Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Charlie Cochet’s Men & Mischief Monthly Author Column… Schedules and Self-Care

Charlie M & M

Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me today at Sinfully for my monthly column.

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The last few months have been challenging. Quite frankly I think this whole year has been challenging for most folks. Between my writing, home life, and unforeseen events like Hurricane Irma, this year has been somewhat stressful. In fact, a couple of months ago I was so stressed and pushed myself so hard that I actually injured myself without even realizing it. I was clenching my jaw so hard I ended up giving myself a horrible earache and joint inflammation in my jaw. I also had a huge flare up of arthritis in my right elbow which has now become a common occurrence when I’m at my computer for too long. I didn’t even know I had arthritis!

My writing was put on hold for the months of July, August, and September. Mostly I attended conferences, worked on revisions, and edits. Things are finally starting to move along and get back on track, but it once again knocked some sense into me, and reminded me how important self-care is for an author (for everyone, really). I admit that I could, and should be better at it. Which is funny, because I get upset with author friends who do what I do, telling them they shouldn’t be skipping meals, or that they should take breaks or weekends off. So why is it so hard for me to follow my own advice? I know how easy it is to get caught up in what you’re doing. Because of this, I’ve established routines to help me. Granted, there’s always a chance something’s going to pop up and throw a wrench in the works, but it’s up to me to sort it out and get back to the routine.

On a typical day, here’s a little breakdown of my schedule:

7 am – Let Olly out. Go for a morning walk. Check emails and mark time sensitive ones.

8 am – Give Olly his morning soup bone. Have breakfast. Turn on my PC. Add water and essential oils to my diffuser.

9 am to 12 pm – Write. This is my prime writing time.

12 pm to 1 pm – Skype lunch date with friends.

1 pm to 3 pm – Work on edits and whatever else is listed in the “Priorities” section of my planner.

3 pm to 4.30 pm – Work on website, or marketing/promotional graphics. Check emails.

4.30 pm to 5.30 pm – Dinner.

5.30 pm to 6 pm – Check my planner, and prep for the next day.

6 pm to 8 pm – Leave the office. Read.

8 pm to 10 pm – Have a cup of tea. Watch two of my TV shows.

10 pm – Bed time. I sleep with an infuser with some fab essential oils.

Weekends off.

Now this schedule has been fantastic for me, but it’s not been easy sticking to it. For instance, I prefer to get appointments and errands out of the way early in the morning, always have, but I’ve discovered my best writing time is in the morning. So, I’m having to force myself to get used to scheduling appointments and running errands in the afternoon after lunch. Because if something on my schedule gets delayed in the afternoon, that’s fine. Not being able to work on my website, or finish up some graphics, or even read isn’t a huge deal. I can get back to doing those things soon as I can, but continuously interrupting my prime writing time is not great. That time is precious, and I need to learn to guard it better.

Of course, there are times when my writing time might need to be extended. If I have a tight deadline, I’ve fallen behind, or something pops up out of the blue, I need to shuffle things around, and make writing a priority. Surprisingly, that’s been the biggest challenge of all. It’s easy to put everything before writing. Emails, to-do lists, marketing, promotion, social media, errands. Why? Because writing is hard. Very hard. It can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Some days it comes easy, some days you’re sitting in front of your computer and decide now would be a great time to reorganize your closet.

I never used to watch TV shows. I couldn’t fathom sitting down in front of the TV for an hour (I know, right? An hour), because that was time I could be working on something, writing, drawing, whatever. Unplugging has always been hard for me. Then I realized how important that hour or two of TV watching was for me. Not only was I able to relax and get lost for a couple of hours in some fun stories, but I was also learning about storytelling and characters. So now I have a weekly TV schedule of shows I watch. They make sure I unplug every night, and just relax.

