Hey lovely people! My vlog post ended up coming a week late, because I caught the flu. Sigh. Really complicated everything. It’s finally done, though, so I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
Going off of the comments I got last time, I decided to keep posting my script below the video for those of you who prefer to read.
I want to talk about a really understated bit of advice that can be vital to your survival as a writer. Namely: That sometimes, you just need to step back, take your foot off the gas pedal.
As you might know from my more recent vlog updates, things haven’t been going well with me lately. Basically, nothing has been quite going my way since 2014, but that was okay, because I was taught that old truism that we all get fed with mother’s milk:
Turns out not so much.
See, in the years since 2014, I’d worked 16 hour days, often more in order to do more, and I’d do that until I was on the edge of breaking emotionally. I never stopped writing. Never stopped building at businesses and marketing and literally anything that I *knew* would get me ahead.
And it just kept feeling like everything was turning to dust under my feet.
The worst part? None of the hours I’d spent, of the health I’d risked, of the life I’d postponed… none of it actually meant anything.
Because there are always assholes out to get you. And they will steal your life and your hours of work and your very soul if they can, just to benefit themselves.
So yeah. After relentlessly pushing myself for almost four years, there came a point where I just…couldn’t. Not going to go into detail, but I came to the point where I was so exhausted that I couldn’t fight anymore.
I couldn’t keep acting like everything was okay and that it was business as usual, because it wasn’t.
And so, I pulled back. From as much as I could. Obviously there are some commitments you can’t avoid without incurring long-term damage, but if there was something I could leave with a cost I could tolerate, I did it.
This sadly included my writing, because the stresses of my life had basically drained my creativity. So instead of forcing myself to write, I forced myself not to. Instead, I spent my writing hours doing needlepoint or crocheting. Anything with an almost mindless, repetitive motion.
What this did was it allowed me to grieve. It allowed me to feel. It let me process my pain and frustration instead of allowing me to suppress them like I’d been doing for years. It put me in a place where I could regain some perspective. Where I could look at the problems and at least get to the point where I could see the value in the things I was doing again.
And that’s probably the most important thing about stepping back. When we’re writers, we basically take on an extra job, and when we’re published, marketing that book becomes another job. Which means that it’s go go go go all the time with no stopping, and when things aren’t going as well as they should, it’s so easy to be overwhelmed. It’s too easy to lose the meaning of what we’re doing in the mad rush to get it all done.
So it becomes imperative that we step back and breathe at least for a few days, just to regain a sense of balance before taking everything on again.
What do you do to recharge when you’re pulling back?