I was this close to not posting anything today. Hence, the title of this post. I figured OK, it’s 9/11. I should write something thoughtful, profound, and emotionally moving. But the thought of it was just too daunting. I’m stressed as it is and now I’ve just added to it by putting pressure on myself. Something I’ve been doing a lot of lately.
So I thought okay, I just can’t do it. Then brainstorm—that’s it! My post is about how I have no time to write a post.
We’re all busy with our lives and trying to get stuff done with not enough time in the day. But when writer conferences loom on the horizon, suddenly the stuff we need to get done doubles.
I shouldn’t complain. It’s not like I’m Glen Erik Hamilton, the author of the excellent Van Shaw series. He wrote a recent blog post about trying to meet his insane deadline (spoiler alert: he did it!). I’m not under the wire to finish Book Three (or any book) in seven months. I wish.
But that doesn’t make me any less stressed. I should have started things much earlier but I’m the queen of procrastination. Plus I had family time and vacation time planned. It was my dad’s semi-annual visit and birthday.
Then I went to Seattle and Vancouver to see all my cousins.
After that reality hit. Vacation time was over and it was almost September. I knew there was an early September deadline for a short story I wanted to write. Once I finished that in the nick of time, I started the next. Thankfully, this deadline isn’t until October but really, that’s not so far away. Then there was preparation for a talk that Sybil Johnson and I had with a book club at the Wiseburn Library. What a blast! These ladies were so enthusiastic, and I’ve never sold so many books at a library before.
So now I’ve finally been able to come up for air only to discover that Bouchercon is only 3 days away. Argh! I have to prepare for my reading at Noir at the Bar After Dark. I have to look over my questions for the panel I’m on. I have another reading at a time “when we can find the time.” I have a list of people I want to see and authors I’m dying to meet (stalk) and I haven’t even gotten around to looking at what panels are “must-sees.” Let’s not even get into what I’m going to pack. New Orleans is raining and hot and humid right now. Hotels are always freezing and air conditioned. Apparently, I’m just going to pack my entire wardrobe.
I get overwhelmed at these big conferences and since I’m already overwhelmed without leaving my house, that’s not a good sign. I just have to remember to take a breath and if I need a time-out while I’m there, I can always hide in my room. Or Commander’s Palace. Or a cemetery.
Busy is good and I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. I just have to keep reminding myself of this. I also have to remind myself that even though I stress, I always manage to get it done. And if I don’t, who cares? It’s not the end of the world. People understand. Things can be rescheduled.
And look at that, I’m done with my post! Excuse me while I bask in this momentary feeling of accomplishment.
Sarah M. Chen juggles several jobs including indie bookseller, transcriber, and insurance adjuster. Her crime fiction short stories have appeared in Shotgun Honey, Crime Factory, Betty Fedora, Out of the Gutter, and Dead Guns Press, among others. Cleaning Up Finn is her first book available now with All Due Respect Books. www.sarahmchen.com