The art of being slightly overwhelmed

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I don’t know if most people’s lives follow the seasons, or if it’s just mine.  Winter tends to be productive, spring is for organizing, in summer all my planning goes out the window, and when autumn comes back around, I spend all my time trying to catch up and get ready for winter.

And now that I’m an author, years seem to move a little faster!

Some days, it feels like I’ve been running since dawn, only to find that by midnight I’ve still done basically nothing with my latest book.  Oh, I’ve met my word requirement for the day, but in the wrong book, by editing something else, or doing something behind the scenes.  And, of course, summer is when the readers are devouring the most books.

The kids are out of school, the road trips/flights get boring, and the time beside the pool is perfect for reading.  So, people want something new and invigorating to read.  But here I am, trying to clean up the messes I made as a novice, struggling to get out the next book in the series, helping a friend with her book, and hoping to catch a few minutes to build up my backlist so next year will be less hectic (or the year after that, or maybe later… but one day I will get there!)

And my aunt wants me to figure out how to find time to come visit her for a weekend?  My brother is doing a thing, and wants my input?  My best friend misses me and wants time to hang out.  Oh, right, and I have a husband, dogs, cats, horses, parents… AHHH!

I’m sure I’m not the only author who goes through this.  I also don’t think it’s my readers pushing me.  Nope, I’m the only person to blame here.  I always want to do more, do it faster and better, and do it bigger.  Considering I already write some hefty books, bigger might not be the best idea.  Ahem, anyway, my point is that I’m perpetually living in a state of minor rushing.

This became apparent yesterday for me.  You see, my husband and I have been renovating our home.  It’s just a little thing, but we gutted it and are rebuilding room by room, from the ground up.  Well, it was finally time to get living room furniture.  That means a trip outside the house, away from the keyboard and latest book, to SHOP!  (I should also probably mention how much I hate shopping.)

About 2 hours in, I’m like “I need to be writing!” because I’m actually an addict suffering withdrawal at this point, but I was making an effort.  Three hours in, I’m thinking that the pink sofa would do.  Four hours in and I wonder why this food thing is so important.  Can’t we just skip it?  Six hours after I left my house, with a truck filled with things I honestly needed and more scheduled to be delivered, I’m ready to bite something because… BOOK!

So my team (that would be a combined effort of my husband and best friend) get me home, help settle everything, and I FINALLY get to sit down and…

Crap, I don’t remember where I was.  What was I going to write?  Why can’t I find any words?!?

Four hours later, and my total word count is still atrocious – but I adulted!  I did grownup things, and socialized, and supposedly wasn’t even annoying to be around.  That’s a win, right?  Now, if I could just remember where I was…

*sigh*  Looks like I have to re-read this entire book from page 1 to remember what I was doing.  Yep, that’s another day lost.

Oh hey… But I remember what I was doing in that OTHER book that isn’t even on the release schedule.  And I had 4 new plot ideas while I was in the stores, and I just saw this awesome image that would make a great cover.  I need to get all of THAT done too (I really don’t, but my mind is convinced I do) and now here I am, re-reading the first paragraph in the book I’m trying to finish for the seventh time in a row, thinking about that time twenty years ago when I…

So, if you ever wonder why I’m a little bit frazzled, it’s because my brain makes twice as much (or more) work for me than anyone else ever could.  I’m constantly in a state of being slightly overwhelmed, and loving it.  For me, this is called inspiration.

And don’t worry, that book is still in progress.  So are 3 new ones.  Now if I could just stop thinking about them and finish this stinking paragraph!  Now you know why I can’t announce release dates ahead of time.  I’m my worst enemy, it seems.

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