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Updated: Nov 18, 2018

The volume of my distractions never ceases to surprise me.

Currently, I’m supposed to be talking to my boyfriend about book cover designers – I’ve emailed roughly a dozen in the last week and responses are now trickling in – but I’m busy clicking away digital Stop & Shop coupons. I'd like to brush this off, but it helps my family save money. Obviously, important.

Not that talking about designers isn’t important, but life gets in the way of business.

I’m okay with this because all too often business gets in the way of life.

I sacrificed a lot while I was writing and editing If I Let You Go:

  • I regularly got 6-7 hours of sleep a night; even less the closer I got to reaching a milestone.

  • For a lot of the writing process I worked 50+ hour weeks at my day job - not including the commute - then came home to write. It felt masochistic at times.

  • I didn’t exercise a whole lot, even when I had the motivation. It was like, “Okay, do I feel like writing with what energy I have, or torturing myself with the Nike Fit Club app?” I can write a book faster than I can shed my donut.

  • I stopped reading much. I was able to keep with my one book a month goal up until recently (I’m 2 books behind). I have a stack to read that’s going to take me into my early 40s.

  • I’ve parted with about $500 or more in cash just buying ISBNs and setting up my God-awful website (edit: I've since spent even more money to make my website very much not God-awful). I’m bound to part with about $500+ more just in designing the cover. I pray that I can format everything myself.

There are authors out there who sacrifice a lot more than I do. Some have kids they spend less time with, spouses who feel jealous about the dedication of time… I met one person who quit their day job, rented a cabin in the woods, and went to town on a book while doing a podcast during downtime.

It’s okay to take a break from writing to go out or work out or read a few chapters of a book. I'm a heavily motivated, occasionally tunnel-visioned person, so I'm working on making a better effort to actually pull myself away from writing a bit.

Honestly, real-life experiences make people more worldly, knowledgeable individuals with the perspective to write more effectively.

Not only that, but being glued to one task can burn you out. This is something I need to keep in mind when working on my next project. Distractions can be good.

In the time I’ve spent clicking grocery coupons and writing this blog post, I've finally narrowed it down to three designers. More realistically, two. Several haven’t responded yet, but that’s okay – there’s time.

One issue I’m struggling with on the subject book covers – do I hire an illustrator, or just go for a designer with advanced photo manipulation skills? I see a lot of stock images on book covers on Amazon and it's never left a good impression on me.

Do you guys prefer illustrated book covers?

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