I’m a private person, which is funny to admit to myself. I share bits and pieces of my life, but as a naturally introverted human, I keep most everything to myself. Like most, what I do share tends to be the happy stuff. So you’re forgiven for not knowing that 2017 was an extremely difficult year for me. Some of you know why, others think you do… but I’m glad to see this past year come to an end.
The last few weeks of 2017 were witness to a rare event. It’s much talked about in the Huxley household, sometimes in a threatening tone, but it actually happened.
I took time off. From everything.
Even with a deadline so far past I couldn’t stand to look at the calendar. Even with a book launch right smack dab in the middle. There’s a long list of ‘evens’ that could’ve prevented this historical event from happening. But in the end, I took nearly two full weeks off, the first legit break in years.
I expected to eat a ton of food (check). I figured I’d binge shows I’ve been missing (Glitch *1 season*, Peaky Blinders *2 seasons*, Black Mirror *1 season*, and a ridiculous amount of Christmas movies). I caught up on sleep. I went on hikes.
I wasn’t expecting an overwhelming flood of creativity. I wrote down a ridiculous amount of story ideas and even began plotting a few out. I didn’t count this as work because it’s something I’ve done my entire life. Writing was a hobby before it was a career, after all!
The time off brought about some unexpected clarity as well. My brain cooked away in the background even though the sofa had formed around me and I vaguely resembled someone on the edge of a coma. When I came out the other side, blinking into the bright daylight of 2018, I’d come to a few conclusions.
- Social media is a productivity suck
No shit. But really. It’s easy for me to justify spending time on Facebook because I belong to writer’s groups, marketer’s groups, and love interacting with friends/readers. It’s work, right? But I realized after 2 weeks away, it fundamentally makes me unhappy. It kills my creativity, drains my productivity, and completely tanks my mood. It’s not that I don’t love the people I’m friends with. It’s that my connection with everyone feels so… empty. I have plans to fix this, but for now, I’m going to be a wispy ghost on social media.
- I am an author, above all else
Fuckin’ hell. If only all epiphanies could be so obvious. I’m not going to get into details, but there’s a lot to this business that is not for me. I have no desire to be a pseudo-celebrity. I don’t care if people recognize my name. All I ultimately care about is writing stories readers love to read and making money doing it. Yes it’s a passion, but believe me when I say, I’m not cut out for general employment. It’s what I did in the beginning, I’ve lost focus a little, but I’ve recalibrated again.
- Doing > talking
I am SICK TO DEATH of people who write five posts a day about how they’re #killingit. Yeah? Prove it, Linda. Okay, sure, I’m guilty of it as well, to a lesser extent. It’s hard work pounding out 5,000 words in a story but there’s no instant gratification. I have to do that at least 10-12 times before I have something that even resembles a book. It’s addictive to share that achievement and get praise, but that’s driven by nothing more than ego. See the point above ^^^ And yes, I understand the irony of writing an entire post like this while condemning Linda, but imma do it once. Not once a day.
- It has to be fun
Somewhere along the way I lost sight of what makes this career so much fun. I don’t know what that means in real, actionable terms, but when shit stops being fun, I’m out. Life’s too short, especially with WWIII on the horizon.
2018 is the year I turn 35. It’s also the year I mark 10 years married to my husband. It feels like it’s going to be a good year. I’m comfortable with who I am, what my limitations and abilities are, where I need to grow, who and what I have to let go. I’m closer to becoming the woman I want to be than I was this time last year.
So…. yeah. That’s all I wanted to share. If you feel like you haven’t heard from me in a while, send me an email or FB message (I’ve kept messenger on for now). I want to connect with you in different ways, tangible, real, personal ways. And if you just want to read the books I write? FUCKING AWESOME. Thank you. That’s been the deal all along!
Love and peace in the new year,