Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Catching Up With Ketchup

I recently had a meltdown. 

In the two years I have been working in the children's book business and adult blogging, I never felt so overwhelmed as I did last week.  Not to mention, I am currently working overtime while my boss is away.  The pressure came caving down on me and had no where else to diffuse itself... and then came the ketchup.

As I was running an errand, there she was... that beautiful, big smiling, freckled face, red-headed girl staring ME DOWN like IT WAS ABOUT TO GO DOWN.

 
 
My knee had been finally feeling better as I submerged myself back into my early morning workouts.  Yes, people, instead of writing, I was cheating on my passion by making love to my other passion, exercise.  I defeated every machine in the gym last week as the sweat dripped from my determined arms, legs and abs to the cold, rubber gym floor.  I am steadfast on losing the 15-20 pounds I gained ever since I hurt my knee in August.
 
So after a week's worth of countless calorie counting, I was entering a new war zone; the Wendy's quarter pounder with cheese, ketchup, pickles, lettuce and tomato battling my bottomless hunger for not only carbs but an end to the exhaustion and stress I had been feeling.  From working at the day job to networking and juggling two brands while setting up school visits, and most importantly, trying to find time to WRITE... this gal was defeated.
 
 
 
Now when I say defeated, by no means do I mean I gave up on my goals of losing weight or continuing to extend my marking in the world of writing and storytelling. But what I do mean is that I had been defeated in the moment.  I threw my hands up and said, "Bring it, Wendy."  And by this, I meant pulling up to the drive thru, ordering my burger and fries, and then pulling off to the side to stuff my face with fast food and ketchup.
 
 
 
So what's the point, you say?  The point is we all need a break sometime.  I was so consumed last week, I had almost forgot the most important part of this journey is getting to spend time with children and inspire them as well as to make amazing new friends and connections through our blogs and adventures.  Yes, social media can be a real pain in the ass, however, it can also be a blessing because of the friendships we create with one another.  And the support we provide for each other is quite rewarding.
 
Someone once asked me if I would retire if I ever became a bestselling author or rich from my books.  I didn't even have to think twice about this answer.  Writing makes me feel alive every single day.  And when I am not writing, I am thinking about it, morning, noon and night. 
 
 
 
As authors, we are given this incredible gift.  It's a gift which we have no other choice but to share with the rest of the world since it lives and breathes inside of us.  We have the gift to help other escape into worlds where they live through our characters... where they can see through their eyes and sense everything from the words around them. 
 
 
 
I had an author visit last Thursday.  It was my first visit of this year and a day after I went on my Wendy's binge.  Being in front of those kids made the stress and my overwhelming feeling of the workload disappear.  I was quickly reminded how much my presence and books means to the world just from observing their smiles, questions, and enthusiasm for storytelling and writing.  My heart was filled with joy knowing I could help change one of their little lives by telling them anything is possible.  And on the drive to work that same day after my visit, I felt the stress had lifted even more.  My visit had lit up my entire week and took the pain of wanting to be able to do it all away. 
 
 
 
And then I had an even bigger surprise!  My children's book made it to Amazon's bestseller list for Fiction and Imagination last week.  Now, I know some people might not think this is a big deal but to me, it means someone out there is hearing about my book and wanting to have it in their homes to share with their children.  Seeing my book at number 65 sent me over the moon.  Ahh, the littlest things in life... they truly do bring you up when you are feeling down.  And God always has a way to remind us about our mission here.  Mine is to spend time with kids and encourage them to celebrate their uniqueness and imagination.
 
 
 
And to also finish the edits for my suspense/thriller novel!  I have a story which will give you chills about this project and how it came to me.  But that will be saved for a different blog post.
 
When your mind and body need a break, give it to them.  It might be a day, a week or a month... whatever it takes to help you discover who you are a little bit more.  Our souls yearn for self-reflection and it is up to our hearts and minds to provide them with this.
 
