A note from me: When I first began full-time novel writing and was
forced challenged to build my Author Platform and blog immediately or die as soon as possible, this blog happened. I literally feel the angst and worry in my heart at that time! I want to tell you, it will get better. You will be okay. I’m living proof!
But this is how I felt then . . .
The racket was driving me mad. Or, madder, I should say.
With every new Hootsuite, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Triberr or LinkedIn tidbit shared by the multi-quadrillions, the sound increased. I covered my ears.
I yanked my hair until the roots (which needed a little color, I might add) ached.
My throat growls were more wild than civilized.
The noise reverberated in my wetware *brain* constantly.
What was it?
Swoosh! Kerplunk! Ping! Ahghhh!
Swoosh. The sound of a heavy rock hurling through the air.
Kerplunk. A rock falling dead to the ground.
Ping! A rock clipping the side, top or bottom of a target.
Ahghhh! Unhappy groan of a defeated rock thrower.
What in the world am I talking about?
Pretend you have a stack of rocks. The rocks represent:
DUTY, EFFORT, TOIL.
Several yards in front of you are a row of targets. The targets are:
- Writing bazillions of words. Making them brilliant, diverse, accurate, breathtakingly grand.
- Flitting effortlessly through the columns of Twitter (Triberr, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Tweetle-Dee-Dum) and the pages of Facebook like the flawless social-media mavens we are.
- Blogging like there’s no tomorrow. But there is a tomorrow. And another blog to write. If we write it, will readers even bother to come?
- Publicity, platform building, conferences, improving our craft, writing groups.
- Everything else in life!!
STRUGGLES! FRUSTRATION! WAILS! That was the racket I heard from my fellow bloggers, writers, and social-media pursuers. And in my own mind…
Fear that perhaps not all the blood, sweat and tears in the world would be enough to get us where we needed/wanted to be in our writing worlds.
Fear morphed into resentment – resentment into the sting of realizing the days of blissful writing by the sea or in a quaint mountain cabin with no worries about platform, social media, Google Analytics, Dashboards, etc. etc. etc. were gone forevermore.
“I must do something!”
I cried out, scaring my three Standard poodles and two rescue cats. And maybe my houseplants.
“I will invent an elixir to free the masses from this endless target-missing guilt!”
My eyeballs did socket circles as I conceived a name for the elixir.
SQUEEZE – the perfect name.
Why? Because my elixir would literally squeeze thirty-six hours effort from a mere twelve-hour exertion!
“Do not follow me!” I hoarsely commanded my pet entourage, retreating to my lab. I vowed never to emerge until SQUEEZE was ready to market.
I tore off my clothes and dressed in sackcloth. I sat in ashes and scratched my boils.
Wait. Sorry. That was Job, the Patriarch from the Bible. I get us mixed up sometimes.
Actually, I happened to glance out the window. Birds jabbed their beaks into my winter lawn. A crisp blue sky with pillow clouds winked at me.
Inside, my kitchen twinkled like an old friend. My houseplants seemed two shades greener than usual.
I am in charge of ME!
Who said I had to turn out 2,000 words by evening? It was my own Sunday afternoon goal. I set it. I could break it, couldn’t I?
If I wanted to take weekends (or a day or an hour or two weeks) off and be a regular human being, I could!
I shook my fist in the direction of my home office.
Do you hear me, blogs yet unwritten?
Do you hear me, Work in Progress?
Do you hear me, computer, you greedy gateway to the social media universe?
I am the one in charge of my schedule . . . NOT YOU!
I think I must have passed out after that. When I came to, I was making potato soup, jalapeño cornbread and coconut pound cake. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with family (who sort of remembered who I was). We ate, talked and watched one of the very long Lord of the Rings movies. The best part – no guilt!
It’s hard to hit a target with a lopsided rock. Balance your life, and you’ll hit the important targets straight on.
How do you keep balance in your life? Please share. We’d love to hear about it!