I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year! I had a fabulous time. Lots of family, lots of food, lots of gifts. The Man and I went a little bit overboard with presents for the kids this year, but it was totally worth it on Christmas morning. This was the first year that we let my 11 year old be an “honorary elf”, and he loved the job. My 2 year old now adds “Merry Miss-mas” to the end of everything he says. I have a feeling we’ll be hearing it well into June.
In addition to the items Santa left under the tree for me this year, we also got another amazing gift… we found out that we’ll be welcoming a new baby into the family soon! I’m due in July, so anyone who has baby names suggestions, lay em on me. (We’re so bad at names. My 2 year old was “little buddy” for the first week of his life before we settled on something.)
1. Say “no” more often. This year I calculated that I’ve spent at least two whole months working on writing related “extras” (guest blogs, promo activities, interviews, etc.), and not working on my next book. This year I know I’m going to be shorter on time than usual… at least after July… which means I’m going to have to use it wisely when I have it. As much as I love doing all the extras, I’m going to make myself say no more often.
2. Keep a clean office! I am not one of those people that can write in a messy space. When my surroundings are unorganized, my thoughts get unorganized, too. And for the last four months my office has been in a constant state of disarray. At the moment, it’s a dumping ground for discarded furniture from throughout the house and unpacked moving boxes. Come January, cleaning it up is my first project, and keeping it clean will be my challenge.
3. Make sleep a priority. I know, I can hear some of you laughing at me already. “She’s having a new baby and expects to get more sleep?” But the truth is that everything else in my life seems to come before sleep for me. I’ll short myself on sleep to sneak in more writing time, or to sneak in more alone time with The Man after the kids go to bed, or to have a few minutes to myself before the kids get up. But the truth is, I’m always exhausted and never quite getting enough sleep. I read a study once that said the people who live the longest get an average of 9 hours of sleep a night. If that’s true, I’m so screwed. So, I’m vowing to get more sleep whenever I can.
4. Don’t worry , be happy. Yes, I totally stole that from Bobby McFerrin, but it’s going to be my no-stress motto this year. I learned some very valuable lessons in 2011. Like, I can extend a book deadline by 6 months, and the world doesn’t actually come to an end. I can experiment with different genres, and my readership won’t instantly abandon my en masse. I can even forget to blog one day (sorry, ladies!), and the wrath of the writing gods does not rain down upon me. Really, there’s nothing all that important that’s it worth the mental and physical stress we tend to put on ourselves about it. So I’m going to try to worry less and be happy with whatever the outcome is more.
~Trigger Happy Halliday