I think it was Oprah who said that the universe teaches us lessons and that if we don’t get the lesson the first time, the universe will amplify the message and hit you with it again. And again. Until you get it. Well, apparently the lesson I need to learn is balance and how to say “no”. Not just to other people, but to myself. All my life, I’ve been the “yes” girl. If someone asks me to do something, I go out of my way to get it done even if I don’t have time or have three thousand other things to do. I want to be helpful. I don’t want to miss any opportunities. I want to do it all!
But, here’s the thing: you can’t. Well, at least I can’t. I never realized how busy this job of being a writer is. I’m freaking amazed at those who can do it and hold down a full time job. I get 4-5 hours a day with my kidlet at school where I can work and I know that’s more than many get, but still I find myself harried. And part of this craziness and always being behind is because I say yes to too many things–yes, I’ll do a guest post; yes, I’ll write an extra novella in addition to two novels a year; yes, I’ll teach that class; yes, I’ll blog 5 days a week on my own site AND do a group blog. I say yes to those things because I love all of them, but it can just pile on and pile on until I’m drowning.
Part of this is my own scattered brain. I’m going to blame it on being a creative type (hey, I gotta use that excuse somewhere, right?). When I’m focused on a project, like writing a book, I have trouble paying attention to other things. My brain is wrapped up in another world. I’ll put a pot of water on to boil for tea and then not remember it until I hear the dry pot sizzling on the stove with all the water evaporated. Or my husband will ask me a question and even though I’m looking straight at him, I have no idea what he said. I call it writer brain.
And one of the weaknesses and strengths of my writer brain is that singular focus. It’s like the opposite of ADD–like obsession, but friendlier. It helps me write books and keeps me from giving up 20k into a 100k novel. But it also means that when I’m in writing mode, small things become big stressors. When I know I have this many blog posts due and this many emails to return and oh the group (for a blog like this) needs to decide on something and I need to prepare stuff for a conference–it starts to feel like I’m in the middle of Times Square and trying to look at everything at once. I can’t concentrate…on anything.
So, I’m learning that I have to streamline and not spread myself too thin. I am a wife and mother first, a writer second, and an everything else after that. If I keep piling on stuff from that third category, I won’t get anything done at all. Which is why I’m stepping down as a member of this blog. I LOVE this blog and the ladies here. And I learn something from every post. But I’m better suited to be a fan of it at this point than a regular contributor. I have to learn to tell myself no sometimes. And this is the start.
Maybe this will be the beginning of me finally learning this lesson.
I’ll still be blogging at my own site, so if you want to stop by, I’d love to see you.
I’m Roni Loren, or as I’m called ‘round these parts, No Drama Mama. I’ve been married for ten years and have a four-year old son, who has recently been diagnosed with high-functioning autism. My days are spent writing very sexy romances (my PC way of saying erotic),avoiding all things housework, and hanging out with a kidlet who I suspect is vastly smarter than I am. I secretly dream of having a life that looks like the pages of Real Simple magazine, but would settle for Sorta Decent if could get there. My daily goal is to keep the drama on the pages of my books and out of my life–I’m successful at least twenty percent of the time. www.roniloren.com