I also made time to read. I love reading. Reading books is what made me want to write them, so how could I allow myself to get away with the excuse of not having time? If for some reason I can’t read at my scheduled time, I read for an hour before bed. An hour is better than nothing. If my schedule goes really wonky, I try to fit an hour in whenever I can, or listen to an audiobook on my morning walk. I also take the weekends off, and every month I drive up to my besties, and hang out with them for a few days. Conferences tend to wreak havoc with my schedule because of all the prep work leading up to one, and while I’m there I don’t write. I can’t get in that headspace unless it’s something like RWA annual conference which is completely different.

I’ve gone on for quite a bit, haven’t I? The point of all this is that whether you need a schedule, structure, or a routine to help you make the most out of your time, self-care, unplugging, relaxing is extremely important. Life can be pretty demanding, and we can easily get swept up in the storm, so it’s important to take care of yourself. To take a few minutes to just be, and do what makes you feel good, and recharge those batteries.

Do you find it difficult to wind down after a busy day? What do you do during your “me time”?

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Gummy Bears & Grenades (A THIRDS Novella)

by Charlie Cochet

gummy bears and grenades

Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press

Release Date ~ 4th October 2017

Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy,  Shifters

goodreads add to

Synopsis

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & Truein the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

Pre-Order Links

DreamspinnerPress

Amazon Global Link | Kobo | iBooks 

Read Chapter One

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Meet Charlie Cochet

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

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Giveaway

Each month, on our Author Column posts we will gift to one lucky commenter, a Kindle eBook from your TBR list.

Please leave your email address with your comment so we can contact you.

Good Luck!

15 comments:

  1. Me time always involves reading for me... Sometimes I do it in bed and fall sleep with my book on my hands, sometimes I just sit in my favourite armchair and spend a couple of hours with a book and a nice cup of tea. Having a bath, a glass of wine, long walks with my dog and cuddle sesions with my cat are some of my fav activities to help me wind down
    susanaperez7140(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. Can't wait for Gummy Bears and Grenades!
    jlshannon74 at gmail.com

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  3. Heck no, as soon as I walk through my door I feel the tension slide away...until the cats attack. Once I feed them I'm back to feeling more relaxed. Me time is usually reading and occasionally binge watching cable shows on DVD.

    acm05atjuno.com

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  4. I sometimes get lost in my reading and neglect other responsibilities!
    kathleenpower@comcast.net

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  5. Can't wait for Gummy Bears and Grenades!!! colby69@verizon.net

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  6. I love to get lost in reading when my children go to sleep and I can relax
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

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  7. Thanks for your post, Charlie. I agree that it is hard to get out of your comfort zone (like planning for me too), know what your good time is, and do your writing then. I too use to think tv time was a waste, but down time is necessary, and that's what I do, as well as read your wonderful novels. :-) - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

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  8. My "me" time almost always involves reading. Sometimes I watch tv but that is usually only on weekends. Reading is my #1 source of relaxation & entertainment.
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

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  9. Me time is usually spent with a glass of bourbon and a book or television.
    heath0043 at gmail dot com

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  10. Thanks for sharing your schedule with us. It sounds like a busy busy day. Looking forward for Gummy Bears and Grenades =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

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  11. My "me" time is reading, although some days just get away from me and I don't get to do much of it (which makes me crabby).

    Thanks for the post!

    jen(dot)f(at)mac(dot)com

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  12. My "me" time is spent reading with a cat on my lap. They always know when I am stressed or upset, and petting them has been proven to lower blood pressure, which is again becoming an issue for me after years of having it under control.

    What type of diffuser and oils do you use? I'm in the market for one, or a Lampe Berger oil lamp.

    Thanks for a great post. I'm going to save it to remember that a schedule works for me too, IF I stick to it and don't go too far astray.

    nick442.nrs@gmail.com

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  14. I truly do nothing but read for my "me time". I either read these books I've become so obsessed with, lol, or I read Manga. but I'm always reading. Other than that... I just browse the internet and watch scary stories videos on Youtube. lol...

    arella3173_loveless@yahoo(dot)com

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  15. I like to read and if I'm not in the mood for that, to watch a movie (a romance comedy) while I'm in bed.
    serena91291@gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete