Wednesday, March 26, 2014

All the Things

It's apparently burn-out week here at the league. I'm not quite in the state Skyla had hit, but I realized when a multitude of "other things" came in yesterday that I'm damn close.
You see, this maddening, wonderful thing happens after you've published a few books. People want you…for everything. Do these panels at a convention? Sure! Heck, you want to lead the literary track for this other convention? OMG, yes! Donate something to this awesome cause? Of course! Do this, that, and the other thing? Why not?
It is very difficult for someone with my personality type to say no. I want to help people and I feel honored when I'm asked. So I end up saying yes far too much. I say yes until it gets to the point where I'm sitting at my computer, trying to write, and all the other things come to a head and I end up sitting there and crying instead.
And that doesn't even take my writing into account.
This is the first time I've publicly acknowledged why I'm not on social media as much as I used to be. I simply don't have time. I've volunteered myself into a corner I'm desperately trying to claw my way out of. (To make matters worse, since my divorce, I've been big on the standing on my own two feet thing, so I don't ask for help. From anyone. )
I'm using myself as an example not so everyone does the "Poor Seleste" thing. I'm using myself as a cautionary tale, because I can see all those other things pushing me to the point that I also hate the writing. (Without the writing, I wouldn't be in this situation.) I've set myself up in a whirlwind custom designed to promote burn-out.

Don't do that to yourself.

Seriously, learn to say no. And then say it early and often.
"No, I can't have all the neighborhood kids over to my house."
"No, I can't critique your manuscript."
"No, I can't come to that book signing."
"No, I can't do that conference."
"No, as much as I'd love to, I can't do one more charity anything."
"No, I cannot do all the things, no matter how hard I try."

Say yes too, of course, but say it with care. They add up and multiply before you realize it, and then you're buried in yeses and can't see your way out. Figure out your limits and then, for goodness sake, don't push them all the time.

Now, I need to get back to all the things. I'm counting the days until I'm out of this corner and can breathe again--and I thank my lucky stars there was a time limit on most of my yeses.

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