For the past many months of Wednesdays, my face has popped via Facebook video to share a writing update, as well as offer a message of encouragement. It has been my intention to build a community of support by starting discussions pertaining to goals and growth. I hoped that by opening up about my novel-writing and personal development struggles and strides, I could prove to you (and myself) that progress is indeed possible on these sometimes difficult dream-chasing journeys.
Undoubtedly, my passion for creating these connections has not changed, although a great deal of other things have. And as our days continue on in this uncertain limbo, I, like many of you I’m sure, have been working to revamp my definition of normal. Right now, I’m not sure what that is. Much like our current global situation, there are a lot more questions than answers.
What I do know is that when I started planning this week’s blog and social media posts, rather than feeling energized and excited, I felt a bone-deep exhaustion. Normally, when that happens I push through it with an internal pep talk filled with key words like accountability and consistency and algorithms. I repeat the mantras that have kept me going in the past: Rise up. Show up. Don’t quit. But as we all know, things are not normal.
So this time, when I felt that need for a break, I simply said okay. Something I’ve realized in the midst of this pandemic, is that we have the opportunity to sharpen our listening skills. And that starts with listening to ourselves. That might mean taking a step back to reevaluate our time. It might mean pausing to reflect on our focus. It might mean asking: What’s possible today? What’s essential now? What old habits and routines do I want to carry forth into the other side of this?
I don’t yet have a complete picture of what this looks like for myself, but it will involve writing. I’ll still be seeking representation/publication for my first novel and working on the second. I’ll still be writing to my email friends with periodic updates and a quarterly newsletter. I’ll still be active on this blog and on Facebook, where I’ll continue to practice daily gratitude and encourage you to pursue your own dreams and goals. The difference is that my posts may become less structured, less involved, less wordy. But if there’s another thing I’ve learned of late, it’s that oftentimes less is more.
So, if today is a tough day for you too, dear friend, remember to give yourself grace. You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to use up your last shred of energy. You don’t have to run on empty. Sometimes, all you can do is just what you can do. And that is okay.
(PS – If you’re reading this and you aren’t on my email list, get thee to the home page and sign up. This is the best way to stay informed as my e-friends are the first to receive writing news, plus encouragement and other fun stuff not found anywhere else. And be sure to invite your friends, because I truly believe that life is made more beautiful through community.)