Thursday, February 1, 2018

Current mood

Thank you everyone for your supportive comments on my anxiety-ridden morning in the last post. We are certainly a tribe.

I've been binge watching The Crown, season two, ever since sending in the last of my three big work assignments this past Monday. The Netflix series follows Britain's monarchy starting with the childhood of the future queen, Elizabeth II. I gather that it will keep going right up to the present day. The second season is utterly absorbing, even better than season one, and I stop every few minutes to google the real history of people and events, going down one rabbit hole after another. All those romantic stories of a king giving up the throne for love that my mother told me when I was growing up are scarcely the case. The truth is much darker.

I'm not being entirely escapist. Every day I send out two or three emails connected to getting more work, and I am trying to trust that something on the way. The editor at the publishing house seems very happy with the book so far, she's halfway through, and she emailed me to say she has me in mind for another project and that when she finds people she likes working with they can't get rid of her. I told her that her email made me very happy and that I had no desire to get rid of her.

Of course, the timing of these things can be very drawn out. The book I just completed took about six months to come fully online, then two months to write the proposal, then another month to sell it, then six months to interview the subject to get her story and write the actual book, then a month for the subject to read and make changes while a fact checker also did her thing, all before the manuscript was in final form. Now that it has been submitted to the editor there will be copyediting rounds, which means it will probably take another few months before my "on acceptance" payment arrives. So you see, I don't have the luxury of focusing on just one project at a time. From beginning to end, a book is easily more than a year of my life.

All that to say I am back in the space of needing to trust in the future. In the meantime, I am trying to bask in the present moment, and maybe make myself a project for a while, which means going to the gym a bit more, and going to the movies a bit more, and maybe learning to play bridge, and just basically doing things just for the enjoyment of them. In the midst of my intense three-deadline month, someone said, "That's a lot of stress. So what do you do for you?" I was flummoxed. I didn't know how to answer. It's why I love working. It distracts me from needing to find answers to such questions.


  1. Well, movies and the gym are sort of for yourself, right? Although the gym isn't exactly fun.
    Funny, I've been wondering lately if I should have learned bridge earlier in my life. My mother sure loved it.
    The episode in this season's Crown that got me was about when Philip had been sent to boarding school. I won't say more than that in case you haven't seen it.
    May your work worries prove to be needless. I'm sure they will be but as I have said before- I would be exactly the same.
    You are loved, woman. You are loved.

    1. Mary, I was gobsmacked by that same episode! Who knew Phillip had such a difficult and lonely childhood and adolescence? It's remarkable that he survived as intact as he did. Of course, there were scars, and perhaps Charles bore the brunt of them. And my parents loved bridge, too. They played for whole weekends at a time, which I loved because their attention was completely off of us when they did. It was such a social event for them, too; they and their bridge cohorts seemed to so enjoy each others' company. My mom played tournament bridge, too, and up into her high 80s was a force to reckoned with there. She had such a fine brain.

  2. Wow! The last two sentences could have been written for me. Unflinching honesty, simply stated. The publishing house editor knows a good thing when she reads it! Much love.

  3. Great post! I agree, working kind of regulates everything for me too. That said, doing something, just for "me" is difficult. As women, I think we are programmed to do for others first and meet the needs of others. Like work, this keeps us busy (distracted). When things slow down and demands decrease, we have time on our hands. It, naturally, is a bit unsettling. Gym time, movies and time to pursue hobbies and interests sounds delightful, but also hard to embrace. I, too, must work on "me" time. Susan

  4. Enjoy some life now! The work WILL come! Your excellent work makes life easier for others who depend on you and that means a lot!!in the meantime, yes, focus on you and enjoyment. Wine and bubble baths!! I must check out the TV series - thank you! Joanne

  5. It must be very hard in this respect to do freelance work. I do hope you can enjoy your respite here and now, and recharge your batteries for the work that will - WILL - come.

  6. I'm crap at taking care of myself too. I had lunch with a friend who spent the last 55 years taking care of everyone else. Now she has cancer and she needs to take care of herself. I don't want that to happen to me but it's hard.

  7. Yes, working as a distraction from what we really need to do, feel, think? I am with you, I rather crawl to work than consider an alternative and while at work, I start thinking about so many things and ideas that working stops me from discovering.

    All that duty, female duty, I think. We do the fun bits when the dishes are stacked.

  8. For pleasant brain distractions I play word games and solitaire, and then I go for nice long walks. I'm happiest when I walk at least three miles a day. I retired more than a decade ago, and as I look back I think I should have stayed working. It really is a good thing for keeping the brain healthy, vital, and strong. I love that you keep at it.

  9. I'm glad you are enjoying a break -- we loved "The Crown" too! I've heard they're changing out the actors for the next season to get older people. If that's the case, I'll miss the ones on the show now, but it will be interesting to see how it changes! I think it's important to keep working. It may be occasionally stressful but we all need to have a raison d'ĂȘtre, right? (And I include those who work in the home in that statement..)


  10. I understand that need to distract from needing to find answers. I also love to read you for the hope you seem to convey, as I see it, through your righting. A hope that quietly under lies your every deed.