Expectations

by Ashlynmathews on June 23, 2012

Ok, I admit it.  A few days ago, I had a meltdown.  Social media was kicking my butt.  Laundry piled in various baskets of clean versus unsure if clean or not.  I still had leftover guilt from buying my son a rainbow cake from Costco for his birthday (cake disaster, long story).  If he was a toddler, that might be okay.  But he’s pre-teen.  It was definitely not my best mom moment.  What tipped me over (I’m sure of it) is that I’ve been agonizing over the same 50 pages of my current WIP, ECHO, for the past month.  My characters want to move on.  They have a story planned out for me.  I just need to write the darn thing.

But the second time around − first book in the series, SHADOWATCHER, will be released September 10th− my expectations were different.  No, not different, but higher, like far too high to be a realistic goal.  With ECHO, I expect to experience the same heart-ache and soul-searching that I went through with SHADOWATCHERSHADOWATCHER took me fifteen months to write from first draft to submission.  However, I wanted to write Echo in three months.  Yeah, I’m crazy, and it took a colossal meltdown for me to realize that.

Thank goodness my guy saw the signs − crankiness, anchoring myself for hours to the chair in front of the PC, incessant growling, and nonsensical words spoken out of my mouth.  He sat me down.  We had a heart to heart talk.  He reasoned with me.  I tried to bargain.  We came to a compromise.  Find a balance, he said.  Haha, if only he knew what my last post was about.

One of our boys (preschool age) loves to color.  Some days he can’t choose what color he wants to use.  It overwhelms him.  His solution?  He grabs the crayons, squeezes them in his chubby little hands and scribbles.  I love what he creates but his effort produces a mess, a blob, nothing discernible.

Yet, when he focuses, he can draw our family − all six of us and the dog.  Then he draws a baby in each of us and says something about aliens.  Okey dokey.  My husband’s point (he told me this story during my meltdown) is that I might have all these tasks I want to accomplish (my other WIPs, social media, housework, spending time with my family) but if I focus and prioritize, I could accomplish them better and keep my sanity intact.  When my son had focused, he created a masterpiece.

My meltdown taught me two things.  One is to have realistic, achievable goals, and the other is no one expects more from me than myself.  Some days, I just need to say, “I gave it my best,” and move on.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melia Alexander June 24, 2012 at 3:51 am

*Some days I just need to say, “I gave it my best,” and move on.*

Words of wisdom, Ashlyn! Sometimes we’re our own worst enemies, putting more unrealistic pressure on ourselves than anyone else. The truth is, on some days there’s only so much that can be done. I have a super tight schedule, but when something unexpected happens that totally needs my attention, I have to give myself a break and readjust the schedule.

So, yeah, thanks for the reminder! And hang in there. Life has a funny way of working itself out!

Happy writing,
Melia

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