Hermione Granger was gifted with a marvelous artifact that allowed her to manipulate time. It was given to her because she proved herself a worthy student; responsible, sharp, motivated. One thing that I noticed about her using the time manipulation is that slowly it took a toll on Hermione – she was exhausted, she got muddled about what time she was in, and despite her best efforts, the wear of too much bore down on her.
I feel like Hermione in this situation, without the marvelous artifact to lean on, or to give up. My work exploded exponentially, and I went from sitting around generally with time to fill, to a full bore not-answering-all-the-calls, 70+backed-up activities busy. The problem isn’t the lost time at work, though. The problem is the lost time at home. When I come home, I have to get dinner ready, make sure my son does his homework, spend time with my family, and then somehow magic up time and mental energy to paint pictures with words.
What was once difficult has now become murderously difficult.
This is the course of chasing a dream, though. It’s easy enough to write when there are no demands, when no one needs you and you have an unlimited amount of resources. That being said, if dreams were easy to achieve, they wouldn’t feel worthwhile. Most people either give up their dreams because a) they are too easy or b) they are too hard. Dreams don’t fall in the sweet spot all of the time, even if they are a worthy dream to follow. Challenges are an opportunity to dive into our resources, and come up looking awesome. However, if it didn’t extract a pound of flesh along the way, how would you feel accomplished?
This is the line I’m feeding myself to get through the tough spot. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’ve become a student of story, and when we talk about heroes, the thing that sets them apart is that they don’t give up. Usually in the face of odds that makes my work stress look like a spa day. And we look to heroes to provide us with inspiration, and insight into our own problems.
My heroes in the real world make this all seem easy. JK. Rowling being the exception, but she turned her unemployment into an opportunity to write multi-million dollar manuscripts. I don’t have that particular “luxury,” so I have to work with what I have in my arsenal.
And what I have is the word ‘no.’ I have to establish boundaries around my work, and take it seriously. I need to set up a time, which I have, and make it sacrosanct.
It also means that my blog posts will be more erratic, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. It’s more important to me to get my novel done, and sometimes that means cutting down the extraneous.
Of course, if I didn’t have a blog, I wouldn’t have a great place for cheap therapy, so don’t fret. I’m not going anywhere permanently.