. But whatever method you choose, don’t feel so pressured to complete that piece right this minute, that you burn yourself out in a devastating crash. Even if you can only eek out a half hour to exercise, do it! You’ll be a better, more productive writer for it.

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Newer Pictures of an Older Me, Family Visit, and Giants on Mini-Planes

I’m catching up now from the time I took off for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a slog, but I’m getting there.

One of the things I did was update this website, along with various social media sites where I play, with some new pictures. They show the newer, older me. Yikes! That’s okay.

My little sister, Dawn Lane Vornholt (aka Laney Bird), took the pictures while I was visiting her and Rich, her husband, in Georgia over the Thanksgiving holiday. She’s accustomed to taking pictures of beautiful things—mostly birds. I hope her camera survived the shock.

I hadn’t seen little sis in over three years, not counting our Skype conversations, so it was great to catch up. I also got to visit with Rich, a fun guy with a great sense of humor, and even his three daughters (from previous marriage), Hayley, Anna and Piper—good peeps, one and all. Rich and Dawn were exceedingly generous, and I had a great time.

I managed to meet up with my business partner, D.T. Conklin, while I was in Georgia. As fate would have it, he lives a little over an hour from my sister. We hammered out some business, enjoyed some good food and drink, and I met his lovely wife, Kesh. Don’t know what she sees in him, but… no accounting for taste. (Just kidding!)

I used to fly routinely on business and pleasure, jumping on planes dozens of times per year. The past few years, however, flying has been a rarity. Thank God! Man, I hate cattle cars… I mean airports. And I hate being a giant on those itty-bitty planes.


I mean… I must be a giant, since my right shoulder hung out in the aisle even as my left shoulder cozied-up with the person seated to my left. I wish they built planes for giants like me—you know, people who weigh more than 100 pounds. A few people on the plane were twice my size—well, twice my weight—and man, did I feel sorry for the people sitting next to them! No offense, big people, but that can’t be comfortable on a mini-plane. And I must have been on a mini-plane.

It’s also not a fun thing to land in a mini-plane when the wind is gusting to 60 MPH.

If I’m lucky, I won’t have to get on a plane for a while. I figure it will be at east a year, as plans now stand. Maybe by then, they’ll have built planes large enough to seat adults comfortably.

One can dream.

So now it’s back to the grind, to a workload that borders on insane. I swear, I’m busier than a one-winged bee at a honeycomb convention. Oh well, I guess that’s why I get the big bucks. Oh wait! Ahhhh… never mind.

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