Have you ever suffered from SYTT Sydrome? That's "Spreading Yourself Too Thin". I do this all the time. Thinking I need distraction from what's going on in real life, I offer myself up to a multitude of tasks; working on things for this person, that person, this person that I didn't know until they PM'd/emailed me. On top of my regular real life duties, 3 kids, a husband, my e-business, endless parades of bills, doctor's appointments, therapy appointments...so, where does my novel fit in?
Lately, it doesn't. For the first time in over 3 months I wrote 2 chapters last week. In two days. It was wonderful, it was freeing, it was satisfying. So why haven't I done it again? Because I can't say no.
Why is it we have such a problem saying no? Making obligations to people we've never met, and likely never will. To bring joy to others, when our own joy and release is the touch of a keyboard away.
I could blame writer's block, but I don't believe in that anymore. I know that if I sit down and force myself to write for 10 minutes I could write until 3AM...I know because I've done this many times. It's how the first draft of my novel was written.
I could blame my age-old "I want everyone to like me" defense. But, that's hypocritical...if you wanted everyone to like you, you'd be nice to them, not turn yourself into this insane monster trying to get everything done for everyone.
I could also blame my SAHM defense. I insanely believe I have all the time in the world...when I truly have none.
Maybe it's because, as a writer, I'm innately sensitive to "no". I expect rejections, I know what they feel like...I certainly don't want to bring them to others.
I don't know the reason, it could be all of these, it could be none. But I've realized just in the past few days that I have to say "no." To my online life. I'm hiding in it. I'm addicted to it. I don't want to disappear from it...but I have to stop taking responsibility for things that I really don't have time for. I'll be a more pleasant person for it. I'll have time for important things, like true conversation with my online friends. I'll also be forced to face the real life that is plaguing me, which if I faced it I could get MORE writing from. I might even have time for the most important venture outside of my family...my novel.
So today I'm saying "NO" to the extraneous stuff. I have spread myself too thin, and it's time to refocus.
Where in your life have you said yes, when you should have said no? Think seriously before every decision, don't dive headlong into it. Think about what's important, and if this thing is important enough to squeeze into your day.
And for once, just say "NO".