Hello folks, been gone for awhile. Sorry about that. Life has been... hectic. When making my New Year's Resolutions, I had to ask myself what happened. You see, For the month of December I did not write a single word. Nope, not one. Not a shopping list, nothing.
But how? After all, I am a writer. How could I basically go an entire month without writing at all? Well, simply put, I lost my balance. In losing my balance, I became overwhelmed and suffered from major burnout. I got caught up in editing my friend Dawn Tevy's Book Angels and Warriors, while trying to get my children's book Royal Prince Vince published, my house became a mess.
Then the program I was using for my artwork wouldn't work for the physical copies. Dawn's release date got pushed back. One of my kids temporarily lost his humanity and began terrorizing the household. My husband hurt his back and needed an extra shove to get to graduation. One of my siblings said something insensitive and I sorta snapped.
I tried to tackle a major kitchen remodel (still, as of this post, incomplete). I went on a cleaning rampage (seriously, I spent six hours a day sometimes just cleaning my house.) If I couldn't fix my writing issues, then I was going to fix my family issues. When I failed on that front too, I sunk into a funk. I couldn't muster the energy to do much of anything. I worried myself sick with woulda, shoulda, coulda. I didn't want to do anything, not even read. (Yeah, it was pretty bad.)
After a few weeks of just going through the motions and taking a much needed mental break, I was able to sit back and evaluate what happened. There were a few different problems. The first, and largest, was simply that I had lost my balance. The whole idea, when my husband and I decided that I would work from home, was that working from home would allow me to be there for my family more. It would allow me to be able to be there for the crises that crop up. I was gonna be in charge of cleaning, because I have a much higher standard than my husband. Basically all the reasons any mom wants to work from home.
Knowing that I am a bit of a workaholic, I set up a system to ensure that I would not neglect my family in this venture. But a year later, with my agent contract running up without a decent offer, with my blog not making much money and with no bites on the other writing projects; I forgot about maintaining my balance and got in on some projects that might actually make me some money. I added weight to one side of my life without considering the consequences to the other parts. When I got overwhelmed with those projects, I looked up and realized I was too far to one side. Instead of letting go of one of those projects for a time, I dropped them all and threw myself completely into "fixing" the other end of my life. My mental image is of a Survivor challenge where they add the weights on either side. If you over-weight one side, then the player begins to list and will eventually fall out of the challenge. That is what I did. I fell out of the challenge.
The second problem was that I had too many tongs in too many fires and I could not juggle them all. I am not Super Woman. I need down time. I need fun time. I need to be able to focus, not run around like a chicken with my head cut off. (And if you are one of my close friends and I tell you "Of course I can handle it, I'm super woman" SLAP ME!! Seriously, in moments like this I realize I'm not; but in the long run, I keep forgetting!)
The third, and probably most common, problem is that other people had lost faith in me. Because of the words of a few insensitive (and not even close) people, I began to question the opinion of others who mean far too much to me. People who would never tell me they no longer believed in me. It is hard as an author. A lot of success is delayed. Heck, a lot of money is delayed! It takes time to write a good story. It takes time to shop that story around. It takes time to publish on your own. It takes time. I cannot judge my progress by other people's standards. I need to stop worrying about what others think and trust the ones I love to be honest with me.
As part of my New Year's Resolution, I will be cutting back on writing my blog. My goal is once a week, but at times I may need to publish less often. Next time I will be considerate enough to let you know in advance! Next week, we will talk about publishing!