posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
About a year ago, I stumbled across an online site that calculated a more complete horoscope than just your sun sign. In addition to being a Sagittarius with Aquarius rising, one of my other important 'houses' (and of course I don't remember which one) was in Libra. Maybe this is why I'm constantly trying to find balance.
I have this tendency to go overboard (I know, I know, no surprise) in certain areas. And I've learned from vast prior experience that the "too much of a good thing" definitely applies to me. So when my natural enthusiasm (and any horoscope book or site will tell you, we Sagis are always enthusiastic) for something new gets a bit out of hand, I find myself working hard to counter balance.
In my everyday pursuits, I can often go too far in one direction or the other. I used to 'pull all-nighters' in the reading and writing arenas. Or I invested waay too much time and effort on a particular project. Or I decided to add avocados to very dish I prepared because they were just sooo darn tasty, and they were on sale so I bought fifteen!
Getting the picture?
So what has this got to do with writing? A few things, actually.
Back in the "good ole days" when I wrote in and around my Dreaded Day Job (where I invested too much time and effort), I started many a story. I LURVED the idea, the characters, the setting and I would rush home from work, nuke some dinner and write for an hour or two before I had to put myself and the child to bed. On the weekends, I'd spend every spare moment scribbling (yes, I had little or no social life).
This writing frenzy usually lasted about four or five weeks before I burnt myself out. Then after a few weeks of actually catching up on housework, yard work, and family obligations, I'd get another story idea and the same scenario would repeat itself. It was only after I left the DDJ that I learned how to balance my writing and the other aspects of my life. And I actually FINISHED manuscripts!
Alas, that was not the end of my balancing act.
Once I had finished the first draft and started revisions, the perfectionism set in. Maybe I have Virgo in one of my astrological houses too, because I could not leave my manuscripts alone. Actually, I wasn't so much a perfectionist as I was a tinkerer. Every time I got ready to send something out, whether to an editor, agent, or critique partner, I'd see something I just had to change.
It was only after I joined the ranks of published authors that I finally overcame my tinkeritis. Deadlines will do that to you. So in this case, it was a matter of finding my balance or DIE! (That's another thing about us Sagis, we tend to be slightly over-dramatic.) I gradually learned to embrace the mantra of 'doing the best I can at that point in time.' A much better alternative than adapt or die!
Now that I've moved into the heady realm of multi-published author, I'm struggling to keep my balance again. At this time last year, I'd just finished writing the first draft of Book #3 when I went to RWA National in Washington DC. While I was there, I signed copies and talked about Book #1, while at the same time I was planning the promotional tour for Book #2 (which started in August)! ACK!! Do you see why I was tipsy without tasting even a wee drop?
I survived that craziness none the worse for wear. But now I'm at it again! For the past three weeks I'm been on a wild and crazy blog tour for The Wild Irish Sea. Yes, it's been fun but also exhausting. Plus it has seriously cut into my writing time for my current work-in-progress. Oh, and did I mention I've also been on the great agent search? ACK!!!
I really had NO CLUE how much more than simply writing a good story was involved in this publishing game. But, of course, now that I'm in up to my arm-pits, I'm not about to stop. Seeing my books on the shelf and hearing from readers who have enjoyed my stories is even better than those yummy avocados! But I desperately need to work on my balancing act.
This multi-tasking is highly over-rated!
So this is where I call on my Banditas and all the BBs for help. What do you do to maintain or regain your balance? Yoga? Color-coded agendas? Lamaze breathing?
Any and ALL suggestions are greatly appreciated!