What’s with the camel? We have an adventurous Kiwi here here today. Shelley Munro is an established epublished author who shares some of the secrets of her success. Who’s Shelley? Here’s her bio:

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes romance in various genres for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. She enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes, suffers from a bad case of wanderlust and loves to read. Her recent release, The Spurned Viscountess is currently available at Carina Press. You can visit Shelley’s website at www.shelleymunro.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter. To keep up with all Shelley’s current news and to enter subscriber only contests subscribe to Shelley’s newsletter.

Recharging the Batteries

by Shelley Munro

The world we live in these days is a busy one. It’s full of stress and pressure to perform. We rush from our homes to work, deal with children and the hundred and one things that keep a household running. Some of you, like me, add writing to the equation.

I sold my first book in 2004 (check out Talking Dogs, Aliens and Purple People Eaters at Ellora’s Cave) and now, in 2010, I have a backlist of well over thirty books. I write quickly and admit to pushing myself. During 2010 I’ve added another seven books to my backlist, eight if I can get my butt in gear to finish the Christmas story I’m currently thinking about. That’s an incredible pace, but in the e-publishing world, I’m not unusual. I push myself to produce because I love writing, because having a backlist helps me earn a decent income and because I need to keep my name in front of readers. There is a load of competition out there! There’s a subtle pressure to perform because writing is my sole income. I complete a book and usually start another straight away. There’s one problem with the frantic pace though.

Burnout.

Burnout affects writers in different ways. We run out of ideas, lack focus and concentration or write a subpar book and collect a rejection. We writers aren’t alone with burnout. It happens in the business world and in the home as well, showing up as stress.

In order to cope with our busy lives we need to take time to recharge the batteries. So how do I recharge my batteries?

I swap hats and become a reader. I read books in lots of different romance genres. I read mysteries and the occasional thriller. I read non-fiction books on English history, self-help and recipe books.

Most days I try to step away from the computer and get some exercise. My husband and I go for a walk after dinner. I enjoy cycling and go for a bike ride whenever possible. On wet days I’ll turn on the Wii Fit. Anything to halt the dreaded “bottom spread”, which is something all writers need to watch out for.

Cooking and testing new recipes always relaxes me. I take photos of my finished products and post the recipes, photo and my experience with the recipe at my blog. Chocolate cake, Black Forest Muffins or Coconut Ice anyone? Recently I’ve been making my own bath bombs, which are perfect for a relaxing bath and an aromatherapy treatment all at once.

My husband enjoys watching television. Often we’ll watch movies, documentaries and TV shows together. My favorites at present are True Blood, Castle and Human Target. I’ve also been watching an amazing documentary on Yellowstone National Park.

This year we’ve started fostering dogs for the SPCA. So far we’ve fostered one puppy and playing with him was lots of fun – definitely a break from writing. I think we’re getting our second foster dog next month, and I’m looking forward to his or her arrival.

And finally, I’m a travel nut. I love to explore new places, either in New Zealand or elsewhere in the world. Armed with my camera and my sense of adventure, I indulge my yen to explore as often as possible. You can check out some of my photos at my website photo album.

The above things help me recharge. They definitely provide me with inspiration for new stories, even though I’m relaxing and chilling out at the time.

What are your favorite ways to recharge your batteries and boost inspiration for your writing?

Tia here–don’t forget, everyone who comments is automatically entered in my Amazon Review Drive Giveaway. My own response is in the comments.