I haven’t done one of these in a couple months, so I figured it was time to throw another writing update at y’all!
Truth be told, this is going to be a really hard, really honest post today, guys. While January was filled with innumerable exciting things, I tried to do too much and I started to get burnt out. I started to feel overwhelmed. There were a lot of people counting on me, and I felt as though I wasn’t juggling all of the priorities in my life the way I should.
Despite everything that happened in January, all of the exciting announcements I made on social media and all of the the things I got done, I felt like a failure.
And I’m not mentioning this to get your sympathies. I’m mentioning this because creating (any type of creating) is hard. And while we’d rather our audience believe otherwise, the truth is we rarely have our ducks in a row. I definitely don’t have my ducks in a row, even now. But that’s okay, and I wanted to share my struggles with you guys writing-wise because it’s a true glimpse into what life often looks like.
My business recently has had lots of pros and cons. I officially created an LLC, so now everything is under S.R. Press. My freelance editing business completely took off, and I’ve been incredibly privileged to work with the authors I have to help them take their books to the next level. I’ve also been incredibly privileged to have all of my clients be kind and overall remarkable people — I’ve been fortunate to not deal with a troll or a super demanding individual yet. I count that as a huge blessing.
But it’s been hard to figure out how to juggle all of these new aspects of life. I thought that once I quit my babysitting job when we moved that writing would be the forefront of my business and editing would be on the side. Unfortunately, January started off in the reverse: editing others’ work first, working on my own stuff last.
I also discovered that I was putting too many hard deadlines on myself. I know. Shocker, right? *facepalms*
I grew stressed about meeting my writing deadlines, stressed about meeting my personal editing deadlines, stressed about keeping a fast turn-around time for editing clients, and so on and so forth. And of course, when stress sets in, that’s when the doubts follow. All of a sudden, instead of not being good enough for my business, I wasn’t good enough at anything — cooking, being a wife, taking care of our kitties, being a good friend, responding to texts/emails/other communications, being a good daughter/DIL/sister, etc. The doubts told me I wasn’t good enough at doing the freaking laundry, for Pete’s sake.
Toward the end of January and the beginning of this month, I had to take a step back and reevaluate my business goals and personal goals. Basically, I needed to clear my head so I could get my priorities straight.
Sometimes stepping back is all you can do, and sometimes it’s the best thing you can do.
Stepping back helped me realize how much pressure I was putting on myself with the various deadlines. Stepping back helped me realize that the doubts were just feeding off the fear I’d allowed to take hold of my life. Living in fear was holding me back from being able to prioritize and accomplish what I needed to.
There was also this verse that I found that really helped me: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9.
As human beings, we don’t offer ourselves grace and mercy because we feel we don’t deserve it. And while we truly don’t, God still comes and offers it to us. We just have to step back, realize it, and accept it.
So that’s been my writing struggles, friends. I’m still working on prioritizing and still working on giving myself grace and accepting the grace God is giving me. I’m human and I’m going to make mistakes. I’m human and I don’t have all my ducks in a row; probably never will.
But since those moments of quiet revelation, I do want to share some of the writing successes that I have had, as well as let you guys know about my updated goals.
First and foremost, the short story collection I’m going to be featured in will be coming out on March 4th wherever books are sold! January was full of edits for not just myself and clients, but for my short, The Death of Peter Pan. I worked long and hard with Amara and Gabi of Wonder Heart Press to complete the first round of short story edits. I’ll be working on the second round this month, and I’m so excited for you guys to not only read my short, but also read the amazing shorts the other authors in the collection have contributed. It’s definitely a book you’re not going to want to miss out on!
Second, I completed the first round of edits on Robin Hood book 1 and passed it off to my alpha reader! I’ve officially received his thoughts back as of today, so next week I plan on cracking down on the second round of edits! From there, it’ll be passed off to the freelance editor I’ve hired, and I’m both crazy nervous and crazy excited to hear what she thinks. I feel like I say this whenever I give y’all an update on my writing, but the Robin Hood trilogy holds sooooo much of my heart, and I cannot wait to share it with you guys. Also, if you happened to miss it on social media, I announced the official series name: Tales of Nottingham! I’m not revealing title names yet, but from here on out, the Robin Hood trilogy will be referred to as “Tales of Nottingham”! Super stoked!!!
This next part is the one I’m most excited about: I’ve started writing the second book in the series! The secret is out, ha! I’m only three chapters in, but I’m so thankful to have time for writing again. I do love editing, but since it’s literally all I had time for in January, it’s been such a relief to use a different part of my brain and get into creating again. I’m going to be interested to see whether my characters behave in this book or not. One of the things I’ve noticed is that while I character-build before writing, sometimes the characters take on a life of their own in my manuscript and go against everything I wrote in their questionnaire. While none of the Robin Hood characters went to such an extreme in book 1, there are some new characters that I’m adding in that might decide to take things “off-script.” We’ll see. *winks*
Finally, I’ve started work on the worksheets for the courses and classes I hope to offer online later this spring. I can’t promise anything just because, again, I’m trying to sort out priorities, but I did want to go ahead and start work on them in hopes I can still meet those deadlines. If not, they’ll be released later this year, probably in the summer. But for now, I figured I’d give my old deadlines a shot. 🙂
Which then leads me to discussing deadlines and updated goals… Originally my plan was to not only write, edit, and publish the whole Tales of Nottingham trilogy, but I was also planning on writing 1-2 other books and publishing those. One of these was going to be a sequel to my Paris romance novella, Je Te Veux. After stepping back to prioritize everything again, I realized that it was all just too much. The Tales of Nottingham series is taking up more of my time, and I want to make sure I’m putting in the time that it needs instead of expending energy working on a bunch of other books.
So what’s the new goal?
My new goal is to still write, edit, and publish the entire Tales of Nottingham trilogy this year, but that’s it. If I have time to work on other projects, it’ll just be writing, and that’ll be on a very loose schedule. I’m sorry if this comes as a sad announcement to some of you, but with my health (both mental and physical), I felt that this was the best option. Three books is still a challenge, but I do feel like it’s one best suited for my business and personal goals as of right now.
As for the other books I planned on writing, we’ll just have to see what 2021 brings. 🙂
How is your writing going, if you’re a writer? Is there anything I can do to help you or pray for you, whether that’s for something writing related or life related? Let me know in the comments!