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Baby, Get Back!

January 9, 2012

It’s easy to lose focus on the important things in life.

Sometimes, a scare like an illness, or a layoff, shoves things into perspective. In a way, I believe bad things happen in order to wake us up and remind ourselves to get our head’s back in the game. The real game of life.

Kids drain your energy and sometimes you just want to rent a hotel room and check in alone, order room service, and stay in bed for a week. Or maybe a day. But maybe it’s a good time to remind ourselves how empty the house would be without their zest. Maybe it’s a sign to listen to their needs, in order to satisfy your own.

My boys were bouncing off the literal walls one afternoon when all I craved was a quiet bed or some quality writing time. I became crazed and frustrated, trying to make them play by themselves, when I decided to suck it up and fulfill their needs. I closed the door and we played for an hour in their room – any games they wanted. The joy on their faces made it worth it. I also bargained with them that I’d give them what they needed, if they pinky promised I could be alone for an hour after our fun. They agreed.

As a writer, sometimes I get stuck on the promotion and publicity of the career. Trying to make it full-time is hard, and stressful. Though I adore my social media, sometimes a nonstop stream of Facebook and Twitter have the opposite effects I need. Instead of feeling supported, I question my methods, wondering if I am doing enough, blogging correctly, getting enough reviews, or posting enough on author loops. Too much noise clamors in my head, and I lose my way. The endless tasks of promotion and selling can sometimes overwhelm us. As depression closed in, I took a conscious step back.

Away from the trappings of writing and back to the task.

I opened up my new work-in-progress, closed down my Internet pages, and wrote. I didn’t go on for the rest of the day. I didn’t need to know what anyone else was doing, or not doing. I needed to get back to the story – the real reason I wanted to write full-time. I want to write a great book, and enjoy the majority of the time doing it.

When life pushes us in one direction, it may be a sign to follow. Our natural instinct is to battle back for what we think we want. But the Rolling Stones said it best…

“You can’t always get what you want…but you get what you need.”

Or if you’re into some great hip hop, I prefer the other song.

“Baby, get back!”


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  1. Hi Jen!
    Shutting down the Internet is a necessity for me. Otherwise I spend my days bopping on and off, and ten minute breaks turn into an hour long distractions! LOVE your new website BTW.

  2. Hi Wendy! Thanks for stopping by – and you are so right about the Internet – bad distraction!

  3. I’ve learned to do fly-bys with the internew. And don’t get do too much about posting other than my blog. Then I have a system. Blog post up. Let facebook and twitter know. Turn off internet. Next time I’m on read important emails. Get off. Back on and do a promo blitz on the digests and then if there’s time later in the day post something to twitter. For me the writing is the most important after family, that is but I’m fortunate there since they’re all grown up.

  4. tara says:

    I try to accomplish freelance work while raising my son and every single day it is a challenge. But as he gets older, I get a few extra minutes each day. I agree that more fulfilling work eventually gets accomplished when you give in and play for a while. It gives time to think and maybe even come up with an idea that would have been lost in the tasks of the day. Thanks for the post!! 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      HI Tara, thanks so much for stopping by! Raising children is always a challenge but I think you are doing a great job!

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