For many months I’ve felt a niggling sense of frustration, and it’s taken me this long to really come to the point where I can simply say “I stuffed up”. I say it quite honestly, with feeling, because I did stuff up. I have lost track of how many people I have let down, and so I just wanted to take a moment to apologise.
I take too many things on-board. I have a hard time saying no. I genuinely want to do everything I say yes to, but the reality is that things have been slipping through the cracks. Chunks of time get lost. Whole items on my mental to-do list disappear. If you’ve asked me to do something, read something, crit something, comment on something, write a review, and I never got back to you – I’m sorry. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s because life has crushed me this last year and I just couldn’t. I can’t keep on top of everything.
Some of you will remember that at the beginning of last year I stepped aside from a number of responsibilities – I became a regular member of Kiwi Writers instead of staff, I quit my proof reading job, I even stopped training to become a Lifeline Counsellor – because I simply could not keep up. Later in 2012 I declined a nomination for Secretary of SpecFicNZ as I’d held the position for a while but felt someone else could do a better job of it.
Yet here I am again, a whole year on, and I’m still feeling overwhelmed.
I’m really hopeful that THIS year I will be able to get on top of things. I have to get better at saying no. I have to find a way to carve out (and maintain) some solid blocks of time for myself (because, you know, I have value too. I’m finally getting to the point where I can say I’m also important). But it’s just so hard to say no! You all have such interesting books and stories and I want to see what you’re up to. I want to read that thing you had published. I want to write a review and tell people how great it is. There just isn’t enough time for everything though, and I have to make my own words a priority. I know well and truly that while it *seems* easier to work on everyone else’s novels, the thing that really feeds me is to work on mine.
Even if it’s harder, and makes me want to scream more often.
So, I am sorry. Sorry I didn’t email you back. Sorry I didn’t crit that thing in time. Sorry if when I did send comments they weren’t really what you were looking for, didn’t have enough information, entirely missed the point. I’m sorry if I stopped commenting so much on your blog. I’m sorry if I read your book, told you I’d review it and then it took me months to get around to following through. None of it was intentional.
Going forward, I am going to try to stop and think more carefully before I say yes. I’m going to figure out if I can genuinely find the time for it, and then I am going to base my decision on that. If I say no, it’s not because I don’t value you – I do. It’s simply because I genuinely just can’t commit and I don’t want to let you down.
I hate letting people down, it makes me feel icky inside. I don’t like feeling icky.
Right, feels good to get that off my chest. I hope you’ll forgive me.