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...]

XOXO
Sommer

photo credit: Swami Stream via photopin cc

8 comments:

  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.

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  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).

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  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.

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

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  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.

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  6. Boy do I empathize, Sommer!

    Ommmmmm.....

    I'm still working on my Om assenal.

    *blink*

    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 :)

    Ommmmmmmm.....

    ~A

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  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

    Xoxo
    S

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  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

    Xoxo

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What sayest thou?