Working On: Staying Sane

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I honestly can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post. I knew it had been awhile but REALLY?! A month? What I have I been doing with myself… Wait! I can actually answer that question this time. Really! Normally, these weird sabbaticals wind up with me returning with an embarrassed grin and little to say about my absence. But I do have answers this time.

  1. The Election – The election did one positive for me. It woke me up out of the dream state I had been living in for the past couple of years. I’ve been finding new ways to give back, donating more money than ever before, and wrapping my mind around how I can be the best ally to my loved ones that will need my support, not just for the next 4 years, but forever. To those people, I’m sorry that I’ve been sleeping. I am here now.
  2. National Novel Writing Month – Nov. 1st marked the beginning of yet another NaNoWriMo. If you know me well, you know that I typically engage in this insane challenge and pump out 50,000 words in a month. While that is challenging in its own way, it wasn’t what I needed this year. I tend to pump out a lot of work and then never touch it again. I abandon my writing. So this year I challenged myself to STICK with pieces, edit pieces, finalize pieces, and get to cracking on finished stuff to submit with wild abandon. It went well. I spent most of the month reading work from the past 3 years and finding the work worth keeping and moving forward.
  3. Emotionally Drained – If you didn’t know, I write mostly non-fiction. About my life. So the reading of ALL of my work for the month also meant I reflected on a lot of not so great parts of my life. I had to confront a lot of different demons (namely who I used to be) this past month and it was EXHAUSTING. But that was part of the work. And so I did it. That said, the last thing I wanted to do after reading my poor writing about my own life was share more of me– and that definitely meant I skipped the blog a lot.
  4. Holiday/Wedding/Birthday Circuit – This is the busiest time of the year for so many of us. Social obligations really ramp up, which leaves little time (or focus) on projects like these.
  5. Promotion – Work has been absolutely crazy as well. The promotion is going well but that means I am incredibly busy, most of the time.

So that is where I’ve been–mentally and physically– and it has proven to be a real challenge for me. Editing is slow work. I rarely feel as though I’ve made progress at the end of a working session these days. It’s so different than just pounding out whatever you want and then leaving it on a drive somewhere to grow moldy. My pieces are going to take a lot of readings and sessions to get them right. I’m learning such patience.

I’ve lost control over the organized part of my life since the beginning of November. My planner is in disarray, I barely know if I am coming or going, and I just try and do as much as I can with my head on straight and hope for the best with the rest of it. I know that this will all calm down after the holidays, and that I will be able to restructure my goals and my life. And I am clinging to that knowledge!

Tell me, how as your holiday season been going to so far? What’s something you’ve stopped doing because of it all? What are your plans to get back on track? I’d love to learn some new tactics for focusing around this time of year.

Until next time. (Which I hope is soon!)

 

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