Monday 2 September 2013

I have a confession to make ...

I work too much. (who didn't know that, right?)

So, it's time for a "new season resolution": one personal project at a time.

On top of the day job, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Vine Leaves Press, and the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop, writing time is ... hard to find. But I DO find it. And I also find the time to BE AN INDIE AUTHOR. That does not just involve writing books, but managing all the other tasks a publisher, designer, typesetter, and publicist manage. As much as I love it, it can get exhausting.

So from now on I have decided to write, design, typeset, publish, and market ONE book at a time until all the major tasks involved with that book are complete. THEN I will start the next one. I can't handle the juggling anymore. I don't have a life beyond the computer. And I realized this while I was away this August. (Okay, I realized it earlier than that but chose to ignore it.) After a couple of weeks of not turning on my laptop, the thought of turning on my laptop made me feel sick to the stomach.

That's not a healthy reaction.

So, I am going to become a "healthy worker". And stop pushing myself to get more and more and more and more done. What have I got to prove? Nothing.

I'm going to limit myself to a certain amount of tasks, and when I find that spare time, I'm not going to start another project (which is what I usually do when I find myself twiddling my thumbs), but I'm going to step away from the desk and LIVE a LIFE that does not involve books or computers.

How about you?
Are you a workaholic?
Have you tried to step back from your work to live a little more? How did that work out for you?

PS: drop by this Wednesday to read a guest post by Karen Kondazian! Karen is an American award-winning actress and author. She has appeared as series regular lead in CBS’s Shannon and guest starred in over 50 television shows and films including, TNT’s James Dean with James Franco (dir. Mark Rydell), NYPD Blue, Frasier, Steal Big Steal Little with Alan Arkin, Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti, and played Kate Holliday in Showdown at OK-Corral (David Wolper’s award-winning series).

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  1. I've always been able to say no to things that would make me too busy. If I get to that point, I recognize it, and step out of that activity when it's done. I'm not the kind of person who can a zillion things at once. :) Good luck with the new season! You are amazing!

  2. I'm also one of those people who feels deeply unhappy when my attention is divided too many ways. After reading about "attention splatter," I now try to have fewer things on my to do lists each day. Better to work deeply on fewer projects than half-brained on dozens. Here's to healthier living!

  3. Hi Jess .. I'm so pleased for you -that you've taken the plunge .. just makes so much sense - we only have one life and it is for living (amongst other things) ...

    I do what I can do .. and probably could do more - but don't. Good luck and just relax and take life as it comes .. your work ethic is there and will remain so ...

    So pleased you had such a great time in Bulgaria .. cheers Hilary

  4. If you keep on, you will end up hating writing. You wouldn't want that. One at a time seems a good compromise. Besides, life is filled with fragile beauty, people who have short shelf-lives, and a world begging to be appreciated outside mortar walls. :-)

  5. I'm the same way with everything. I swear I have my hands in way too many pies to the point of being overwhelmed by the end of the day. So not only did I start drinking an all natural detox drink (lemons, cumcumbers, ginger, and mint leaves), I started meditation. My meditation is a bit different than the 'OM' version. I immerse myself in playtime with the pups or the woods several break times in a day. Suddenly I'm more relaxed and can think clearly without feeling rushed. (Hugs)Indigo

  6. Having suffered from burnout due to overwork—and I’m using the word ‘suffered’ in a literal sense here, let’s be clear—you have my blessing. When we’re young we think we’re impervious, that we can push our bodies and there will be little or no consequences but I can assure you, they push back. I was about your age when I had my third major bout of depression and I had no one else to blame bar myself. Looking back now I have no idea how I did what I did but I know what it did to me; I’m paying the price now. As soon as that third was over I just went back to the same old ways and when the fourth breakdown hit in my late forties it was a doozie. These days I struggle to task let alone multitask and this is me better. There are many writers and musicians especially who’ve burned bright, produced two or three books or albums, and then vanished in a puff of fame. Two or three is nothing. If they’d only slowed down and taken their time—say something major every four or five years—what might they have produced? Great things? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a gamble. You do what you can do. When I was thinking about going back to work I said to my daughter I was thinking about getting a part-time job to which she said, “You mean something where you only work forty hours a week?” So, yes, I was a workaholic. I still am one. I work every day. If I don’t I don’t know what to do with myself.


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