I went away for a weekend without the family and had a lovely time catching up with several wonderful writer friends, and hanging out with one of my besties before, during and after her hens night. I left my computer at home and tried not to check in on any ‘work’ type stuff.
I think I really needed the break. I’ve come home feeling exhausted (it was a BUSY weekend with very little sleep!) but over-all, pretty upbeat, which is a nice thing for me. As some of you know I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety recently, but right now I can say that actually, I feel pretty darned good 🙂
However, that little bit of distance helped me realize a couple of things.
A) I have majorly over-committed myself. In my time of mental fog I’ve said yes to a lot of things, and the vast majority of those things then had their dates moved around (aka, pushed further back) which has meant my plans for the year are 100% out the window. It’s incredibly difficult to plan ones writing around other peoples deadlines when those times keep changing. I tend to work to a pretty good calender, but that’s not working right now because every time I make a plan that accommodates my stuff, it then gets bumped because I have work land on my desk. Yes, of course, I can fit things in around editing work, but it can be pretty hard to get motivated when things keep changing on you. I have decided to cut back big time on the work I do for free. I LOVE helping other people, but right now it’s costing me the ability to work on my own stuff, and that’s really important.
B) I’m not going to get Sun-Touched published in August. This was a really hard realization. It will be my first full novel release and I have to set back the dates. Again. I’ve been waiting until I had a nice clear spot to really give it some good attention. ‘Clear’ meant that I had the mental space (which I really haven’t had until recently, but hopefully am now reclaiming) as well as the time free from working on other peoples projects in order to give it some good attention. It hit me that even if I JUST knuckle down and edit for the next six weeks, I may not have that clear space. And I think I need a couple of months to do the book justice. Which means August just isn’t going to happen. I was really upset about this for a few minutes, but it was important, as it helped lead me to…
C) This is all my fault. Wait, don’t get shitty at me yet! I can’t control that other people have moving deadlines – we ALL have stuff that crops up in our lives. I CAN control how I respond to that. I CAN say no. And if I say YES, well then that’s on me. I like to be a woman of integrity, so when I say I am going to do something, then I will do it. But I have a choice in whether I say ‘yes’ and I need to learn to stop and really think about how I will respond before saying the first thing that crops into my head (which is generally ‘yes of course I will help you!’ lol). I can also choose to make some conditions on my agreement, like, ‘Yes, I can help, but I need to have it in my inbox no later than the 12th or I won’t be able to fit it in’ or ‘yes, I can, but not until next month’ or ‘yes, I can do that, but I need a months turnaround’. I don’t have to – NOR SHOULD I (caps for my benefit, not yours) – put my work on hold indefinitely in order to do things for everyone else. I am a priority too.
I know I made mention of that towards the start of the year. It got lost. I got lost. I let everything get on top of me again and stopped keeping that in mind. I won’t do that again. Or at least, I will try really hard not to. I even wrote on a postcard to remind myself. I’ll find something more pretty soon, but for now it will do. I am making a new plan now, and am shuffling around my projects so that I can still have a release in August.