Today I welcome Linda Lee Greene, author of two novels, Guardians and Other Angels, and Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams (co-authored with Debra Shiveley Welch), both rated 5 stars on Amazon. Linda has written a wonderful blog about burnout and how she deals with it – something I’m sure we can all relate to. So without further ado, here she is!
Recently I experienced a serious case of burnout, the worst one I’ve encountered in many years. It was linked to my obsessive online attendance since the release of my latest novel, Guardians and Other Angels in May 2012, a presence calculated almost wholly toward the marketing of my book. I took to heart the advice of my publicist. “A lack of a social media presence on your part each and every day translates to low book sales,” she said, and I believed her.
As a professional woman, I understand the importance of taking periodic breaks from work-life, and I approached this new venture with the idea that I would apply the same standards to it. But the thing about marketing on social media is that one thing leads to another, and then another, and still another and another and another, until you’ve created a mountain of responsibilities, culminating in an avalanche that smothers you. A further complication is that you get hooked on the people you get to know this way, fascinating people all over the world with whom you would never have a chance to interact otherwise, so pretty soon, not only are you marketing ceaselessly, but you’re also chatting like there’s no tomorrow! A still further complication is that the devices for all of this (laptops, cellphones, tablets, etc.) are all portable and go on vacation with you. The upshot is that never is a real hiatus possible!
After seven, intense months of this, I crashed. And I mean big time. Although my mind incessantly urged me to log on, I couldn’t do it because my soul had taken a powder, and it would not come back. You see, one of the things I’ve learned about my soul during my long tenure in this life, is that when I feel such fragmentation, what I’m really going through is a spiritual crisis. Inevitably, my soul is trying to tell me that it isn’t just fatigue that I’m experiencing. My cure isn’t only to put my feet up and read a good novel or watch some favorite DVDs, or to take my grandchildren to see the Christmas lights at the zoo, or to spend a weekend at a spa, or to go on a diet, or even to get a facelift. The bigger problem is that I’m on the wrong path, and no matter how many leisurely activities or cosmetic treatments in which I partake, my soul digs in and refuses to participate until, and unless, I also correct my course.
I call my soul “Koko,” which is short for “Kokopelli,” an ancient kachina, or spirit-being of Native Americans that predates the Meso-American ancestral pueblo people of the southwestern USA. He is a storyteller par excellence, as well as a hunchbacked dancer and a flutist, this aspect of him implying that in order to function at our peak, we must find our authentic rhythm, and once found, to follow it faithfully. In addition to these, and other, aspects, he is known for the tricks he plays. My soul emulates Kokopelli in so many ways, not the least of which are the ploys with which it manipulates me—ergo, its most recent one of turning, and keeping, me discontent until I found my natural rhythm again.
Henry David Thoreau has nothing on me when it comes to a love of solitude. I am, after all, an artist and a writer, two vocations that require long stretches of aloneness. Therefore, my natural rhythm is slower and quieter than the average bird. It is also essentially private. These are three qualities that seem antithetical to traditional practices in social media. The obvious unknown regarding my relationship with social media is how to continue to participate effectively in it in a way that will allow me to express myself genuinely and thoroughly while also pleasing my unhurried, calm, and reserved soul.
One of the things I’ve decided to believe about social media is that there is a way of using it that is well-suited to every type of personality. The trick for each of us is to develop one that is a good fit. I am also an interior designer, and if I can design a beautiful, comfortable, and functional home-setting for my clients, surely I can craft an online presence for myself that is better for me. At this juncture, the only thing I know for certain is that my strongest ally on my new path is the authentic Linda Lee Greene, and that our task is to dance together to our own rhythm despite possible risks and rewards. Koko will like that!
Linda Lee Greene was born in the farmhouse bedroom of her maternal grandparents located on the rim of the famous star-wound in Peebles, Adams County, Ohio, USA known the world over as the Great Serpent Mount Crater. Mother of a son and a daughter, and grandmother of two grandsons, she resides in Columbus, Ohio. An award-winning artist, an exhibition of some of her artwork can be viewed at www.gallery-llgreene.com.
In the year of 2000, Linda wrote the original draft of the murder mystery/historical novel, Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams, a manuscript that evolved into a co-authorship with Debra Shiveley Welch, and upon its release an Amazon best-seller. Greene has written two additional books in the Oma Mae Adams series, a murder mystery titled, “My ‘Aumakua” [In Hawaiian, “A Spirit Guide”], and a story of an expat-American who finds new meaning in life, as well as love, while on a spiritual odyssey in Australia, titled Garden of the Spirits of the Pots. Both books are in queue with her publisher and are slated for future release.
Linda’s current novel, Guardians and Other Angels has inspired two other books on which she is currently working, one of them a non-fiction sequel to the novel titled, “I Received Your Letter …,” as well as a book for young readers titled, Bussy Gaffin and His Champion Roosters.
Linda’s five-star rated novel, Guardians and Other Angels is at amzn.to/PUOXl9. You can find her Amazon Author Page at http://amazon.com/author/lindaleegreene. She would also welcome you as a friend on twitter at @LLGreeneAuthor. You can find her on Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn and other online sites.