New website, new newsletter, series finished...what else can possibly change?
I haven't been around as long as some humans on this planet, but more than others, and I can say with 100% certainty: the only thing that NEVER changes is that everything ALWAYS changes.
Change can be good, but it's also hard. I resist it to a fault, to be quite honest. (Another damn iOS update? Are you freaking kidding me??)
It's probably much easier to adjust to change we choose rather than the type that is thrust upon us, whether we want it or not.
Case in point: for the last three years, I've been absolutely OBSESSED with the Moving the Chains series. I lived, breathed, slept with (no, not THAT way) these characters. At no point was I not mentally plotting, working dialogue, or figuring out the next step in the story's progression. I did it while folding laundry, while chauffeuring my children to their various activities, while helping them with homework, while cooking dinner, at the grocery store, pumping gas, etc. etc. etc.
You get the point.
If I wasn't writing, I was reading. If I wasn't reading, I was probably reading about writing.
And now it's...finished. Over.
For the past two months, I've been in a state of panic. Now, what? What should I write? I don't know how NOT to write, but I don't know how to write anything else, either. OMG, I have actual readers, and they want MORE! Now, what; now, what; now, what?
Well, I'll tell you what.
Well, to be precise, life has been happening all along, but I haven't been participating in it so much as going through the motions. And, reality has bitch-slapped me back into being HERE. Fully. Without reservation.
I've had to re-evaluate what I've been doing with my time, with my life these past three years.
The answer isn't pretty.
Sure, I wrote and published a 4-book series. Pretty cool. Woohoo. They're average at best, but I did something I not only never imagined doing, but more often than not, wasn't sure I was CAPABLE of doing. Challenges are always fun.
While I was busy challenging myself to be an "author," I was seriously neglecting my health. And the consequences of that have become rather dire.
In the interests of total transparency and honesty, my last doctor visit revealed that I am pre-diabetic, have high cholesterol, and too-viscous blood.
Those are not problems a 37 year old who is only moderately overweight should have. They are, however, completely preventable issues that are commonly caused by excess smoking, drinking, and sitting at a computer for 12+ hours per day.
Writing has been slowly killing me. And I've not only been a willing participant, but I was careless to believe those book babies matter more than the three children I gestated for nine months, then spent hours laboring to give birth to.
I didn't push a book out of my vagina, that's for damn sure!
To top it all off, I require major surgery (not getting into the sordid details) which will cost a ridiculous amount of money out of pocket. Money my middle-class family doesn't have. Recuperation time my children may not be able to handle. In the interests of not spoiling their holidays, I'm pushing it off until next year. Hopefully, that will also allow me enough time to get my other health issues under control.
Because of all this, I've had to cancel my strange appearance at the RARE Roma signing in June 2018. I'm not sure how I got invited to that, anyway. It was an aberration, surely.
Just looking at that author list gives me hives because, hello??? I don't belong there! And the pressure of that signing was another thing that was slowly killing me because I was letting it.
I convinced myself pushing out another book (hell, make it two!) before next June would somehow make me fit in better. Make me less of an imposter.
An unintentional wonderful thing happened when my health forced me to cancel that signing.
The pressure was GONE.
I could breathe slightly easier.
But, only slightly because I still have miles of road in front of me and a seriously out-of-shape body with which to traverse all these hills.
It's time for a priority shift. It's past time for a change.
My family deserves first place in my life, and that means taking care of myself. Writing was never something I imagined doing, anyway. Rather, it became another addiction that I allowed to control me instead of the other way around.
And realizing that is just completely shitty.
Step number one: kill the pressure before it kills me. That means no more forcing myself to write. So long, NaNoWriMo! Forget you, million and one book ideas that I haven't the first clue how to turn into actual novels. Sionara, feeling like a failure because not a single author I respect has ever read (and liked) any of my books! Adios, quid pro quo games!
Step number two: take a step back. As an introvert, I've been forcing myself to engage on social media for the past few years. I don't feel comfortable doing it. Posting teasers, giveaways, pimping other books makes me feel like a fraud. It takes up far more time than it should. Time that could be better spent with my kids or getting healthy. And quite frankly? It doesn't matter anymore! Social media is so oversaturated with indie authors, trying to gain readers and visibility. Most days, even a single post on Instagram feels like pouring a drop in a bucket! I won't be doing that anymore.
What does that mean, bottom line? I will no longer maintain a Facebook author page. Newsletters are a thing of the past. My Twitter and Pinterest accounts will be deleted because frankly, I do not get the Twittering. I'll still be on Facebook, but just as me now. And only when time permits.
Step three: get healthy. Or die trying. Because that's literally what it's come to. And my kids deserve me to give 110% effort to claw my way out of this mess I've put myself in. This is going to be my biggest challenge, and take up most of my time for the next 4-6 months. What happens beyond that is anyone's guess.
I had seriously considered bowing out of this rat race long before my health problems forced my hand. The jury is still out on whether I'm relieved to have the choice taken away from me.
For now, my FB profile will be active as time permits, but I will be there only as a reader. This page will stay up (mostly because the domain name is paid for through October of next year). When stock runs out from the shop on the page, it will not be refilled. The Moving the Chains series will stay available for purchase on Amazon, only, until this website expires.
And if I write another book? Awesome.
If not? LOL, who cares??
I have real babies to watch grow up. They're already amazing people. I can't wait to see where they'll go; what they'll do; who they'll love. I plan on being around to witness it all. <3