the one I fight with the most ...

Take an easy guess! 😉

the one I fight with the most ...
Photo by Lena Taranenko on Unsplash

... needless to say, is myself.

This self-publishing journey has brought me face to face with my deepest fears. And over and over again shows me how awful it is to get swept away by all those terrors, wasting time worrying about all those what-ifs and should-haves or shouldn't-haves.

I woke up this morning grumpy, as has been the norm for much of this month. Writing has been slow, and publishing a collection of short stories has been taking longer than I wish it would.

And I know I'm trying to hasten the process, trying to rush through it all, so that someday at last it would all be done and I can heave a sigh of relief.

I don't even understand this feeling because I love to write. Or rather, I used to love writing ... But ever since having tied the measure of my writings with how much they earn me, I've become a wreck.

The thought of waking up and attending to the manuscript is not a happy one ... it makes me wake up feeling pissed and angry and annoyed and uncertain, all the time questioning myself if I should even be in this profession.

When I'm not feeling annoyed or anxious about writing, I'm worried about other things happening in the world around me. The neighbour who has put her house up for sale. The other one who has separated from her husband. The child who was unwell early last week and hasn't come to play with D in a while.

None of these are my problems. Yet, I make them so. I imagine taking D with me and going up to the child's house and knocking on their door and asking if they're OK.

My imagination takes me on wild twisted lanes. Maybe the child is injured. Maybe they've had a surgery! Gasp! Maybe the child has contracted some wild, unheard-of, infectious disease and by the very act of taking D with me to knock on their door, I'd have exposed my own little one to that same infection!

Maybe the lady who has separated will put her home up for sale and new neighbours will move in. Maybe they will demand to use our extra car parking spot, which we used to lease out to the ex-husband who left, although he did terminate the contract in writing. (And yes, I was smart enough to get them to sign a written contract in the first place, but evidently not smart enough to keep these scary thoughts at bay).

My imagination serves me best when I put in fiction. In real life, not so much.

It conjures up so many end-of-the-world scenarios that I just end up feeling overwhelmed and terrified and paralyzed into action ... which increases the probability of that end-of-the-world scenario (aka I'll never make any money from my books) ever so slightly.

Isn't that the very definition of self-sabotage?

So the objective for this week is to get back on track. By that I mean, focusing on writing and publishing, not forgetting that I'm still in the early stages of my business, the R&D stage, so to speak.

We do have one new errand to run during the week, but otherwise it's the usual routine.

I often say that my areas of focus are writing, and self-improvement (especially as a parent and in my relationship with KrA).

Yet, when I look at the amount of time I spend on everything else, it is insane. My words and my actions are in stark contrast with each other.

Anything that involves writing, parenting and being with KrA takes importance.

What I need to remember is not to spend time on other people and events not in my control!

  • Worrying about irrelevant things like why D's classmate's mom ignores me when she feels like it,
  • imagining that a friend of mine and another might be meeting up and having playdates for their children without involving D or me,
  • worrying that I might feel judged by family when I meet them later this summer,
  • worrying that I may never make enough money from my books,
  • feeling envious about other writers who 'appear' to be having a thriving business,
  • worrying that I'm not playing by the rules — for instance, not being on social media and not caring to write this post in the form of a bullet-pointed article with a catchy title such as "5 Things you must stop doing to become more productive". I don't think life can be described in an equation, and I don't write that way either.

Yeah, all of the above and many more I haven't listed here are certainly not what I wish to waste my precious life on.

So what are you wasting your time on? Other people and their opinions? Your own imaginations of what's going to happen in the future? What would you rather be doing instead?

Our time is precious. Our time is limited. Let us spend it on what matters to us, and not squander it on anything else.