Saturday, November 3, 2012

Normal has shifted (and didn't leave a forwarding address)

It has been a crazy year. At times I've worked very hard to complete the things I'd committed to do. At times I've done things I didn't think I could do. But I did them all. Sometimes I was spinning from one event to another, from one deadline to another, wondering whether I might just fall off the edge or hit the wall and bounce back into oncoming traffic. It's hard to say no to things in this business, even though at times saying no would have eased the pressure a little. Truth is I didn't want to say no to anything. I wanted to do it all. Sometimes keeping all the balls in the air was as much by luck as by good management, but my luck and my good management held. You learn different ways of working; you learn that you can do more than you thought you could; you learn that nearly every time the rewards are more than worth it. My goal with everything is to produce a quality product - that's the bottom line I try to never lose sight of.

What else did I learn this year? I've learnt (yet again) that getting back to normal never happens. Waiting for a quiet period during which you can do all the things you've put aside never comes (and let's face it when you do get a quiet period, the last thing you feel like doing is a list of chores you put off in the first place). Do the things you want and need to do - forget, or delegate the rest. I've learnt that things are continually changing - my career, my expectations, who I am have all changed this year. And I suspect that my hope that I would catch up with myself and get the hang of me before the next change occurred will never happen. I'll just have to arrange for someone to throw a bucket of cold water over me or slap me if I become someone I wouldn't approve of.

I've learnt that being more 'zen' about the publishing industry is a sanity saver. We'll all be dust in a hundred years anyway. Fret less, pamper more, might be one of my new mottos.

And helpfully, I have come up with some handy guidelines for how friends and family can support the author in their life.

Caring for the author in your life.
Caring for your author can be a tricky and sometimes time consuming business. Authors need regular feeding and exercise to maintain good health. They respond well to frequent praise and reassurance. And it is important for them to spend time in the company of other authors, especially in the early days to encourage good socialization. Regular play will result in a happier author. The occasional treat won’t hurt them but should ideally be used to reinforce good behaviour. Do not feed them under the table as this creates bad habits. Drinking under the table is different. Just remember clear bright eyes and a glossy coat are the signs of a healthy author. Your patience, commitment and consistency will pay off in the long run giving you a happy and loyal companion for years to come.

1 comment:

maureen said...

I think your little mantra on caring for the author should be the first thing you stick on a mug and sell off your site....Brilliant words!!!

Maureen catching up on all the Melinda blogs she missed while away!