 
 
How often do you take breaks from social media and writing?  Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you didn't know what to do with yourself? 
 
 
 
 

34 comments:

  1. I hate taking breaks. I miss writing and feel awful when I'm away from it. I even bring my laptop on vacation because I'd go crazy otherwise.

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  2. You are truly dedicated, Kelly! The only time I write during vacations is on the airplane. I always carry around a journal for me to jot down verses or story plots while listening to my favorite music.

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  3. Oh, yes! There are times when I just can't anymore. I allow myself a day or two (mostly on the weekends) and I unplug completely. But I always have to remind myself that building a brand takes work, and without that discipline people won't know about my books! So I have to keep my name out there, even when I'm tired. I know how excited you were after your last author visit! Sometimes we need those moments to remind us that we're on the right path in life. Good luck with your fitness journey as well ! :)

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    1. Yes! It's very important for us to get our names out there and keep them there! I will be unplugging more on the weekends. I miss the simple things like scrap booking and curling up all day with my love to good movies. We need this not only for ourselves, but for the sake of our relationships and family.
      But still, we must move forward and keep our goals afloat:)

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  4. Sounds like you really needed a break. All the best.

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  5. Actually, if you avoid as much of the bun as possible and not have any soda, it might not be so bad.

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    1. Indeed, Mark=) Anything to cut the carbs!

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  6. Congrats for making it onto the Amazon bestseller list! Woohoo! That's fabulous news - it's like a lovely payoff for all your hard work. And I'm glad to hear your school visit went well, and I hope you won't have to do extra at work anymore. After being on many successful and unsuccessful diets over the years, I refuse to do them anymore. The feeling of losing weight affects me with a profound depression. Who cares if you lose weight if you wish you were dead? So I'm firmly in Wendy's camp. Live your life, and be good to yourself. If you're not, no one else will be.

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    1. Thank you so much, Lexa!! I am still very happy with my week last week:)
      Sorry to hear about your own weight battles. Like yourself, I hate dieting. I love food and refuse to starve myself to stay trim. This is why I workout so I don't have to limit myself as much. Yes! Team Wendy!! I might treat myself again this weekend, lol:)

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  7. I don't take breaks, not really, even when I am traveling and not able to write I start to feel out of sorts. As for media, blogging, and networking, I have not problem breaking from that connection. It's not a good idea, but I sometimes have to make choices. And way cool about your Amazon ranking. This is something to celebrate.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda!! I'm still doing the happy dance in my mind.
      I take breaks from writing only to read or exercise. As far as social media goes, I'm still trying to find that balance so it doesn't all build up and cause me to break down like last week.

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  8. Congrats on your Amazon ranking! And I totally hear you on needing a break from time to time. I've definitely been there!

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  9. Thank you so much Meradeth!!
    And if I didn't say it before, I'm so glad we have connected here:)

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  10. I have definitely felt overwhelmed - way more than once. I'm taking a blog break the month of December. However I'll still be around on Facebook and Twitter because I'll be promoting a contest on my website. I'm hoping not to be promoting too much, but we'll see how it goes. Congrats on the list!

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    1. Thank you, Carol:)
      December is a great time to take a break, especially with the holidays. And we all know how crazy that time of year is!
      Good luck with the contest! I will definitely check it out:)

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  11. Woot, woot! SUPER congrats on the sales. That is epic.

    I totally know what you mean. I've crashed before, and it's a scary, scary thing. Best to avoid the crash and take things a little easier. Speaking of which... I'm going out of town for half of December and decided I'd take the rest of the month off too. It's been YEARS since I did anything that crazy, but with the pregnancy, I think it's probably a good idea.

    Unleashing the Dreamworld

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  12. Wow, Crystal. That will be wonderful! You work so hard and you really deserve the time to enjoy your family and pregnancy:)
    I'm debating on taking the last two weeks of December and first two weeks of January. We, too, will be traveling and it might make sense to give my nerves a rest, lol. Plus I have two school visits in Jan and need to prepare!

