There are so many rules. Everyone I talk to has something to say regarding the matter. I’ve just got to “sit down and do the work.” And I mean, it’s only two to three posts a week I need to keep up on.
Ah yes, “only,” of course, silly me, I should have known.
I also need to be writing for other platforms and submitting pitches for articles to additional blogs at least once a month if I expect to “build any kind of following,” they say.
And then of course, there’s the book. I’ll need a well developed book proposal, not to mention an outline and draft of the book itself. But please, don’t neglect blogging!
And social media, I mean, whatever you do, don’t overlook your Twitter account for goodness sake, how will anyone find you if you aren’t firing off clever antics and links to your blog posts every 2.5 minutes, and engaging in heated debates with other prominent Twitter Tweakers all day long? [Please do forgive the sardonic humor, I have nothing against Twitter; I love Twitter or something. In fact, I should probably tell you to follow me at CaylaCheri23. There! Shameless plug, I must be on the right track, yes?]
But for the love of all that is good and holy, be present! Put away your phone, look your friends in the eyes and just be. Everyone knows we aren’t what we do after all.
Now of course, please do continue to do all this in your free time outside of your 50/hr. work week. It really shouldn’t be a problem…
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m being a bit melodramatic in delivery, I knoooooow! But it doesn’t make it less true. Frankly, I’ve heard it all, and honestly, it’s all more than a little overwhelming. Yes, I understand that I have to take writing seriously, yes I understand that it’s a lot of work, yes, yes I get it.
But life is never quite as simple in practice as it is in theory, am I right? On paper it’s all rather cut and dry, but that’s just not reality, or at least it isn’t mine.
And the above only highlight the messages I’m fielding related to writing alone. I haven’t even touched on the myriad of other time-sucking activities I have to prioritize [and here you thought you’d made it past the lunatical ravings]. Take my health for example, living with chronic pain for years, I hear all the time what it is I really ought to be doing to get “fixed.” My trainer wants to help me build strength and muscle in an effort to correct the problem, so alongside training twice a week in the wee hours of the morning, on days I don’t train I should also be running and doing daily stretches and corrective exercises and rolling out my muscles. Just a little bit of “homework” he says.
My friends tell me I should be getting regular deep tissue massages, and acupuncture, definitely need that, right? But then this person tells me how their chiropractor changed their life, while this other friend assures me what I really need is to see a D.O., nope, nope, scratch that, it’s physical therapy I need.
Awesome. And would someone be so kind as to point me in the direction of the money tree? Mmmk, thanks.
At some point, let me tell you, you hit a saturation point and have to fight the urge to throw your hands in the air and say, “Who the hell knows anyway?! I’ve lived with it for this long, what’s another 50 years?” I have seen chiropractors, I have seen two Doctors of Osteopathy, both of whom shrugged their shoulders at me and handed me a prescription for muscle relaxers.
All the while, the words of my therapist still ring out in the background, “You need to be fighting for at least 8 hours of sleep a night; we want you thriving, not just surviving.” Ah yes, sleep, my ever elusive frenemy.
I’ve not even touched on the added stress of trying to balance family and friends, a small business, church and Missional Community, time in the Word and study and prayer, and, and, aaaaand let’s not forget one glaring detail folks, this hot mess is an introvert. That means I need time to be alone, to reflect and hear myself think lest I unravel into an introverts form of hell, that is, extrovert heaven.
And you know, it’s all just a lot of pressure. That’s really “all” I’m saying. Everyone seems to believe that their advice, their area of expertise is the most significant thing, the thing that should be at the top of my priority list. But they can’t all be at the top, and frankly, I’m just one person. I can’t do it all the “right” way. I just can’t. I know it’s cliché to say, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day. And I realize I sound like I’m wound up tighter than a top, but that’s because I am.
I know I’m not alone in this either. I watch my roommates and my sisters attempting to sort through all the contradicting messages we are all bombarded by on the regular, and I see how it wears on them. It seems that everyone has some brilliant input for our lives, some way of doing things that is better than how we’ve been doing it all along. And while some people are better at letting it all roll off them than I am, admittedly, I tend to internalize it a lot more, I want to create a functional framework with all that information… but it’s just too much. At some point I’ve just got to trust myself. We all do.
And yet, truly, at the end of the day, no matter how much I want to pull my hair out from time to time, when I take a moment to step back and examine my life, I am struck by the humbling reality that it is indeed a good and beautiful one. I suppose we all need a good venting session from time to time, but really, I have no complaints about this silly little window of time I’ve been given.
So here’s where I’m landing the plane: I’m going to keep writing- that’s a commitment I’ve made that I am indeed committed to. But I make no guarantees that it’s going to look a certain way; that I’m going to have ‘x’ amount of posts up per week or month or whatever. I’m always in the process of writing something, but I am a slow writer, that’s just my reality- the framework I have to operate within. And among all the many good and lovely things I’m trying to juggle, I’m also trying to produce content for a book, which requires a whole new level of commitment and dedication. I’m figuring it out, slowly but surely.
And I have to laugh a little bit when I remember that all of this- all this ranting and promise-making- it’s all really just for me. I doubt very much any of my readers really even care, but more than telling you all of this, I really just needed to tell myself. I needed to let myself off the hook a little. Everything is going to be oooo-kay.
[cue: deep breath]