Time this week has not been my friend. Getting back into tutoring shifts, preparing for some travel, starting dance competition season, etc have absolutely taken over and working toward my goals has taken a serious back seat. This is a huge issue and the most important thing I can do to work through it, is recognize it.
I was getting frustrated because I hadn’t started revising the manuscript I’m working on this month or started critiquing my peer critique partner’s manuscript. My frustration started growing into anxiety and all of that fueled that critical, ugly voice that has a tendency to rear her ugly head when I’m feeling vulnerable. I started hearing “you’re not good enough for this” and “you can’t get this done” and my least favorite “you’ll never be published” whispered nastily when I was trying to fall asleep at night after yet again not having found even a twenty minute chunk of time to dedicate to my work. After a couple of restless nights, I forced myself (while I was doing dishes or driving to preschool drop off) to silence that voice by recognizing what was happening. I reminded myself that I’d just started working tutoring shifts again. We had my oldest daughter’s first dance competition (and I successfully mastered a Dutch braid, which was no easy feat.) My toddler had been having some rough nights sleep. None of those things negate my ability to get this done or to see my dream through to publishing. And none of this, nothing, makes me less than good enough.
It’s an incredibly important thing to step back and recognize that even when I’ve got the full motivation and dedication to get work done, there will be times when I can’t get as much done as I want to, and that is ok. That is part of this whole journey. Life does not take a backseat to anything. This whole journey happens together. After I recognized where I was at and what was happening, I was able to silence that inner critic and release some of the anxiety. I did take my manuscript into the dance studio with me and start making notes on the first couple of chapters. I’m going to start on my peer critique partner’s manuscript this weekend. Now that I’ve got my feet back under me a little and I’m feeling more comfortable with what’s going on (seriously, mastering a Dutch braid made me feel like a fierce dance mom warrior) my brain has freed up space to take on heavy story revision thinking thoughts. 😁
How do you handle the frustration and anxiety of not getting as much work done as you want? What helps the most in working through that?
That is a full load! I often have the opposite problem, where I have plenty of time but no focus. It helps for me to schedule in my time to write to make sure it gets done, but other times I have to forgive myself, since writing is currently my side-hustle and I am working full-time – to let myself just go home and relax instead of feeling like I have to be doing something about my writing is really hard. I’ve found that even scheduling as little as 20 minutes makes me feel more productive. Until we’re all full-time writers it’s definitely going to be a balancing act where some weeks are harder than others to work on writing goals.
If it helps at all – I haven’t start reading your ms either! (I plan to start today though… I’m so looking forward to it!)
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Yes! I try to remember that too- that allowing time to relax and not work is just as important as the time needed to work. It makes me feel good to know I’m not alone in not starting! I will be this week for sure! 🙂
I sometimes wish there was an extra day in the week all to myself! I’m lucky that I get out of work early most days. But lately I’ve been working double shifts on my shortest day… not good for creating free time for writing!!! Good luck and keep me posted!
So true! I can only imagine all the extra I would get done with another day in the week. 🙂 I’m so excited for the full manuscript critiques!
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