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Thursday 13

I’ve always kept myself busy with work, church, the SCA, the Loopy Ladies Knitting Group, the Boucle Yarn Studio Sock Club, the Harry Potter Knitting Crochet House Cup, etc, etc … I’ve enjoyed doing those things (except work, but hey, gotta pay bills, right?) But lately I’ve felt like it was a chore. Something I had to do, not something I wanted to do for fun.

I am exhausted! I’ve written very little in the last six or eight weeks because I have so much other stuff going on that I can’t squeeze it in. I’m stressed and frustrated and tired.  It might be the pneumonia I had last March, or the stress from the expected flood, or Mom’s surgery in April or the stupid allergies that have taken over my sleep, but I don’t think that’s really it. I think it’s because I’m still living my life as I did before I became an author. I’m still spending my evenings and weekends helping others sew SCA garb,  working overtime, teaching people to knit, volunteering at church, etc, etc. But being a writer is really a second job. I can’t focus on writing and also do the things I used to.  Something has to change!

Here are 13 things I am going to STOP doing and START doing:

1. Stop imagining I have all the time in the world.

2. Stop working overtime. The money is nice, but I just can’t keep up.

3. Stop volunteering to do things when people don’t even ask me to do them.

4. Stop agreeing to do things when I am asked.

5. Stop feeling guilty for saying no.

6. Stop feeling like I have to attend knitting meetings/SCA meetings. (Not that I go to all of them now, but I feel like I SHOULD go and I feel guilty when I don’t)

7. Stop putting my writing second.

8. Start thinking of myself as a person with two jobs.

9. Start practicing saying “I’m sorry I can’t help you/attend that meeting. My time is booked.”

10. Start scheduling my writing time, just as a second job at McDonalds would have a schedule, and not changing it for any little thing.

11. Start scheduling “ME” time so I don’t get burned out. Reading for fun, going to a movie, getting a manicure, etc.

12. Start believing saying no and guarding my writing time doesn’t make me a bad or unloving or lazy person.

13. Start enjoying my life again.

Has anyone has to deal with this? Did you wake up one morning feeling like your life was a bullet train rushing off without you? What did you do?

12 Responses to Thursday 13

  • I’ve let my inner critic disrupt my writing so I’m frustrated but can’t really offer help to you. It sounds like you have a good plan, though. Best wishes!

  • I’ve been there, oh, yes… Stand up and let people know that you are a writer, dammit – and that means dedicating time to your craft, whether using it/honing it (writing) or studying it (reading).

    Just about all of us have gone through it – but until you declare it and own it for yourself, the struggle continues.

    You can do it!!! 🙂

    Happy TT – hang in there!

  • ***applause!***

    I’m going to stop eating junk food and start eating more fresh fruits and veggies. It helps that this is under doctor’s orders 🙂

    Good luck!

  • Oh, I am so with you here. I think I might even copy this and post it on my wall at home and mirror in the bathroom so I can see it every morning when I wake up as a reminder.

    Good luck! Happy T13!

  • That’s a great list, Maddy. I’m sure it will be hard at first, but it sounds like you’ve reached saturation point and something has to give if you want to continue writing. {{hugs}}

  • Accumulated stress is definitely not good for one’s health, but it sounds like you have a good, solid plan for cutting back. (((hugs)))

  • Stopping thinking I have all the time in the world is something I have to do, too.

  • Scheduling me time is really important. Sometimes I think we tend to try to multi-task too much instead of taking time to enjoy stuff.

  • Yes, I’ve been there. Your writing time is precious and you need to treat it as such.

    Saying no is the first step toward those writing goals.

    Janice~

  • I hope you get them all done…

  • Maddy, I feel your pain.

    I’m very much in the same boat as you. And I’m tired. Been doing a lot of soul searching and fretting. Multi-tasking almost to a fault. I ended up in the ER yesterday with severe chest pain. I think you are taking the right approach. It is so easy to forget sometimes that we have two JOBS, and that writing really does need to get a higher priority. Saying “no” is hard, but must be done. And most importantly? We have to remember to take the time to have guilt-free breaks and just enjoy life, like you said.

    You can do it. Good luck!

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