I’ve been quiet on the writing front lately. It’s not writer’s block, even though the novel I started in a great burst of energy a couple of months ago has not been touched since … well, since I had that writing burst. It’s not words I’m struggling with, but something far simpler. I need time out.
We all have busy lives. Our busy-ness just takes different shapes. At its simplest, my busy-ness involves a house with six people (and all that entails), as well as a part-time job and freelance PR work; at its more difficult, (which is the case now due to some extra family needs and a flare up of tennis elbow that has restricted me significantly), my mind becomes busier than my body, churning and tossing and wondering and hoping … and it’s tired. I’m tired. I’m scared I’m going to burn out. I look around at all my extra “responsibilities” or “must-do’s” like unwritten book reviews and unmade high tea stands (another project I started with enthusiasm) and they nag at me. I get upset because I’m not living up to the expectations I’ve set myself.
Walking along the beach with Blue Eyes yesterday I came to a decision. It’s been coming for a while, but I’ve been putting it off, hoping things would magically clear up. They haven’t.
It’s really quite simple. I need to take back some time. I need to let go of some things, just for a while, so I can regain some balance. Let go? Set aside is perhaps a better phrase. That pile of books that is waiting to be reviewed? It’s not going to happen in a hurry. I need to accept that. Writing reviews was always meant to fit in around my family (I don’t write them according to schedules), but lately I’ve been feeling guilty because I just can’t fit them in. I don’t have that hour it takes to write one of my longer reviews, let alone write several.
What I need right now is to read just because. To write when the urge is there, just because, rather than because I feel I must. To sit and watch a movie without feeling guilty about the books I should review. To review because I have something to say. It’s not forever. Just until some things at home settle down. Until my mind feels less overloaded. I need to do this for myself. I need to do this for my family so I don’t resent the time they ask for, big or small.
I’m not giving up reviewing, just taking a step back for a while. And, in putting that nagging pile straight onto my read shelf, I’m letting go of the guilt that floods me when I look at the books I’ve been sent and hoping the senders will understand.
That’s a great favourite to go back to… I have just bought most of the series for my gorgeous girl for xmas or birthday. i hope she loves them like i did.
Good luck taking back time 🙂
Thanks Michelle. I’m trying! Re-reading the book was just what I needed.
You’re right: you need to read just because. I felt very much like you do earlier this year, and letting go and just reading a few things I really wanted to read (or even not reading at all for a while) was just the ticket.
Letting go is so hard, though. It’s one thing to say it, but doing it … I felt better after writing this, though.
A wise decision, Monique. Replenish yourself at the deepest level and the creative energy you have been giving generously to so many others with your insightful book reviews and writing interviews will return. You will even find that novel nagging once more at you to be written.
Thank you Teena … and thanks for always being a wise and sensitive listener!
Aww, it looks like things have been super-hectic. It’s hard to make time for everything. Take time off, we”ll be here when you get back 🙂
Thanks, Nish. I’ll keep writing, just when the mood strikes.
Well it sounds like you are finding the perfect balance Monique. I am so happy to hear it, your heart will be singing beautiful harmonious tunes in no time! …I can connect with every word that you have wriitten in this blog. Thank you for sharing 🙂 x
Life is short. Look after you and yours. We will all be here when you get back.