Thursday, January 19, 2012

Success and Failure

I've repeated my catch phrase so many times I'm sure you all have it memorized: mother of three who works fifty miles from home and writes in her "spare time".

But the truth is, as denoted by the quotes, I don't have any spare time. I want to succeed as an author so I make time to write. Whether I'm daydreaming on my commute, chugging out the words during my two fifteen minute breaks and half hour lunch at work, or carting the laptop all around my house with me till eleven or later every evening, you can be sure I'm writing . . . or doing something writing related.

But how long can I treat my body this way? I don't take breaks, and I get very little sleep. After dinner a couple nights ago I crashed on the couch. Very rare for me. For a few weeks now my body has been screaming to take a break, but I've been ignoring it.

I’m so afraid of being a failure I forget my body can fail. I've written two and a half novels in a year, started a successful blog, earned a nice following on Twitter and Facebook, and yet here I am, afraid if I slow down my much needed moment of rest will somehow mark the beginning of the end for me.

Why?

Writing out my successes makes worrying about failure seem silly, but in this fast paced world it seems if we take any time off we get left behind.

I don’t want to be left behind, but I also don’t want to be wearing two nasty black bags under my eyes if Good Morning America ever calls me up for an interview.

So what do I do? How do I find balance again? How can I manage to be successful at my day job, at parenting, at being a wife, at writing, at taking over the world all while managing to get adequate rest?

That was a rhetorical question . . . don’t try to answer it because I don’t think there is really any right answer, but my answer is this: SOMEHOW!

Because I want to be successful as a mother, as a wife, and as a writer, I will do whatever it takes. If it means staying up late every day for a year while pumping out two kick ass novels (at least in my opinion) then that’s what I’ll do. If it means falling over practically dead on the couch and sleeping twelve hours straight to catch up on sleep then that’s what I’ll do. If it means taking a week or two off here and there to spend time with my kids and husband while forgetting about the writing world for awhile then that’s what I’ll do.

I need to listen to my body, listen to my family, and I have to stop being afraid of failing because I’ve already found success.

36 comments:

  1. You have the drive to do it, all you have to do is trust that you can and you will.
    It's good that you remember being a writer is only a portion of who you are. Mother and wife are important roles, too.
    Spare time? What's that? :)

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    1. Exactly. I'm not sure anyone has spare time anymore. ;-) Being a wife and mother are the most important jobs a person can hold.

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  2. I put my body and mind through the ringer last summer. I powered through finishing my second novel and spent the rest of the year barely able to write 500 words a day. Keep that drive, because sometimes it's all you've got to make things happen, but do take the time to look after yourself. Everyone finds their own way.

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    1. Yeah, we truly need to care for ourselves. It's hard when we're driven. :-)

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  3. We all struggle with that feeling at some point. But don't lose yourself in it. Listen to your body, while making the adjustments to satisfy your drive. You'll succeed. :)

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    1. I'm listening. I do yell at my body a lot, but it yells right back. Ha

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  4. I swear, you're channeling me, Krystal. I've got the same trouble, finding/making time to write. I envy your commute time to day dream. I miss when I had a longer commute, even if I couldn't write stuff down during it. But do be careful on the sleep thing. It'll come back and bite you in the butt, and not in a good way, if you're not careful.

    Congrats on the books, and keep it up. :)

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    1. Don't envy that commute. Haha. It's a daily struggle. Sometimes it can be nice. It's me time...with a couple of strangers added in just for fun.

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  5. You are a success and an inspiration. And you are doing what you love and what you have to do to continue doing what you love.If the worst thing you are doing to your body is lack of sleep, that's ok. It will catch it when it needs it. You may just have to become a serious napper my dear! Its amazing what a 15 minute power nap will do! At least you are not subjecting your body to jumping out of airplanes. Smoochies :)

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    1. Aww. Thanks, Kellianne. You're right. I can sleep when I'm eighty. haha

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  6. You get more done while you're at work than I manage to do all day. ;c)

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    1. ;-) I think writing on breaks and such is easier than homeschooling my kids. I don't know how YOU do as much as you do. You are the true inspiration.

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  7. Do you REALLY want me to keep quiet on this one?? Honestly, I can't. I just can't. BUT, before you lob that tomato in my face...shoot me an email with your days mapped out for a week and I will help you. IF you want. And you know that I am going to figuring in all my jewels to that list, but it will be doable...I promise! Write me, Mama! I have three, too, so I know your struggles (ok minus the 50 mi commute)...let's do this! :)

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    1. Haha, Tania. I'll definitely throw an e-mail your way. But while I'm sitting here whining, should I mention that all my blogs are already scheduled through next week? I'm so far ahead! I just need to tell negative nancy (my inner voice) to SHUT UP!

