Choosing to Let Go

by Ashlynmathews on April 5, 2013

Choosing to Let GoAs I slowly adjust to writing on a schedule of two days a week, I made the decision to let go of “distractions” that had affected my mental and physical health. At first, I resisted changing my yahoo loops to daily digest only. I was afraid of missing something important in the stream of emails.

For those unfamiliar with yahoo groups, the member can choose to receive individual emails, daily digest or special notices. Receiving individual emails meant my inbox filled quickly. Yet, I liked the instant interaction and information. However, keeping up with all the members’ good news and their wealth of knowledge overwhelmed my already exhausted mind.

With my therapist’s encouragement I began to change all my loops to daily digest. I also left a Facebook group I admire and am thankful to have been a part of. I thought I would miss the networking, camaraderie and community of fellow authors and writers. Instead, I found myself more at peace with what I have—my imagination and resuming passion to tell a story.

I have stories in my head again. There are so many stories, I can write twenty-four seven. But my mind, body and medication prevents me from doing that, which is a relief. I read as much as I write. I chose two main ways to interact with others—Goodreads and my Facebook page. And I realize that is enough. Do too much and my body and mind is exhausted, forcing me to step back, reevaluate and rest.

So if you don’t see me as much on the loop, don’t worry, I’m still there lurking. Know that I share in your news, both good and bad, and I support you one hundred and ten percent even if I do it quietly on the sideline.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie Jaimeson April 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

The fact that you have stories in your head again is huge! That must mean what you are doing is right. Definitely finding what amount of networking is doable is important.

I changed to daily digests on all my loops three years ago. It was just way too overwhelming to process. Also, once you get digests, you realize how much of it is a repetition of kudos or condolences. Personally, I still feel just as connected as before only it’s easier to manage.

The other thing digests do is remove the internal sense of urgency to respond at that moment. I don’t know about you, but I have this need to respond immediately when I see an email. It’s not so much that I think the other person is waiting for me. It’s that I want to respond and I’m afraid if I don’t do it right then I’ll forget. Crazy, right? So digests really put it into perspective for me.

Keep up the good work, Ashlyn. The most important part is being able to write again. I’m so happy you are feeling the urge. Finding the path that keeps you writing and keeps you in balance with other things in your life is not easy. But I have confidence you can do it, and do it well.

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Rowena May O'Sullivan April 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Good for you Ashlyn. Taking care of yourself first means that you can then take care of the rest if you choose!

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Ashlynmathews April 8, 2013 at 8:14 am

Very true Rowena. I’m looking forward to reading your PNR. I’m very partial to PNR :).

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Rowena April 8, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Ashlyn. I’m just looking at the cover of The Jade Dragon they sent me. Very exciting even if it’s not how I imagined it at all.

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Brenda Tetreault April 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

So glad to hear that you’re making positive steps. You know where to find me on FB! Keep in touch when you can; I’m not going anywhere!

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Ashlynmathews April 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

Brenda,
Yes, I know exactly where to find you, lady :). Thanks for your support. It means so much.

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Tonya Macalino April 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Ashlyn, I so admire that you are finding the wisdom and resolve to get your stories back. My stories have been rather quiet lately. And I know why. I just haven’t quite figured out what to do about it. Hugs to you!

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Ashlynmathews April 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

Tonya,
You’re a busy lady and give so much of yourself. We all appreciate you and what you do for Indie authors. The stories are there. You’re a writer. They may be silent but they won’t go away.

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Tara Mills April 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm

You picked the perfect picture for this post. She looks so free and liberated. I need to do something similar. I’ve had a difficult time weaning myself away from social media and it’s been a big obstacle in my creative writing. My focus is gone. You’ve done a smart and challenging thing. I admire that.

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Ashlynmathews April 8, 2013 at 8:11 am

Tara,
Different things work for different people and right now, I find myself liking the lack of distractions. My kids are enough to deal with, lol.

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