December 2, 2010

When Needing a Nap...

... is not so good.

I've been pushing myself pretty damn hard since we returned from vacation. I haven't posted pictures or shared funny anecdotes, but have become more of a machine getting through what needs to be done with various projects and pushing past obstacles.

Sometime things go well, other times... well... it's best to realize occasionally as adults we must suck it up and move forward. Dwelling on a conflict or recent upheaval will only mire one in the past and make it harder to move past it. Easier said than done.

I write with some incredibly talented writers over at Everything Erotic, which recently found a new home on Blogger just like the WITS crew and Wicked Writers. EE lost two writers over a conflict and at first I was really upset. It's incredibly hard to manage all these various personalities, trying to make sure everyone has a voice, and no one is disappointed. Some days I don't do it very well.

Will this venture work? Will we all be able to keep chugging along and working side by side? I think so, mainly because most of us feel very passionate about the work we're doing and the number of readers we're able to reach. But, we may lose writers at times and gain others. It will continue to be a growing, expanding, ever-changing beast.

Why am I no longer upset about the writers we lost? Well, I have bigger fish to fry. If I can't convince them to stay they must ultimately do what they feel is right for their career.

Unfortunately, pushing myself so hard has led to a flare up with my symptoms (also called a Herxheimer reaction) and meeting with my doctor yesterday only confirmed it. I've neglected my supplements since I returned from vacation (mainly because I hate taking them) and the doctor gave me a polite "get your ass back on track if you want to get better" talk yesterday.

I came home from my latest IV infusion treatment and took a nap. Not just because my head hurt, but because my body needed it. And that was the second day in a row I needed a lie down in the middle of the day. Within a few hours my headache was back, stronger than before and I was ready to run screaming from my family (which they may have preferred over the snippy, shrew of a bitch who shared the home with them instead).

Before the pain hit, I was able to map out a time line on what I need to do complete book two on time. In addition to making out a rough sketch of how to plan the hours in my day (complete with the dreaded exercise, God help me!)

Today I'm finally getting all the print copies out to Goodreads winners. I apologize for my delay, it is really inexcusable. The truth is, I just can't handle all aspects of this gig sometimes.

How do other writers do it? Do they have helpers? Are they physically stronger and not battling health demons? I know that's not always the case, lots of reclusive writers are reclusive for a reason - and health can very well be a big factor. Maybe they don't blog in five places with twenty five writers (we lost two, but gained four on WITS and one more on EE)? Maybe their kids are grown?

Whatever the reason - I had an epiphany last night on the couch while I was trying to convince my husband if he wants my book to sell he needs to actually help sell it rather than just keep talking about helping. I can't control if my book sells. That's a pretty hard realization to make for an OCPD person. What? You mean if I pour hours of my life, heart and soul into selling the book it still may not sell?

It was like a "this does not compute" moment. I've always felt that if I worked hard enough at something and kept going it would ultimately succeed out of sheer dogged determination. And yes, that is the case for most success stories. But at some point, while doing all that pushing, you have to accept you really have no control.

You may be wishing and working and hoping for the best... but if that was the case then most new restaurants wouldn't fail - you can bet more than half of those owners worked their butts off in addition to wishing and hoping.

You know what this really equates to? Faith. I have to have faith in myself, in my work, and in my future. Unwavering faith that this is the path for me and I have found my new career. Faith that the sales may not come right away, but they will as time goes by.

This faith points me to another important fact: I need to get back to writing. I've put so many things before this plain and simple fact. It's not "Writer's Block". I know what the fuck I'm supposed to write. It's "writer's misdirection".

I need to get back on track. Stay tuned on Facebook. After the holidays there will be some new contests, new chapters being released, and the old me will be firmly back on track. I need to write, I need to let go of the griefs that have been weighing me down since last spring when Eric died, and I need to buck up and follow my doctors orders.

Instead of life handing me lemons, I need to stop grabbing all the lemons I see and trying to mash them all into lemonade. I need to accept what I cannot change and more forward in this new career. My books will sell. They will just take some time.



Marissa Farrar said...

You're doing amazingly well, C.J. You need to cut yourself some slack sometimes. One thing you will never have control over is your body dealing with a very severe illness that would knock most of us sideways. Instead of staying in bed sobbing (as I probably would have done) you still work your butt off. And you book IS selling. Okay, it may not be on the Times bestseller list just yet, but it's already sold more than most small time publishers. Be proud of what you've achieved. And get back to writing. Remember that is what this whole thing is ultimatly about--being a writer.

C.J. Ellisson said...

Thanks for commenting Marissa. And for the pep talk. You're right, they are selling, I don't know why I expect it all to be an overnight success. If I run this race like a sprinter I'm going to pass out and waste away before the finish line!

And with two small kids clamoring for you I have no doubt if you were ill you'd get up and work as well. It's just our lot in life as mothers sometimes. No matter how crappy you're feeling, life goes on and some little ones need you - best to get our asses up 'cause the tears won't help! ;-)

See? Not Talkin' Out My Ass!

About this blog:

"Who the heck is this C.J. chick?"

Sure, you may not have heard of me and that's okay. I may not have heard of you either ;-) But ask yourself this one simple question -- What were you doing in January 2009 and had you ever written one word of fiction?

I can tell you where I was and what I was doing. I spent days in doctor's offices and sitting at home the rest of the time, wondering what I was going to do with my time now that my property management and Realtor business was on hold for the foreseeable future.

That's right, I never wrote a fictional piece before and I never thought I could be a writer. My background is Art, Chemistry and Business… not English, Journalism, or Creative Writing.

Now, I'm an award-winning bestselling author of contemporary fantasy. In under three years. And I have over 10,000 followers on facebook. Do you? 'Cause if you do then you probably don't need my help. ;-)

Side Note: I use an editor for all my books (several in fact), but not on my blog posts. So if you see errors, try to be nice and overlook them.

Please comment on the posts you find helpful -- I look forward to getting to know you!

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