What Comes First, Redux

I’ve been tired, slogging through the days. Zombie-shuffling down hallways. Walking into walls—literally. Forgetting things people tell me. Shocked I haven’t made more mistakes.

A big, monumental decision came last week. I’d really set myself up for a fall—I’d hung on to this dayjob that hasn’t laid me off yet while at the same time pursuing writing projects, just-in-case, plus freelance on top of that, and I crashed. I used to be able to work full-time, write work-for-hire novels, and do freelance proofreading and copyediting on the side, but, I don’t know, I guess I’ve just gotten older and there are things I can’t handle anymore. Or maybe it’s knowing all that I would be giving up if I took on so much on top of my full-time job. I wouldn’t be able to write my own new novel. Where would I find the time?

I knew all this, but I buried it. I kept on. I thought I was getting sick, like something serious. My stress had grabbed hold of me physically. The headaches, the heaviness, the blurs. But then, when I admitted the truth to myself (to my husband, to my mom), I felt so much better. I couldn’t do it, not everything I’d said I’d do. Something had to give.

So I took myself out of the running for one work-for-hire novel project. Postponed a meeting about another. And, on Friday, I turned down one more work-for-hire crash writing project that would have left me breathless through mid-April. Of course, after last night and seeing how much we owe in taxes this year, I am regretting the loss of those paychecks, but…

Fact is…

I want my life to have meaning. I don’t want all the regrets. I have these realizations over and over, and yet I keep making the same mistakes. But no one is going to give me the time to write this novel. I will not get a big fat check to make this possible. I can’t even apply to a writers colony right now because I don’t have enough vacation time at work. I will have to work harder than I ever have to do this, and I’m all on my own with it. But that doesn’t mean I should give up!

So I’m back. I turned in my last freelance project yesterday morning. All that lies ahead are the hundreds of pages I have to write. Daunting? Yes. Frightening? Yes. Buckets of doubt raining down on my head? Oh my, yes.

Still gonna try though. I can’t handle as much as I used to, so I have to be even more focused with my priorities: E, novel, dayjob. That’s it.

Something heartening happened this week that’s helping to keep me afloat. I showed my last novel, DANI, to a couple of people. The response! I am so happy by what was said! Thank you to those friends who read it! Sometimes a good word can keep you going for months. I’m taking this one and running with it…

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