As many of you know, I took a rare mini vacation from my blog last week. I was overwhelmed. I’ve posted several times recently about the difficulty I’ve had lately trying to maintain balance in my life. I’m still struggling.
At both my therapist and my pdoc suggested, I eliminated most of the obligations in my life so I could dedicate myself to writing. I made the decision to make it my full time vocation. Unfortunately, it seems to have created more anxiety rather than reduce it. At this point I have two short stories, a novel, and my blog posts all swirling around in my brain. I’ve tried to stay focused on the short stories for several reasons. First, they would help to build my resume. Second, while they do not bring much money, they are the quickest source of revenue at this time. Third, they would help me perfect my craft. However, the deadlines for the short story submission aren’t until the early part of next year, yet, the pressure of having a deadline at all is beating down on me.
Regarding the novel, I determined it is not time to push forward on such a long-shot. Wait until my writing improves. Work on it now and again as time permits. However, the ideas for the novel keep flooding out of my head. I have a Word file labeled “Ideas” which seems to double in size each week. In addition, the recorder on my phone is chock full of ideas that hit me while I’ve been out shopping, getting coffee, and so on. No matter how much I try to plug the holes in the dike, the ideas keep coming, making it difficult to focus on the other projects.
A couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with some members of a Los Angeles writers group. Their unanimous suggestion was to allow the novel ideas to come out and do it. If that’s where my brain wants to focus, then that’s where I should focus. Since that meeting, that is exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve been researching, logging ideas and generally stayed focused on the novel. I feel somewhat foolish to put so much effort into such a long shot. Then there’s a part of me that says to go for it. Who cares if it sells or not? Consider it training for writing projects in the future. And, hell, maybe it actually will sell. Stranger things have happened.
Amongst all this mess swirling in my brain, I am crystal clear on why I become more stressed when I think about writing short stories – deadlines. Deadlines easily cause panic attacks.
I must say that last week I seriously considered shutting down this blog. As much as I love to blog, I’ve also become overwhelmed by it. It’s another obligation that is causing much anxiety in my life. In addition to trying to post several posts each week, many of my articles require a substantial amount of research. In fact, I have a long expose coming up that I have spent months researching. After a discussion with my husband, Maurice, I have decided I’m not going anywhere. As he pointed out, this blog is what made me discover my love for writing, it doesn’t make sense to abandon it now. So, I’m here to stay, though I may not be posting as often.
So, that’s where I stand. I will continue to work on the novel, I will continue to write short stories, I will continue to write for my blog. I just may have to switch the priorities around when necessary.