Monday, April 30, 2007

Maniac Monday--so true

I figured if anyone can blog about Maniac Monday it is me. This year I have felt more than Mondays were that way. With school ending in a month, things are heating up at my day job as a teacher. But on top of that I have a book to write in two months! At this moment I’m asking myself: why did I do this to myself? Good question. Why do we push ourselves to do more and more in the same amount of time?

For me I’ve come to the conclusion I’m a workaholic. (Also, I’m a caramelaholic. For my birthday the other day, I had a hot caramel sundae instead of cake. Much more satisfying. But I digress. Back to the subject.) There is so much I want to do in life and only so many hours in a day. Wouldn’t it be nice it a day was say thirty hours long or I only needed a few hours of sleep a night to be refreshed? So when my publisher offered me a continuity, I couldn’t turn it down. Instead of writing the usual three books in a year, suddenly I was writing four.

It has been a challenge. One of the things I’ve had to give up is reading for pleasure. For a writer and lover of books, that is a sacrifice. I’m counting the days to summer. I hope I’ll be able to read for pleasure again, at least some. And when I go on vacation, I’m taking a stack of books and hanging out at the beach with them. I can’t wait. Nothing’s better than reading with the waves sounding in the background and the warm rays of the sun beating down. What do you have to give up when life gets crazy?

Margaret Daley
SO DARK THE NIGHT, Love Inspired Suspense, March 2007
ONCE UPON A FAMILY, Love Inspired, April 2007
VANISHED, Love Inspired Suspense, May 2007


Sally MacKenzie said...

What I SHOULD give up is time on the Internet! And I, too, have pretty much given up reading for pleasure. I think that's partly because I am overwhelmed by my tbr pile. I want to read my friends' books--and now that I know more writers, I have even more books calling to me--and then I get all those free books at conferences. Ack! No one warned me about this side of being published.

Terry Z McDermid said...

I thought I would have more time once I stopped teaching, Margaret, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Still the same amount of hours in the day! Who knew!

I know I don't sleep as many hours as I should but I still get my best thoughts late at night. No phones, no family distractions, just a quiet house. I have been known to take a quick power nap in the middle of the day -- that is a perk I couldn't do when I was working at a regular job.

I've given up driving so that I can continue to read. Instead of me being the driver to a ballgame for our son (and I love to drive fast on the highway!), I'm letting my husband drive and that way, I can read some of the myriad books stacked on my shelves. And, yes, if I've started a great book on a trip, I will give up even more of my sleep time to keep reading.

JoAnn Ross said...

Good topic. I've honestly no idea what to give up. Crazy is my life, which I keep vowing to change.

I figured out the other day that I've written nearly every day (even while at PASIC) for 26 years now, which, if you figure an average 5 day work week, has added 7.4 years onto my total career.

I've taken two vacations where I didn't work at all in the last six years; one to Italy 9 days after 9/11 and the other to Ireland last fall.

Not only did I not take my laptop, or my alphasmart, I stayed away from all Internet cafes and didn't tell anyone but my kid where I was going to be, so no publisher could find me and fedex something, which they have always done whenever I try to get away. It was sheer heaven. (Too bad I seem to have to leave the country to relax.)

I once, and I am not making this up, proofed galleys in the stands at half time -- surrounded by thousands of noisy fans -- during a Rose Bowl game because they were due back Jan. 3.

To paraphrase Betty Davis, a writing career is not for sissies.

As for those 30 hr days, I guarantee you'd just use the extra hours to crowd more stuff in, though I do think that caramel treat was important. We should all treat ourselves to small pleasures more often, since the larger ones are often harder to grasp. Or make time for.

Meanwhile, enjoy your summer!

gailbarrett said...

I gave up most of my online activities. I was feeling so overwhelmed recently that I just dropped out of everything. I couldn't keep up and was feeling way too much pressure. Now I am adding a few back, but not all of them.

Nancy Morse said...

It's not so much giving something up as it is hurrying through everything so that there's time for it all. But if time is short, the first thing to go is housework. If the house doesn't get cleaned, so what? Next, sadly, comes reading for pleasure. I haven't taken a vacation in years, so you can't give up what you don't have. If I'm really feeling the squeeze, I give up an hour or two at my day job, which is easier for me to do since I work at home, but then I scramble like crazy to make up the time. At one point I gave up walking the dog three times a day, but when he looked at me with those eyes (you dog lovers out there know the eyes I'm talking about), I went back to the regular schedule. My life is one big rush, and I don't mean a rush of euphoria. I mean rush here, rush there. But I keep doing it, so I must like it this way.

Margaret Daley said...

I too have worked on my books on vacation. I've been on a beautiful beach writing away. And thankfully I found someone to clean my house or it would never get done. I hate housework.