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?