Oops … I Did It Again

By “did it again,” I mean I overestimated myself.

My hiatus has been a good one in that the craziness at work was handled and didn’t kill me. But while I’ve been not blogging, I have been reflecting, and the truth is, I need a longer break.

I don’t want to give up on Hawleyville. I love it here. I just need to shift my focus a bit. Specifically, I need to spend the summer writing my book instead of anything and everything BUT my book. I need to get back into the gym more regularly than once or twice a week. I need to continue to re-energize in how I look at my job, finding and tackling the creative aspects of it instead of obsessing about how it leaves me no time to write. I’m stuck being a Workin’ Jane Drone til I’m either 80 or have dropped dead, most likely. To reclaim that thing called “happy,” I just need to do more of what I’ve been doing in the past few weeks – finding things I LIKE about my job instead of resenting it and make the best of it.

In other words, I need to “reset” how I’m getting where I’m going and focus on what makes me happy.As much as I love writing blog posts, they don’t make me as happy right now as they once did. That isn’t because I don’t enjoy them, but because I spend the whole time I’m blogging thinking about what I’m NOT doing instead.

Too much on the plate leaves you overstuffed, even when most of the food is delicious.

So, I’m not giving myself a “when I’ll be back” deadline. I will commit to at least doing a progress update and a check-in on what I’m thinking about the future of Hawleyville around my birthday in mid-August. And while I’m not blogging, I will be:

– working on the novel and/or other writing projects for potential publication 8-10 hours a week.Of the hours I dedicate, at least five will be on the novel. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is progress I can make consistently without beating myself up and wearing myself down.

– going to the gym at least 3 times per week. Hopefully four, but this rebalancing is all about being better at working with what I have to give instead of what I wish I could carve out time to do. 

– reading and keeping up with my favorite blogs as much as I can, even if that’s only monthly.

Sorry to extend the hiatus, but I believe good things are gonna come out on the other side of me getting myself together. Til then …


About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
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12 Responses to Oops … I Did It Again

  1. l'empress says:

    I promise to be patient, because I know your book will be a success.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Thank you! We’ve known each other since this book thing was nothing more than a daydream a decade away from becoming a real goal for me! I’m sure I’ll update on my progress and lessons learned from time to time, since I think doing so does help clear my head, but for now, I’m enjoying the freedom to focus instead of whacking at a million different things like I’m playing wack-a-mole and never hitting one : )!

  2. Marcia says:

    You. Are. So. Smart! And brave. Most of us are terrified of not covering all the bases at once even if that means we’re totally stressed and not writing much at all. You are so right to take this time off, as much as you need, to write your book. If blogging isn’t helping right now, then you shouldn’t be doing it. You’ll be happier, less stressed and satisfied that you’ve accomplished what you need. I look forward to your occasional check-ins. Sending you high-fives, hugs, and kudos for doing what’s right for YOU! Have a great summer of relaxing, writing, and learning to like your job!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Thank you Marcia! I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – your wisdom has inspired me so much on this journey! Since I posted this, I have already noticed a sense of “reconnection” with the book – I couldn’t even see how much I’d distanced myself from it by pulling myself in far too many directions. I’ve spend the last week and a half working through some flaws in what I’d done so far that I just couldn’t break through on (and some I didn’t even notice) before. That phase should finish today, and this weekend I begin tackling the next chapter : ). I already feel a shift in how I feel about work too – I’ll never be passionate about what I do but giving myself permission to focus on just one thing outside of my job (well, two if I count fitness!) has done wonders for my stress levels and my feelings of resentment about having to work so much. Before, I was feeling like I was juggling swords. Now, I’m still juggling, but they’re just balls in the air and not nearly as scary lol!

  3. Go write the book. And when you get uptight, go see Dad and have him draw you a beer.

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Thank you David! Of course, Dad’s bar continues to be a source of short story inspiration : ). I’m just learning to tuck the ideas away for the future for the moment and narrow in on what I most want to get done. It has been a good experience so far!

  4. I agree with Marcia! We all do what we have to do to get done what we want. (Did that make sense? It does to me!) Good luck to you and just let me know when you’re back! I’ll be waiting. 🙂

  5. Terri Sonoda says:

    I think we all understand your needing to reconnect with what’s real. And working on your book is very important…I can personally attest to that. I’m working on my second one now and blogging, school and other things are slowing it down considerably. So take that time you need. I will be here when you come back. Of course!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      Thank you Terri! I didn’t realize how disconnected I’d gotten from my book until I gave myself permission to do this. My mind was so full of the OTHER things I write – the blog, this story or that article. They can all be written in spurts and take turns. But the book just wasn’t fitting in. Between everything else and the job, it was only getting little bits and pieces of my brain and that just wasn’t enough. I’ve noticed some flaws and fixed so much since I’ve been looking at it with a fresh and focused eye! Thanks for being patient with me – when I have a complete draft finished I will return to the blogosphere more regularly : ), and will pop by sporadically in the meantime!

  6. Ter says:

    Enjoy your break! We all need one every once in a while.

    Meanwhile, I nominated you for the sunshine award. Please see your blog listing at http://suburbancreampuff.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/a-bit-behind-but-worth-it/

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