Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Some 434 light years away from our spinning blue ball of joy a star twinkles, ignorant of us, our hopes, our dreams, and our need for that star to keep shining. Polaris, the North Star, has been a guiding light for weary travelers for centuries. Unmoving, unchanging, Polaris is more than a distant light, it's a symbol of safety. I could use a guiding light just now.
Ever since I can remember I've had a streak of Perfectionism, a driving need to Do It Right. On top of that I acquired the need to Do Everything. It wasn't good enough that I excelled at reading, I needed to be at the top of my science, math, and history classes too. It's not good enough that I can read a street map and menu in enough languages to get around most the EU, no, I want to be fluent in as many languages as possible, even though I'm widely considered only Barley Fluent in my native tongue. I'm not content with being a mom and author, I want to be a mom, and author, and gourmet chef, and fabulous interior decorator, and polyglot, and photographer, and teacher, and master gardener and somehow not wind up in a straight jacket.
Every time I look at someone's stunning accomplishments, from their flawless prose to their perfectly posed Christmas cards, I want to do that. Not to pay someone to do it for me. Not to enjoy it like a normal, rationale human being. No. I want to know how they did it so I can do it myself.
Whether this is irrational Perfectionism or healthy Curiosity is hard to say, but it leaves me with the attention span of a rabid butterfly.
Interestingly enough, I recently read an article about the benefits of Healthy Stress. Some people thrive on being busy and productive. What differentiates Healthy Stress from the kind of stress that kills you is an ability to focus on priorities, having a set time frame for the increased stress, and clearly defining the goals and objectives. Stress without cause is never healthy.
At this moment in time, my life lacks a North Star. I'm storm-tossed, lost in the fog, and trying to find something to set my course by. The goals I've set have been too big (keep the house clean) or too vague (get published) or to End Result rather than First Step (become fluent in Spanish).
What I need to find is my North Star; the top priority that everything needs to revolve around. And that North Star isn't writing. At the end of the day the books don't matter. My family does. I need to make my family my priority, and keep writing to what it is: my job.
I write because I love these stories. I love sharing these stories and showing you the fun world I've discovered. I love exploring the places that pop up in my imagination. But it is still a job. A fun job. A great job. But still something with set hours and a schedule.
This isn't a quitting post. It's a vacation post. I'm stepping back, taking a deep breath, and lining up my ducks for 2013. I predict a busy year ahead. I hope that activity will result in some more books you love, and even more books lined up for 2014 and beyond, but before I can jump into the fray I need a battle plan.
The blog will be dark until some time around January 7th when the kids head back to school. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holidays, stay safe and warm through this very blustery weather, and have a wonderful, prosperous, magical New Year.