Once upon a time I spent all of my weekends frolicking in the woods or playing in the garden. Jewel Basin is one of my favorite local hiking spots (see above), but I haven't hiked into those mountains in almost two years. These days, it seems as though I spend most of those weekends at my computer writing. I blame myself. I have so many ideas, projects, and plans that I tend to take on too much and overdo.
I worry about not getting the next installment in a series out quickly enough or meeting deadlines. Those books don't write themselves (how nice would that be). I've been blessed with an incredible group of readers who are patient and understanding when life throws curveballs resulting in delays.
What most people don't know is that writing isn't all I do. It's all I want to do and someday will, but I've co-owned a business for almost thirteen years and while I've scaled back considerably, that business still relies on my participation. I also handle a lot of the marketing for my sister's company. Add in the writing and it can make for some very busy days.
Those who follow me online or have read previous posts know that I don't like to talk about myself or my personal life. I don't like to share pictures of family, friends, the cute guy I like spend time with, or talk about the details of my day. That's not me. I've been to two writing/book conferences—both small—and I left both times feeling very exposed.
I always get this idea to go to that conference or this one, and every time I get close, my true self starts to shout, "This isn't you!" Burnout comes much faster when I attempt to step outside of myself.
I often joke with family that I want to be just like Johanna Lindsey. Write my books, publish, use the same author photo for the next twenty years, and the rest of the time I live in oblivion. Unfortunately, that's not possible in today's book market (Except the author photo. I'm going to give that a try.)
Will I slow down and cut back? In some areas I've already started, but writing isn't one of them. I may need to pull back on occasion and pretend that I have a life, but I'll never quit writing.
What does all of this random rambling add up to? Burnout. It happens, and it's happened to me a few times since the start of this year. In order to remain sane and still sleep, I've had to adjust my release schedule for 2016 just a bit. Originally, I had planned on releasing four books this year, but it will likely be two, three at the most (unless I can get my cloning machine to work).
Hey, it happens. I love what I do. It gives me such great joy, and when I can't write, I become anxious and feel incomplete.
What else makes me happy? Snow. Winter. Cold weather that makes one yearn for the warmth of a fire, a wool blanket, and a good book while sipping tea or hot cocoa. Many people are now dreaming of spring, but I'm just saying . . . :)