Make a list. Check things off the list.
Oh, hey. How you doing?
I feel compelled to tell you that my bathroom is clean. My kitchen, too, if you don’t count the dried-on chocolate milk my daughter spilled on it last night and didn’t clean up. 😝 Not that it matters whether or not the rooms are clean, but the cleanliness of my world is a really good indication of the clarity of my mind.
I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I feel this week.
I did what I could last week, despite the utter insanity of life I was drowning in. And then, over the weekend, I relaxed a little and made some lists. For all my projects, I created a separate lists with actual check-off-able items so I could see it all visually and get cracking on it as soon as I sat down to work this week.
And, by gosh, it worked. I set aside 3 days to work this week. Day 2 is just rounding to a finish, and I have been SO DAMN PRODUCTIVE. Migrating emails, updating websites, delivering flyers, writing press releases - everything had its time, and I’ve been able to just grab a list item and go when I’m ready. Is everything done? Nope. Am I still drowning, a little? Mhm. But I have a very tangible list of all the things that need to be done, so I can prioritize and feel successful, and when I find a chunk of work time I can plug a task off the list and complete it.
So… What are these tasks I’ve been busy accomplishing?
Well, mostly, I’ve been streamlining. Getting all my content, all my newsletters and social media and contacts and essays all lined up, looking clean, and - most importantly - working for me. This is stuff that’s been hanging over my head for a long time, and it feels great to have some dedicated time to do it.
You know I switched email providers a few months ago. This week, I uploaded my entire archive here so you can go back and see all the cool resources I’ve been uploading along the way, even if you haven’t been subscribed all this time. The way I had to do it meant that I had to uncheck the “send to all subscribers” checkbox for each post - so, like, 35 times. Did you get a random email about something you’d already seen before? If not, you can color me impressed because that was some tedious work.
One thing you can do now, though, is to check out the Archive. Everything I’ve ever done since I started my newsletter over a year ago is there - including reproductive evolution timelines (What?), deleted scenes, and more. Definitely go take a peek.
Since we’re talking about it, I have some reflections on those earlier newsletters.
The first one I sent was on my son’s first birthday. He just turned two, and it’s fascinating to reflect on the cyclical nature of things. Everything does indeed come in seasons, repeated patterns that come and go and come back again. Cycles of feeling like I’m losing myself in motherhood. Pressure to do all the things that eases and returns with the change of the weather. And the weather itself - I find I reference the weather more often than not; maybe it has more to do with my mental state than I realized, because I can tell you right now as I sit here with my windows opening and a breeze tickling my nose I am happier today than I was a couple rainy weeks ago.
But with the cycles, there have been some unidirectional shifts as well. In particular, I notice how numb I’ve become to the whole querying process. I was so nervous to send out my first batch of queries to agents. So anxious to hear back. So deflated when I received a rejection and elated when I received a full manuscript request. (So far there have been two, which is REALLY good).
But these days my eyes just glaze over when I think about querying. I have followups to do. I have a manuscript out and have already pinged the agent once and she doesn’t seem to be in any hurry whatsoever to read my beautiful story. I have more querying to do. But none of it makes me feel anything anymore.
Maybe it’s because of all the other more immediate things I have going on - I’ve been querying for a year, and it’s so much waiting without hearing back that it just kind of fades away. What I’m really looking forward to is the Festival of Writing in June, where I’ll be able to meet with some agents face-to-face and make a final decision about whether to continue pursuing agents or to seek an alternative (and quicker!) route to publication so I can get out of this holding period I’ve been in.
Until then, I’ll be over here finishing my reimagination of what my authorly empire looks like - tweaking my social media, sending you updates, and doing things I can get excited about.
See you soon,
P.S. Here is a sneak peek of some of the changes I’ve been up to. (The second one is a video - you’ll have to click to see it. And make sure your sound is on!) More coming soon!