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  8. Great post!
    We all have our own struggles and have to find our way through this.
    But you clearly have the drive to do it. I have no doubt you'll continue to be successful!
    Balance is an illusion in my opinion. I don't know about you, but I'm always adjusting so I don't topple over. ;)

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    1. I have drive...that's not going ANYWHERE. Writing is who I am and it's what I'll continue to do for as long as possible. :-)

      And I do have to adjust the balance here and there.

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  9. Hi Krystal,
    We all feel like this from time to time and it just means our batteries need recharging. Make the time to so something for yourself, just for you and no one else.

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    1. I need a day at the spa. Deep tissue massage ought to do me well.

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  10. Be proud of your drive! As they say, eighty percent of success is showing up. I'm pretty sure most of the remaining twenty percent is B vitamins.

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    1. B vitamins, huh? I'll have to buy some. :-) I'm very proud!

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  11. Right there with ya, gal. I used to get eight hours of sleep a night before I got my writing career off the ground. Now there are many days when I get half that! Balancing family, a day job and writing is a unique challenge. We're all here to offer you whatever support we can! *hugs*

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    1. I think I'm better now. I just needed that moment to mini rant. ;-)

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  12. Krystal I totally get this. I also work far from home and am struggling to balance wife/mother/work/writer. In the little spare time I have, I write. On the way to work in the car, I think about new chapters, new characters and am desperately scribbling the notes down in the car park as the time ticks away before I have to go into the office. Kudos to you my dear, it takes a certain kind of dedication to uphold this kind of life and only the determined survive!

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    1. sounds like kudos are due to you as well. We can do this. I am doing this. The way is paved. :-)

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  13. I don't have the mother part to contend with, but I do travel constantly for work, and have school. I am too guilty of not making time to write because I am "too tired" to be creative. Which is likely why I only have 2 novels done (one collecting dust on my hard drive), but my 2012 resolution is t write 10 pages every week. Just think, with enough work, maybe writing CAN be our jobs one day! And then you can add sleep back in.

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    1. Oh I make time to write. That's the thing, I make so much of it I don't get enough rest. I think your goal of ten pages every week is a great. I strive to reach 2000 words a day. It's tough, but I'm tougher.

      I'd say blow that dust off and get to work! When you have kids it only gets harder.

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  14. You'll make it!!! I believe in you!! :)

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  15. I have to say, Krystal, I feel the same way. However, you have found a way to work in writing with your tremendously hectic schedule. I am still trying to master it all. If you actually can master it. I hope you continue to stay focused and do everything you need to do to be successful.
    Trina

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    1. I think you can master it, or at least get used to it so it seems mastered. ;-) Good luck! I'll be rooting you on, too!

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  16. Krystal, I apologize for not getting here until now. I actually read this post early this morning while I was at work when it dropped into my e-mail. It spoke volumes to me.

    I work as a Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Raisins. I am in bed before 8:30 pm because my alarm sounds at 2:45 am. I'm in the office by 3:30 am and work until the work is done; usually somewhere between 11 & 12 hrs. I live on my iPhone, attempting to stay connected. I exercise for 40 minutes, clean up and then hit the laptop. I juggle all of the stuff you're juggling: writing, blogging, networking, dinner, chores and then bed again...

    Just be careful not to run yourself into the ground while doing all of that stuff, Krystal. It won't help anyone. I had two weeks off during Christmas and I was sick for the whole thing because it was all too much and caught up with me.

    Thanks for sharing. There's so many of us treading water, isn't there?
    Take care.

    -Jimmy
    http://jamesgarciajr.blogspot.com/

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    1. I do appreciate you hopping over to visit. Sounds like your work schedule is much worse than mine. It's tough to keep it all up, the juggling, but so worth it. I'm trying to listen to my body, and I'm trying to remind myself I won't be left behind. I'm there. I'm already successful. My followers aren't going to run away from me if I take a day off. :-)

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  17. Hon, so glad you didn't finish that post by saying you were gonna turn over a new leaf. I LOVE that you said you were gonna keep doing what you're doing. That's what we all do and have to do. It's part of the job description, right!? Keep on keeping on!

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    1. Oh, Derek, you do know I'm not the giving up type, right? I will fight till the death for this! Even if it's mine. hahahah just kidding...partially.

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  18. This post probably rang true for everyone who read it. I once attended a work conference where the keynote speaker commented on why so many New Year's resolutions fail. If we vow to do MORE of something (writing, exercising, quality family time) we are destined to fail unless we make a corresponding vow to do LESS of something else.

    In order to write, I cut back on gardening, watching TV and (gasp) reading. My only regret is that I hadn't done it sooner.

    Keep writing!

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  19. Really great post and a good reminder to all us who try to do too much and forget about taking care of ourselves.

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