Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reset Button

Hello, friends!

I've been absent from the internet for the past few days because I've been out of town. I went to the coast to celebrate a friend's upcoming marriage and we had a fantastic time. It was something I didn't know how much I needed until I was back home and thinking about how much better I felt after unplugging from everything for four days.

I've been living in my own little thundercloud for the past six weeks or so, and I didn't even realize how much the storm had consumed me until I was suddenly away from it with no way to get to a phone or the internet. Instead of the panic I was expecting, all I felt was a blessed form of relief. On the way home (a four hour drive by myself), I did a lot of thinking about my current situation - with the book, the Clark Kent job, everything. Being away from the whole scene helped me see how much I've been stressing out about everything, from word count to work duties, and how much of a toll it's taken on me. At least half of stress is perception based - you may not be able to change your stressors, but you can choose how you react to them - and I'm so grateful that I was given a chance to see that I need to change my perceptions about my daily life.

Instead of beating myself over the head with the goal of finishing the book by the end of May, I'm being a lot more kind to myself and rejoicing in how much work's been done. I know I'll finish, and probably within the time frame I've given myself - but I no longer feel as if I've failed or am in danger of failing an important task I've given to myself. The Clark Kent job does not feel like a prison sentence; it seems like a gift again. I'm refreshed and ready to finish this novel and get on to the next step in my life.

And when I got home, I saw so many lovely people have passed on my Pay it Forward giveaway on their blogs, twitter and Facebook! How incredible! You guys are an inspiration! It was amazing to see how things had progressed in the four days I was gone. Not only did more than ten people blog about the giveaway, but I also now have 121 followers! Only four more 'til the MYSTERY PRIZE is included in the booty list! (Booty list... now that was just fun to type, heh).

Are you stressing about something right now? Is it weighing down on you, or racing through your mind, keeping you from being calm? I know you might not be able to physically get away like I did this weekend, but try to mentally take a step back from that stress and see if you can take a different approach to the problem. Breathe - in through the nose for a four-count, hold it for a seven-count, let it out slowly through your mouth for an eight-count. Feel better? Need to vent? The comments section is always open.



So pleased you were able to get away from it all and to put things and life into perpective.
The internet and phone were there when you returned, your book is still waiting to be finished yet the world has not come to an end.
Welcome back, you've been missed.

Shannon Messenger said...

I'm so happy to hear you're feeling refreshed. I SO need to take a break. I have promised myself that as soon as my agent is satisfied with my revisions I'm taking a break. I need it. But you're right--even before that I can breathe and relax. I think I'll treat myself to a book and a bubble bath tonight in light of this. Surely I can find one hour to spare. :)

Anne Gallagher said...

You *sound* so much more relaxed. I'm glad you had a good time at the wedding. I'm finally going home for July 4th after 3 years of not seeing family and I cannot wait. It will be just what I need.
Glad you're back.

Jemi Fraser said...

Good for you! I'm glad you've got everything settled :)

This is why I don't set writing goals. I want it to always be fun for me - and I really don't need the added pressure of word count goals! That would send me over the edge if I failed!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Just a little getaway can make a world of difference. I'm glad you got the opportunity. I plan on blogging about your contest today or tomorrow. And now that I"ve joined twitter I can pass it on, if I can figure out how to do it lol!

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like the getaway was good for you. You're right, sometimes we just need to step back and breath to see things clear again.

The fact that you open your comment section for visitors to vent if they need, says a great deal about you and bloggers in general. It's a great place to find new friends and share our lives. I'm constantly amazed how everyone is willing to help others so quickly. Good luck on your writing.

Thoughts in Progress

Sarah Ahiers said...

haha. booty list.

I did a bit of unplugging myself a few days ago. it helped so much

Hart Johnson said...

I'm so glad you're feeling rejuvenated! I love that. It seems to not work all that well to take a break for me because my work (dayjob) keeps mounting, though I think if I took a full couple weeks, that would be different--then everyone would KNOW nothing was going to happen.

Stepping back and putting it back in perspective helps a lot though. You WILL get the book done, and it will be fabulous (or at least the framework for fabulous once you've let it sit and then done the editing--such is a writer's life)

I have an award for you on my blog today...

Kristi said...

What a great post...I have to constantly remind myself to do this on an everyday basis.

The stress and obligations (we often put on ourselves) build fast and I find myself worrying that I haven't blogged in over a week and feel like the world might end. I'm pretty sure it never does, but it doesn't stop the feeling from taking over a part of my life.

I think writer's feel this more often than most! SO GLAD you were able to get away, revive yourself, and take a good hard look at the good things all around you!

Thanks for the reminder! And best of luck on that WIP!

Arlee Bird said...

Bad stress doesn't do you any good so it's a good thing when you can readjust your thinking to get in tune with your inner peace and sanity. I'm definitely not on schedule for the goals I set at the beginning of the year -- Hey! New things stepped in and slowed me down. I really try to avoid bad stress, but I could use a little bit of good stress now and then..

Tossing It Out

Dawn Ius said...

I'm thrilled you had an opportunity to reset. I'm heading that way soon. Ironically, my get-away is the same thing that is stressing me out - my sister's wedding. We have...interesting...family dynamics. Should be fun...and when it's over, I'll be able to get back to a full night's sleep.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad you took inventory, and decided to focus on the positive. We writers put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Just work at the job that pays the bills, write for the love of it (most times), and do your best. It's all we can do.

Right now I'm on lunch break in an oven of a classroom, waiting for 7th and 8th-graders this afternoon. I'm sleep deprived and have a trip to pack for plus some odds and ends to take care of. Stressed? A little.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you were able to step back and put it all in perspective.

And booty is a fun word!

Maurice Mitchell said...

Sometimes a reset is the way to go. And my new favorite phrase is "booty list." Kim Kardashian...J.Lo...LOL

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I reset a bit the weekend of my anniversary, but I'm still in the process...

Hannah said...

I'm on one of those "I'm a horrible writer and won't amount to anything" phases. It'll pass. It always does.

Unplugging is necessary some days. Take care of you!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, last time I had to take a few days completely out because I was in transit somewhere, I felt oddly refreshed. Something always ends up going missing when I get back to 'normal' afterwards, though...!

Mel Chesley said...

Welcome back B.! You were missed, but your unplug is understandable. I've sort of been unplugging for the past few days. I am not on nearly as much as I have been and have been enjoying the sunshine outside, talking to and watering my plants. It's been fun.
Glad to see you are back, though. And go on that positive attitude!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I'm glad the break helped out! Sometimes just a mini vacation can really help clear our heads. :)

Anonymous said...

You have to disconnect once in a while. Disengage. Decompress. Go to a better place and relax. Glad to have you back hopefully more refreshed.

Stephen Tremp

Lola Sharp said...

Remember when I told you to go to the shore, get away, take some time to have fun? ('member those emails?) See? It really does help gain perspective. It takes the murderous edge off. :)

I'm so glad you unplugged and had yourself some fun!

You gotta live a little.

Have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend!

Nishant said...

Good for you! I'm glad you've got everything settled :)
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