Every so often, when my brain turns into a whirlwind, I have to come up with a plan. If the contents of my brain were laid out on a piece of paper, they wouldn’t be pretty right now. To be honest, I am struggling to even know what is going on internally. It is not horrible. It is not good. It’s not numb. I’m feeling something, but not quite certain what. And this is often how I begin to feel when there is too much swirling around up there.
I start to feel stuck, caught, imbolized. It is like the problem of too many options – you spend so much time figuring out what to do next that you don’t do much of anything. And that is where I find myself now. That is why I have spent most of today mindlessly and aimlessly browsing the web. This is not a good place to be.
So, these are the things on my mind. I need to figure out which are the most important, and how I want to move forward.
Freelancing: I have been doing some extra writing and researching work on Upwork. I had a few recent good comments that have made my profile more noticeably, and because of this, I have been receiving invitations from clients wanting me to take on their work. The freelance work feels manageable, but also stressful and not enjoyable. I do it because it makes me feel productive and because it is a bit of extra cash. I’m just wondering if this is where I should be putting any extra time or not.
Counseling Work: My trip last weekend turned into a delayed flare up about half way through this week. On Wednesday I had a meeting with my boss in which I asked for more clients, and he said he would make it work. Of course, the next day I find myself spiraling downward. Friday still not good. Saturday not good at all. Today a bit better, but still in a flare. This is not good timing. Hopefully everything calms down before my schedule ramps up. I also want to be spending a bit of time each week reading and researching related to my counseling work. This has not been happening.
Blogging: This blog has been more difficult to keep up with lately. Life in Slow Motion seems to occasionally go through an identity crisis, in which I struggle to know what kind of blog I even am. In general, I am not doing a good job of “branding” myself for my book, as the stuff I write here is often not the same as the way I write in my book. I wish I didn’t have to think about that. I want this blog to be authentic, real, and me. I want it to be interesting, information, and thoughtful. Right now it feels scattered and uninspired.
Our Pilgrimage of Pain: And that leads me to my book. The process of sending out book proposals has felt enormous and overwhelming. It is just the beginning, but already I am questioning if it is ready for this stage in the process, or if more edits are needed. And I can’t stop wondering if it is good enough to even get published. Perhaps I wasted the last year of my life working on it. I am working on some edits to the book. I am a little fearful that some of the chapters are boring and don’t keep attention. It is hard to know how much time to put into edits.
NaNoWriMo/Extra Writing: Oh gracious, don’t even get me started on this. Half way through the month, I am tempted to call it a flop. I will see how I feel come tomorrow. Perhaps I will find some motivation. My heart isn’t in it. Not at all. And I’m torn between really wanting to work on some new material and not having much inspiration. I know that writing needs to happen even in those dry times of no inspiration, so I know I need to push through, but perhaps not in the context of NaNoWriMo.
The Holidays: I don’t feel stressed about the holidays, but they are on my mind. I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas and my sister-in-law’s wedding over New Years that I will likely have to miss. I’m thinking about how my flare will affect family coming over Thanksgiving, wondering what we will do over Christmas, and dreading not showing up for a family member’s wedding.
Even just looking at what is on my mind laid out on paper is helpful. In one sense it feels overwhelming to look at it, but in another sense, it makes me feel a sense of control when I see it and know that I have options.
If I had to list all of these from most to least important (not including the holidays, which don’t seem relevant in this context), this is how it would go.
- Our Pilgrimage of Pain
- Counseling Work
And in many ways, this list tells all. It tells me that I probably need to let NaNoWriMo go for this year, and perhaps come back to it next year when I have a better idea. It means that I need to keep up with the freelancing work that I have, but not take on any additional work.
My two points of focus then become (1) edits for my book and sending out book proposals. And (2) making my counseling a priority, including reading and researching that happens outside of my work hours. And with blogging coming right in the middle, I think that still leaves me time to come up with at least two blog posts a week.
It really does help me to put everything down in writing. I feel like I have a plan for moving forward this month, and that feels good. This is one of the reasons I feel like my blog has such an identity crisis. I go back and forth between such various types of writing that don’t really make sense together. I’m glad some of you stick around.