This blog is supposed to have an emphasis on writing, the writing life, and fantasy writing. It’s supposed to let fans and writers in on who we are and how we write and how we live. It’s supposed to be about our real lives and our fantasy worlds and characters. It’s supposed to be fun. Intellectually, I know that. But…
I think I made a mistake in volunteering to blog on Mondays. I thought that writing this blog would kick-start my week, force me to use my brain, and make me think about writing first thing. So far, that ain’t working too great. And the reason for that is not the blog itself, but that I have new project…
People who know me well, and the amount of stress I put on myself are rolling their eyes. To friends, the obvious question is – So what else is new?
There was a time when I pulled 94 hour weeks by writing one book a year, working (for the benefits) fulltime, being on the national board for Mystery Writers of America (MWA), and being the Regional President of Southeast Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA), and working with a small writing group four hours a week. After three years, stress got to me. I had to cut back.
I stopped my MWA and SEMWA work, and that freed up 20 hours a week, gave me free time and less stress, yea!!! At which point, I accepted contracts to that required me to write two books a year for three years. And I still kept the job. Back to 90+ hour weeks, more stress, yada, yada.
Those contracts are up in six months. So, now I want to change directions again – to get rid of stress, right? Riiight…. I am trying to develop a writing program for South Carolina’s most financially challenged, economically underprivileged, deprived schools, a program that will utilize commercially published writers to go into the schools that need it most: the ones with the highest dropout rate and the lowest test scores. And that means writing the program, testing it out, and getting grants to fund it for three years. Sigh…
I’ve been traveling and talking to VIPS in the state and creating the lesson plans and talking to South Carolina writers who might want to help. Meanwhile, I have two books and two short stories and the fiction for a role playing game to turn by June 1. And I’m still working fulltime. Oh… And I have this blog and three other blogs… Not complaining, mind you. I did it to myself. But here’s where this blog is going: Most writers I know are workaholics. That is the life of being a writer—working all the time, even when we are resting. But mostly not resting. Mostly filling our time with deadlines and tight schedules. On purpose.
Misty dances to relieve stress and because she loves it, and that means deadlines and more deadlines. Catie, like me, seems to accept contracts for more than one book a year. David has young children and travels a lot and is into music and photography. I bet you money we almost never lie in a hammock and sip a drink and watch the clouds go by. We forget to smell the roses – unless roses are written into a scene and we smell them in memory. We forget to rest and revive. We forget to do…well…do nothing.
I’m challenging myself right now, to pick one hour this week when I will do something restful and fun that is just for me. I’ll try to remember to tell you about next Monday. When I blog again. And hey, I just rediscovered how important this blog is to my week. So — do you guys (my fellow bloggers and our readers, too) ever do the hammock thing? What do you do that is restful, involves no deadlines, and restores your soul? Do you *ever* take a whole day off to do *nothing*? Just curious.