Today I got a large blue sack in the mail. Inside was a foot-long box. It contained just ten books, five each of Splashdown's new releases. The sack, in my opinion, was overkill - but certainly fun.
I have been feeling rather overwhelmed lately, and not getting near enough done as I believe myself capable of. In need of a brainstorming session, perhaps, a mind map on a very large piece of paper, or the inside of that there sack. Pursued by the suspicion that I've forgotten something very important, while on the inside crying out for peace.
The things filling up each day seem to fall into one of three categories: obligations, which have to come first; things that are late, and thus quite urgent; and then there are the other things that make up real life.
Obligations include working and taking care of my boarders - shopping and cooking mainly. I love to cook, but it takes a lot of time out of my best part of the day, since I start getting active in the late afternoon and then have to stop and make dinner. And work, yes, earning money, but thank goodness it's irregular and some of it is at will to be taken on as I wish or not.
The late things. Ouch. Mostly to do with writing and publishing. A story due here, another there. Large numbers of books to be read and reviewed, many with deadlines. Marketing my own books, following up on reviewers, all that sort of thing. A full-to-bursting Acquisitions folder for Splashdown's author talent quest. Keeping tabs on projects in the works for upcoming release. Website tweaks. Bookkeeping.
And the Life things. Things my passion calls me to pursue. Painting. Writing. Walking on the beach. Reading - that two-foot stack of novels isn't getting any smaller. Snuggling the cat. Sleeping plenty. Yep, I need that to stay sane. Plus other random spice like playing bodhran (haven't done that in weeks) or a little exercise.
So what's my solution? Keep calm, in any case. Don't panic. Don't try and do everything at once, either. If some things end up taking longer than I thought, well, okay. So be it.
Do what must be done. Do it well. Work enough to survive, but no more.
Fight for space to let passions flow free. Without them, there is no spark.
Each of the three areas - late stuff, life, and obligations - contains about an equal amount of stuff. So I figure to try doing one, then another, and another. One by one. Don't know as I'll ever get done, but it's my aim to keep 'em more or less equal.
And the publishing? That IS a passion. Just one that requires a lot more time input than any other. Patience, I tell myself. All in good time. No need to overreact and puff up the issues till they are as big as that sack around a handful of books. Cause the books are what it's all about, really...