"I'm sorry. I'm just too busy. Maybe next time."
"I'm so busy, I don't have time to do anything for myself."
"If you want something done, just ask a busy person to do it."
I've been guilty of saying all of the above. But why? One of the benefits of being a freelance writer and novelist is to own my own time rather than lease it to a corporation. I'm not reaping the rewards, and I know I'm not alone.
As a novelist, I live for moments when my wonderful agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, calls to let me know we have an offer on one of the gazillion proposals we have out there in "Publishingland." Last summer, my wish came true. I received a slew of contracts from two different publishers. I was elated. Then reality kicked in, and I had to get to work to meet deadlines.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy to have these opportunities, and I pray that I have more summers just like the last one—with lots of sales. I'm even reaping the rewards, now that most of my books are finished. In fact, I just received author copies of my latest, LOVE FINDS YOU IN TREASURE ISLAND, FLORIDA, this week. But what I need to do is stop adding to my busyness by piling on more things that aren't necessary or I don't enjoy. I'm working hard at keeping my priorities in order: faith, family, and work. However, I also need to take time to relax, regenerate, and refresh. I need more time to exercise so I can stay healthy for my husband, children, granddaughter, and friends. I need to settle down a little earlier at night and read. I need to get 7-8 hours of restful sleep at night. And I need to spend more times with friends, laughing and enjoying all the blessings of our lives.
Some of my Avalon books indirectly deal with frantic characters who need to slow down and find balance in life. You'll see this in A NEW BEGINNING and both of my Hawaii-set "Aloha" books ALOHA REUNION and FOREVER ALOHA. I also have a burned out female detective who quits the police force and visits her uncle in Florida to "find herself" in CORPSE ON THE COURT, written under my maiden name Deborah Tisdale.
Busyness is overrated. It's the act of scurrying around looking like you're accomplishing something but doing nothing the way it should be done.
How busy are you? What are you going to do about it? How do you like to relax or fill the creative well?