I’ve been a very bad girl lately. I haven’t vacuumed my house in two weeks, there are leaves scattered all around the yard, and I’m getting dressed for work out of a stack of clothing on the floor of my closet. My briefcase is filled with scraps of paper that have snippets of ideas scribbled on them, my kitchen counter is littered with cover designs for my next book, and my blog hasn’t been updated in WEEKS. I’m neglecting things that I ordinarily devote time to, and I’m feeling tremendous guilt that my priorities have changed so dramatically since I started to take this writing thing seriously.
I come home from my day job and play with the dog for a few minutes, kiss the husband, and rush to the computer to check my Amazon sales and reviews. Then, I try to have a few hours of normal life until I can’t stand the anticipation of writing SOMETHING. I drag the laptop out and get down to work for a while. If that doesn’t happen, I go to bed and plot the book in my head before falling asleep. I wake up and start the process all over again…neglecting things that are no longer important, and making a special effort for those things that are important.
The guilt piles up when I realize I have spent yet another day or evening writing with the dog beside me, only engaging in a game of fetch when I’m stuck or have hand cramps. My husband gives me an awesome amount of support (sometimes he checks my Amazon numbers and then gives me the report when I get home), he cooks dinner, and finds things to watch on television so he can quietly be with me while I write, write, write. I’m an incredibly lucky (and yet still guilty) girl.
So what has this taught me? That there are simply things that aren’t important to me at this point in time. There’s nothing bigger than the dog on the carpet, and I’ve yet to get my shoes stuck to anything on the hardwood floors, so vacuuming once or twice a month is fine. The leaves in the garden are a source of stress, so I’m doing away with two flower beds this year – there are only so many hours in a day and my old hobby of gardening has been replaced by my new hobby of writing. The piles of clothes on the closet floor have been there before, and I’m just getting through the change of seasonal clothing in a different manner.
It has also taught me that I focus on my dog when we’re playing. I’m so guilty that we don’t play every second when I’m home that I really give her my undivided attention when we do play. I go out of my way to check in with my husband because I’m so grateful for the support he gives me. The scraps of paper in the briefcase are being replaced with a notebook, the cover designs on the kitchen counter give me a reminder of why I’m working so hard to finish Destructive Magic, and my sales numbers also give me a boost.
I think I will hold on to the guilt for a little while longer. I’m growing and changing – that’s what we’re supposed to do in life. While I’m going through this process, I need to think about what’s important and jettison those things that aren’t. In all the years I kept a well vacuumed house, nobody ever wrote me a review on the internet…but someone did review my replacement task (Elementary Magic) and that feels much better than a perfectly fluffed carpet any day. Oh, and I almost forgot…I updated my blog…GO ME!