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  13. That's great about your sales and visits. I have to write. I can't keep away from it too long. I do take breaks, though.

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  14. Thanks Medeia! Breaks help, for sure. I think they help keep a balance in our personal lives.

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  15. I love your "Bring it, Wendy!" description. Hilarious. You know, sometimes a girl just needs some good junk food, right?! Plus, you're a little skinny Minnie, so you can splurge! Kids definitely do bring it all back around and remind us why we do this, don't they? I can be having the worst day and hear a child read my book and liked it--just one (usually a relative or child of a friend!)--and that makes all the difference.

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    1. It really does make all the difference. I can be having the worse day but knowing a child has read my book, it just takes all the pain of that day away.
      I might be thin but this gal has junk in her trunk! A whole trunk filled with cheese and muffins, lol!

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  16. Hey Gina, glad you're feeling better now! Social media and work pressure can really bring one down. I've felt the burnout several times and taking breaks is necessary. You wise one, you know when you are feeling the stress, you know what's happening to your body and mind, you take note, and you do something about it. :) Thank goodness for children around us! Congrats on hitting the Amazon bestseller list, too. You're doing great. Really, you are. And you'll get back to your writing soon.

    By the way, I'm running an ebook giveaway and have added "Come Back Dear Sun" to my gift selection. I hope to buy it for a lucky reader soon!

    Stay well ~

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    1. Claudine, you are too kind!! Thank you sooo much!! You know how much I adore your books. I'm actually placing an Amazon order in January for some authors so I can donate books. I will grab a couple of yours:)

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  17. I'm not sure how often I take breaks but I do it when I need to, especially when my body tells me to by giving me a cold. lol Social media, like Facebook, is easy for me to handle because I schedule most posts one month in advance since I already know what I want to share. Every once in a while I'll do a spontaneous post. Blogging does take a lot, and I'll be blogging three times a week next year, so I hope I can do it. I actually haven't been doing much writing lately but not because of a break, because of life! There was too much going on during the days that needed my attention.

    Congratulations again on your Amazon ranking!!!! :)

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    1. Thank you, Chrys!!
      Wow, three times a week? I can hardly keep up with once a week! But I always admire his dedicated you are. And I know it will be tough but you can do it!

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  18. I've actually been thinking about taking a break lately, too. I have so much to do and so little time to do it in, on top of all the other real-life stuff I want to do. I feel like it's a constant battle between experiences that will fuel my writing and then shoving aside everything else to get my writing done. I think the time for a hibernation is coming soon.

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  19. I agree! I'm thinking about taking 4 weeks off. We are going on vacation in January and I have two author visits in that same month. I fear I would lose the connections I have gratefully made if I took any longer. But we will see!

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  20. Congratulations, Gina! That is wonderful your book is on the bestseller's list on Amazon!! yes, I feel overwhelmed right this minute. I'm soooo tired. I sound whiny but it's true. You have good advice 'take a break when your body needs it'. I took time off from social media and blogging last August to focus on my fiction writing and LOVED it. Sure enough, now I'm back on the circuit and it takes too much time. Thanks for the reminders.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa!!
      We all need reminders, that is for sure. And now with the holidays right around the corner, we need to remember the importance of family and making memories rather than being bombarded with social media or trying to play "ketchup." As long as we find a healthy balance, anything is possible. Breaks are good, indeed!!

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  21. 65!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!! I am so proud of you!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sandra!!!! You are so sweet.

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  22. i have frequent breakdowns - and i wish exercise was a passion that could counteract those weak wendy's moments! and yes, we sure do need them sometimes.

    congrats so many times over - great news and glad to hear it! keep up the great work!

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    1. Thank you, Tara=)
      I find exercise helps calm my nerves... and so does writing. I must be passionate about both of them, that is for sure!

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