Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Weapons of mass Om...

I'm exhausted. I realized that today on my walk. I. Am. Exhausted.

Once upon a time I wrote novels and I spit polished them and then I hunted for a publisher. While I hunted and submitted and waited (and waited and waited) I wrote other stuff. That pattern worked and it felt kinetic but boy was it not as hectic as I thought. Not really.

Right now I'm racing along on a novel that's due ASAHP (as soon as humanly possible) which is actually July. But I need it out of here before July to do the next one. And the next one. Already promised to publishers.

And I'm soooooo grateful that that is the case but...as I realized...I'm tired.

I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I mean, I cannot stop writing. And I really don't want to. I feel lost when I don't write. But what I'm trying to figure out is a more elegant, more graceful, more calm way to deal with the craziness and the work load.

There are days that I am all: I have got this! I've totally got this! And often those days come with about 4,000 words of book. And then there are days that I'm like: Fucking stop the world I want to get off. I'm going to nap for a year.

So you, yes you, do you have any weapons of mass Om for me? Any tips to share with a frenzied writer like me who is over the moon that she gets to do this for a living but some days feels so overwhelmed she wants to lie down on the floor and shut her eyes and not move?

I love my job. I adore it. I am so blessed. But I am also sort of a little burnt out from the non-stop pace I keep myself on. I need to find my balance. And sometimes balance comes from asking for help. Asking advice.

I think this was the year (I'll have to check with the man) that I said I was going old school. I was going to write the books and then figure out where they went instead of signing on for them. But hey, a girl can't say no when offered good things. And good things were offered. This is a job and you do not turn down chances to secure food on the table for your kids.

But a girl also needs to find her fucking Zen.

I'd love to hear from you! Tell me your Om secrets. And wish me luck as I try to wrap up the current book I'm working on. I love it so much it hurts :)

[As an aside, I almost deleted this three times because the type A, very hard on myself part of me feels it makes me look weak and whiny. But it's sincere and it's something I think a lot of self-employed people experience whether they're writers or daycare or cupcake bakers. So I'm going to force my anal, self critical self to leave it up here. Om...]


photo credit: Swami Stream via photopin cc


  1. I never contract anything to anyone until it's finished and I'm happy with it. I was about to say "but that's because publishers/editors never ask me for anything" and then I realized that isn't true. They ask me for novels all the time, but those requests sort of pass by under the radar because it takes me a long time to write a novel and I'll deal with the publishing end when it's finished.

  2. I have no secrets for OM. The truth is I’m probably too relaxed. I don’t have the sense of urgency I should about my craft. It’s self doubts that plague me, wondering if I’m good enough to make a living at this. So instead of honing my skills, I watch television, or read. And when the snippets start forming in my head, there are times I let them stay there for days.

    My advice is this though – write down a list of things that relax you, things that take you out of your head and away from all the cray-cray. :P Hot bubble baths, a glass of wine with the man, a good all-out run without his fatness, a play date with yourself at the park. Then take time to check off one of those things per day – maybe two if you’re super stressed.

    Be a kid again, even if it’s for an hour.

    Hope this helps. We don’t need you self-destructing (unless we can find the Doctor to put you back together again).

  3. I'm dealing with this too. Not so much because people are begging me for projects, but because I don't have a stop button. Thanks for being so honest and I might take the advice other people put up here too.

  4. Thanks for weighing in, all. I've even gotten emails :) I think we're all trying to figure out the Om ;)

  5. I can give my om, but it's a pretty simple line from Finding Nemo: Just keep swimming.

    I also grew up with my mother saying "anything is doable when broken into a small enough piece." Which is related to the first since one sentence because two becomes four.

    And, the only other thing I can suggest comes from one my best friends who was getting her Ph.D. in the dynamics of BDSM couples: Take a deep breath. It is almost impossible to panic while breathing deeply.

    And just know, we all love you.

  6. Boy do I empathize, Sommer!


    I'm still working on my Om assenal.


    Ok...I'm not fixing that typo. That works for me. I like it. I'm keeping it!

    Anywho. You know my current juggling act and Om is something that is definitely challenging! Usually if I'm lucky I get the O...sometimes it's more of an Oh Fuck rather than Ommm...

    But..when I do get my Om on it's when I can manage this:

    I allow myself me time. For me it's starting my day with my Morning Pages(The Artist's Way isn't for everyone, but it does work for me). Then I take lunch. My first lesson in this was actually while "working for the man". It was a slap-your-forehead kind of moment as I sat at my desk, eating my lunch and working and watched my coworkers pack up theirs along with their smokes and head out the door.

    I used to smoke, too. Once I gave it some thought I realized what I missed about smoking when my stress levels rose. I knew I'd start to think about the act of smoking, but in truth it was the act of escaping that I was thinking about. I couldn't smoke at my desk. I rarely smoked in the house, either. Always my craving for my old nemesis came when I was in a stressful environment where I needed to get away.

    So, I take a lunch break. Make myself a pretty plate, sit on the porch if the weather's nice or do something else enjoyable if it's not. Anything that isn't work.

    And I define the end of my work day. I am done at such-and-such a time. Today that might be 4pm. Tomorrow that might be 6pm. Next Tuesday it could be 10pm. Hell, I'm responsible for my own schedule, so I can make it, so long as _I make it_. Having an endless day is grueling. Allowing myself an open-ended day where I go back to work at any time means I never shut my brain off.

    That doesn't mean I don't come back to my computer sometimes at 9:35 with some blast of inspiration. But, if I can get away with it, I write done the bare essentials and leave them for morning.

    Ok. That got long-winded. Sorry about that :)



  7. Made my first tentative steps today. Did my pages, turned some stuff in, put the computer down. Even got a house project started I've been wanting to but have been too chained to the computer to start. Baby steps! ;)

    Love assenal...lol


  8. t'Sade...I shall keep swimming. And I like the idea of the seemingly impossible is possible in small bites. Smart mom you have! ;) <3



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