by Camela Thompson
Things haven't been going as I expected. Somehow the more I planned, the worse things got. In retrospect, that shouldn't have been surprising.
I'm lucky. I'm good at my day job and it's a position that is in high demand. When I started getting twitchy at work after almost ten years at the same company, I decided that it was time for a change. Normally, that would make sense. Less than two months before a book launch, it proved to be one of my dumber ideas. Add to that a heavy sense that I was burning out and a new work environment that wasn't a good fit, and, at least in my case, you get a hot mess. I don't mean hot as in "attractive." I mean hot as in that disgusting chocolate bar that melted onto the seat of your car in the middle of summer that you didn't see before sitting down. Do the math. Crap-your-pants fantastic.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not blaming the companies I worked for at all. I decided to work full time and write full time, along with all of the social media and speaking obligations that come with it. After doing my taxes, I know I need to work full time. It is what it is. The problem was I didn't understand how much pressure I was putting on myself. A healthy person has a hard time working more than forty hours a week for a prolonged period. When stress levels went up, I instituted a strict work out schedule. That stressed me out more because I couldn't keep up with it. I was going to publish three books this year. I set goal after unobtainable goal.
I haven't written more than four chapters since December. I felt tired all the time.
What clued me in to a big problem wasn't my lack of writing. It wasn't the way I couldn't work up the energy to get out of the house on the weekends. To be honest, I didn't understand I was burned out until I was talking myself out of bed every morning. Things got very bleak. I didn't understand why I was burned out until I talked to my mom. Isn't that the way of things? Moms seem to just know things. It's borderline creepy.
"Cam. You've been working nonstop since you were fifteen. Don't be an idiot and just take a break."
For once, I'm taking her advice. Mostly. I have a book launch in less than a month, so there is a lot of work to do. I'm giving myself until the end of the summer to have only one job - writing. I'm looking at Cons and blogging opportunities. I have a podcast to run, social media to maintain, and a blog. I'd love to write a couple books, but I've got a list of housework that hasn't been done in WAY too long because I was coming home from the day job to work the night job. It would be nice to volunteer. See? This is how I get in trouble.
The most important thing for me to do is recharge. I believe this is key for me to enjoy a day job and be a successful writer. It's the key to staying healthy.
Since deciding to take a break I've written a couple chapters. Considering my dry spell, it seems like I'm off to a decent start.
Freelance writer and Dark urban fantasy author featuring vampires with bite.