Monday, November 17, 2014

I Got Nothin'

I tried this, and it works

So I skipped a post last week, as I was out of town on business. My day job is very demanding, and I just didn't have time to publish a post before I got on the plane.

I was in Kalamazoo, Michigan (yes it's a real place) from Monday through Friday night. During my time there, I had very little time to write. I tried my very best, but it was just not to be. With each passing day, I saw my wordcount stall. And my stats showed that it would be damn near the 4th of July when I'd hit 50,000 words.

Not totally accurate, but it's not looking good, folks.

I'm such a Type-A, and I think all the stuff going on in my life is taking its toll. I had TWO books published in September, and then I had author events every weekend through October. The day job is also kicking my arse. All of this stress is actually manifesting itself physically.

I quit!!!
I don't mean to gross you out, but I get horrible canker sores when I'm stressed. Lets just say I had to stay away from orange juice for a week, and today is the first day I can actually eat a handful of peanuts and not feel like I'm chewing glass.

I'm not a quitter. And I hate losing. But I think I have to throw up the white flag.

So for the sake of my sanity, I'm not going to kill myself to get 50,000 words in before the end of the month. Instead, I think I'm just going to write whenever I have the time and energy.

If you take American commercialism as gospel, it's been Christmas for nearly three weeks already. But, the holidays are right around the corner. In fact, everything in St. Louis is covered in snow. I think I'm going to slow things down and enjoy the holidays without deadlines and tough goals hanging like a dark cloud over my head.

Christmastime is already stressful as it is, right?

How about you? Stress creeping into your life? What do you do to handle it? Is this time of year tough for you too?
I'm gonna be like Ang

I hope to just take it easy, visit all of your blogs, and try to get myself centered for the duration of 2014.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No need to kill yourself. Just write to enjoy it.
I envy your snow.
And I think it's been Christmas since September here.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Stress is always trying to rise piggyback. Three inches of snow stresses me out.

I didn't post last week either. I was on a writing roll and stayed with it.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Take care of yourself, Jay - that should be your most important goal. I still don't miss the cold and the snow but you enjoy it. :)

jaybird said...

Nothing grosses me out anymore- I am a mom. And man, do canker sores suck! Not only do they hurt but they look nasty too. Here's a little mom tip- if the sores are inside your mouth, eating a couple of Tums helps cut down on the acid and speeds up the healing process. Sorry to hear that the stress is getting to you. Nothing should come before your health and well being.

My girls and I have a rule- we don't acknowledge any Christmas shopping or decorations until AFTER Thanksgiving. It pisses me off to see Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween. My life is so nutso busy I need to take things ONE day at a time, much less feel pressure about Christmas two months in advance.

Take it easy Jay- the holidays are to be enjoyed, not stressed over! Take a break. Read a few good books and relax. It's all good.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I'm type A and always juggling way more than I should. Take care of your body and ease back on the stress and pressure.

DEZMOND said...

wish someone could invent a pill against stress :) and I don't mean a sedative but something that erases the causes of stress :)

Pat Hatt said...

If it is causing tons of stress and nasty canker sores, hate those, time to take a break indeed

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Since I started writing full time, about 90% of my stress is self-imposed like yours. I love this time of year and will be dialing back my writing goals for family time.

Jay Noel said...

Alex: The snow is pretty, but the power outages from ice and roads getting shut down is not so fun.

Madeline: I enjoy it when I don't have to be anywhere!

Teresa: I remember a time when a bunch of snow was something to rejoice. It's been a LONG time since.

jaybird: The Tums-thing worked. Just did it. Ahhhh....relief. Thanks. Our house is Christmas free until the night of Thanksgiving. After dinner, it's time to unleash the reindeer.

Jay Noel said...

Diane: My body is saying, "Stop!" So I guess I will.

Dez: I'd take that pill in a heartbeat!

Pat: Yeah. I've had two bouts of them in the last four weeks. Not good.

Susan: It's tough trying to do the writing-thing and still put food on the table as the breadwinner. Plus, my job is tough. Can't just clock in/out. Gotta be 110% all the time.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I find this time of year to be very stressful both financially and emotionally. I actually hate Christmas, but I manage to get through it every year. I hope one day to have enough money that it becomes something I can put on autopilot and take a nice vacation somewhere warm and not even think about it all.

Emily R. King said...

You are a wonder, Jay. You do all that and still blog. I am MIND-BOGGLED!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

My post today is all about de-stressing in a way. 'Tis a stressful season and you've got the right idea. No reason to add more pressure!

Sarah Foster said...

I think it's probably best to throw in the towel on NaNoWriMo. It doesn't mean you have to stop writing the book, obviously. Just do it on your own time.

Jay Noel said...

Michael: I still love the holidays, especially spending time with the kids, but it can get too crazy. I've been pulling out of the commercialism aspect of it a little more every year.

Emily: I"m a wonder, because I'm often wondering what I've gotten myself into!

Holly: Yes. Nothing like fun storytelling to de-stress

Sarah: Yup. My monkey has raised the white flag.

Robin said...

Jay ~ I don't think we write our best when it is all about word count. Stress is a very real thing that absolutely will manifest in your body. It is also trying to tell you something... quit it. If you don't, I will make things very painful for you in here. So, I am for slowing down and enjoying the holidays.

Jay Noel said...

You're right, Robin. Gotta listen to the body. I'm not very good at relaxing. I'm probably going to hit the gym tomorrow to let off some steam.

Lexa Cain said...

I'm glad a sane head has prevailed. There's too much stress in the world already. And so many times our work-work-work mentality does't lead to as much of a payoff as we expected. Stay sane, Jay!

Beth Ellyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Ellyn Summer said...

Hang in there! whenever I get overly stressed out I just try and remember to take some time for myself. If I want to watch some Wheel of Fortune or have a dance party or whatever...just make sure to relax. As for NaNo, the best thing about writing is we can do it any month! No worries!

Tammy Theriault said...

yes but those photos on fb of you and your babe was amazing!! you'll get you're stride back :)

Cynthia said...

Hang in there! Have you tried Canker Cover? It works best when you put it on right at the onset of a sore.

Carol Kilgore said...

I hear you loud and clear! I get physical manifestations from stress, too. Taking time for myself is so hard, but definitely worth it. I rarely work much at night anymore, and I have to take breaks 2-3 times a year, with a few separate Me Days in between. I also take a couple of necessary blog breaks every year. I don't do NaNo because this time of year is crazy enough. Although I started on a new project this month, I haven't gotten very far.

Mark Noce said...

Good to be like Ang:) You will do what you are mean to do exactly when you are meant to do it.

G. B. Miller said...

Work has definitely seeped so much into every aspect of my life that I often don't know whether I'm coming or going. It has taken a very bad toll on both my blogging and writing.


Father Nature's Corner

Stephanie Faris said...

All the book release promotion can take its toll, especially when you have a day job to do! I didn't find events really helped me all that much, so I'm minimizing those and doing more online promotion, mostly because my freelance writing business is now taking up about 60 hours a week and I have to work fiction-writing into that, too. There are only so many hours in the day, so do what makes you happy (plus what pays the bills) and eliminate everything else.

Intangible Hearts said...

For some strange reason we have to pay our homeowner taxes twice a year and one of those times is in December. Whoever thought of that is evil. Every Thanksgiving I'm reminded that huge bills are coming due and I should stick to creativity instead of shopping. That sounds good in theory but....

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