Monday, June 1, 2015

A Look Back at my Month of "Rest".

A month ago, I posted on The Writer Diaries about how exhausted I am and the need to rest without guilt. I also set several goals for myself for May, all geared at helping myself recharge my batteries. Let's take a look at how I did:
  1. Visit my sister and meet my new baby niece.
    YES! Nailed it! (That one was easy.) We had a lovely visit, the baby's frakking adorable, and I didn't do any work at all for five days. A good start.
  2. Spend time with my best friend, who I only get to see a few times a year.
    YES! Nailed this one, too. (She was at the same event as my sister.) The beginning of May was restful and awesome.
  3. Add at least 5k words to my current draft, getting it ready to go to my CPs.
    FAIL. I mean, I did achieve this in the sense that I added more than 5k words to my WIP. But I actually added closer to 20k words, did two revisions, sent to my CP for feedback, then revised and sent to another CP. So, a bit less relaxing than the goal I set.
  4. Read something, anything at all, on my To-Read list. Preferably something published in 2015.
    YES! Nailed this one. I actually read four published books in May, only two were for comp title research, and one of them was actually published in 2015. Go me!
  5. Go on dates with my husband that don't include constantly refreshing Twitter.
    We're both working on this one. I'm getting better at leaving my phone in my bag for large portions of dinner. Learning to relax is an ongoing process.
  6. Live. You know, so I have things to write about and my next book isn't about a stressed out writer whose butt grows into the couch.
    YES! Overall, the month was pretty great. I went to the beach, tried some new restaurants, saw TWO movies in theaters (Two! That's two more than I saw in the first four months of 2015), played games, made ice cream from scratch, and generally managed to maintain something resembling a work-life balance.
  7. Stop comparing myself to other writers, especially those further along in the process.
    This is also an on-going resolution. I'm working on it. It's incredibly difficult. 
  8. Don't apologize.
    I'm sorry.
Before the month started, I swore up and down to myself and my CPs that I wouldn't critique anything in May. Then I promptly offered a full MS critique to one of the NestPitch entrants (It's not my fault! It was too good to keep reading!) Other than that, I did remarkably well. I only read one manuscript, and it was for an existing CP who happened to finish her MS earlier than anticipated. I just need to learn that I can't CP for everybody, no matter how badly I might want to read ALL THE THINGS.

Most of my June writing time is dedicated to judging Query Kombat, edits, and doing pre-arranged manuscript swaps. These are things I've budgeted time to do. But I've also budgeted time to travel for a friend's wedding, go to a baseball game, visit an out of town friend I never see, and give myself some breaks. It really is tough, but it's so important. 

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