I read something that saved me. Now maybe it’s because I’m An Independent Woman, and An Independant Woman thinks that we can do it all. We take care of the house, the paperwork, the car, the children, clip coupons, volunteer, read fine (and not so fine) literature, and, of course, have a career. While keeping in shape, cooking healthy, frugal meals for the family, and always being pleasant.
What do I look like, a psychopathic juggler? And when did I start grinding my teeth?
Frankly, my friends, I am overwhelmed. Six years ago, few people even knew what a blog was. Now we all have blogs. We HAVE to have blogs, especially if we’re writers. And a Twitter account. And Facebook, etc. We’re supposed to hit conferences and sprinkle the blogosphere with our charming witticisms and set up book signings and somewhere in this whirling insanity, we’re supposed to actually have time to write, edit, and query a novel? And see our families? I feel like everything is a choice. Write the blog or write my WIP. Read or play with my kids. When I take my kids to their plethora of doctor’s appointments, I’m thinking that, darn it, these four hours would have done wonders for my writing time. When I stay up late to write, I think that I really should be sleeping. When I’m sleeping…man, that’s it. I’m just dead to the world.
And then I read this post by Nathan Bransford and the hysteria subsided a bit. Somebody actually saying that you don’t have to do everything? Unheard of. But fantastic. Utterly fantastic.
Do you feel the pressure? How are you managing everything? Any advice for the rest of us?
There’s a motto that I enjoy: simplicity breeds exceptional.
Okay, that’s not really the motto. I’m breaking it down for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you take your lovely shears, and you cut middle-men some out of the equation before you get robbed of all your goods.
You focus on as few things as possible and become exceptional at them. That, Mercedes, is something you need to do. For yourself and for your family.
Crazy woman, trying to do everything. 😉
Correcting an error because it irks me: … some middle-men out out…”
There we are. I feel better now.
I was going to comment, but realized I had to start dinner for the kids, put laundry away, and sweep the kitchen floor. So I won’t comment.
Sorry to disappoint.
(I feel ya, though.)
I’m gonna be 44 years old the end of March. Not an old lady, mind you, but I’ve been around long enough to have met a few moms…LOL. My conclusion is this: The idea of the mom that does it all and does it all well all the time is a myth. There are great moms who do a lot but usually at varying times something’s got to give. Sometimes it may be work, sometimes housework and yes, sometimes the family. I remember reading an interview once with Michelle Pfeiffer. She said something like, “You can have it all but you can’t do it all.” I’ve always remembered that.
Women are their own worst enemies sometimes. We need to drop the guilt.
I say do what feels right. When I say right, I mean right in your soul. You just know it’s right.
I never let the social networking aspect of writing get in the way of actually writing. When it’s between one or the other, I choose writing.
Excellent advice from Mr. Bransford that makes me feel a little easier about ignoring my Facebook account – I don’t like the application so now I feel free to ignore it infinitum.
I’m lucky (or unlucky perhaps) that I don’t have that much to juggle. Yes, I work, blog, twitter and write, but I don’t have to manage the house so much and have no kids to juggle.
That was a great post, Mercedes, and good advice from Mr. Bransford.
When I first took writing classes in the early 90’s I was single and had oodles of spare time. I then got married, kept up the volunteer work, and then we had a child. Something had to give. As usually happens when work and ‘stuff’ piles up, the writing time diminishes.
Prioratize. Don’t try to be ‘Superwoman.’
Tis very good advice indeed. Thanks for the link.
Shad-Hmm, simplicity breed exceptional. I like it.
Simon-I was thinking about your “How do I comment on everybody’s blog?” post while I wrote this. I came across three or four such posts the same week. I think we’re all spread a little thin. Now excuse me while I clean the shower with a toothbrush and fix that knocking under the hood of my car.
Trish-Ha, I read your comments. You’re just wiser than I am. 🙂
KM-My soul tells me to stop stressing. I’m trying to deprogram.
J-You’re right. I don’t think that I use social networking with the intent to procrastinate, per se, because I do it because I truly enjoy it. But I’ll look up and notice that significant time has gone by. It also happens when I’m checking out ebay. And Etsy. And Billy Idol music videos.
Cate-Dude, I totally love Facebook! It’s easier to keep in contact via Facebook than blogging, at least to me. It’s fun. 🙂
Alan-It’s rare to have somebody say “give something up”. Usually they say, “Wake up an hour earlier” or “Schedule this better”. Letting something go is actually extremely freeing.
Danielle-It was an awesome post to stumble upon! Totally made my day.
Oh! I found something you would definitely be interested in Mercedes, and all other writers might be interested in:
There are more others (including Ellen Hopkins) who offer their royalties information:
Apparently, there’s a small movement for helping other writers gauge how much they should expect.