The hard decisions are the toughest to make.
The hard decisions are generally the ones that will change the course of your life, for good, bad, or dirty. Well, DUR, I can hear you say from the comfort of your own home, as you bother to take a moment to read what is surely one of the harder posts I’ve had to write in some time.
I’ve made a lot of hard decisions this year.
- To self-pub, which at its basest was a GREAT decision, but in terms of success has been, shall we say…subpar than my expectations.
- To start my own business, which HAS been a success, but has pretty much destroyed the girl I used to be (more on that in a minute).
- To get married — probably another of the hardest but BEST decisions in my life, though my inability to plan the damn party is a downfall. I once swore I would never settle down or get married. We’re one up, there.
So, what other “hard” decisions could I possibly need to make? Glad you asked. This blog used to be a journal, a place where I ranted, raved, and did a general “here’s who I am, deal with it” type gig. Because I’m published now, does that mean I have to change that? Nah.
My life is screwed up.
I work full time. I run a nearly-full time formatting business. I also do some editing, which is even more time consuming than the formatting. When do I see my family? Never. When do I write? Never. When do I have a free moment to sit in front of the TV and stare mindlessly at bad sitcoms? Never.
You think surely I must be joking. Surely, it can’t be THAT bad.
Oh, yeah? Bet me.
I get off work at 7 in the morning, and I come straight home. I brush my teeth, think about brushing my hair (usually don’t), and then crawl into bed for the next eight hours. (Or six. Or seven. Some days less than others.) When I wake up around 3 or 4 pm, I roll out of bed, go straight to my backpack and pull out the laptop. Fire it up. Make some coffee. Or, some days Andrew and I will go straight to dinner, where I chug a few mugs of coffee before I come back and pull out the computer. Regardless, I am on the computer from that moment until I have to get ready for work at about 945 that night, all the while formatting or editing. Dressed for work, I head out the door and work for eight hours in front of six computer screens, and return home the next morning to do it all over again.
My job requires me to work a rotation. I don’t work 5 days a week and get 2 days off. I work EIGHT days. I am then off TWO. I then work SEVEN days, before I get off for FOUR. But, here’s the rub — I don’t actually get those days “off”. I am either A.) Visiting my family who hasn’t seen me in over a week. Maybe two. Or three. B.) Running errands that have built up while I’ve been working. or C.) Formatting or editing.
You still think I’m exaggerating? Just ask my poor fiance, who lives with me but rarely gets to see the blue of my eyes.
I’ve gotten…jaded. My life has suffered because of all this. Everything *I* want has been put on the back burner for everyone else around me because I’m too busy to be able to even balance my responsibilities with my own dreams. I’m unhappy, depressed enough to be taking herbal supplements for mood, and walking a tight wire when it comes to my temper. I don’t want to hear about other people’s problems because I’m full of my own.
Does that make me a bad person? Alright. Fine.
But, here’s the moral to my story.
When I set out on this path last spring, I was actively seeking to make my dreams come true. I thought, “I can do this. I WILL do this.” I’ve lost that bright-eyed girl. That girl who thirsted for life, who ached to write every moment, and who truly believed she could do anything. That girl is now hopeless. She hates herself. She hates this person she’s become, this person who never sees her loved ones because of her work load, who hasn’t written a book in AGES, who can’t put forth the time to market her own books, to finish building her beautiful website, to incorporate edits in one of her existing books that she paid for a month ago and has NO TIME to do.
CyberWitch Press is CLOSED to new clients. Indefinitely. I will continue to work for old clients (I <3 my clients). I will continue with the editing I do for two people who know who they are, and are both currently waiting on me to finish their chapters, because I do enjoy doing that.
But, from here on out, this is the Heather show. Formatting – for the time being – has to take a backseat to my writing, and that means nipping the growth in the bud. I have a TON of loyal, amazing clients who I love working for — I honestly don’t need anymore right now or my quote time would go up to two months! I didn’t create CyberWitch Press, LLC to cover simply formatting jobs for others; CyberWitch is everything that makes me ME, including formatting, editing, and YES, WRITING. It is always, will always be, first and foremost writing books. I can no longer pretend otherwise.
Does this mean less instant gratification? Well, sure. Formatting for the past eight months has saved me up a down payment on a new house. It’s made me some pretty rockin’ friends and connections. And, I truly do enjoy it — I love pulling together the pieces of a book and seeing it come to life. I love the fancy things I can do in books to make them beautiful. I AM SUPREMELY TALENTED AT FORMATTING. I’m not going to be modest about it.
But, my own books aren’t even equipped with many of the things I can do, simply because I haven’t had time to bother with my own books.
For a while, I thought formatting was what I wanted to do. I thought I could build up an amazing clientele and leave the day job to format full time, opening more time to write. The sad truth of the matter is this — I want a new house for me and my fiance, our dream house where we will spend the rest of our lives. That requires a full time job and a steady paycheck (cuz come on, freelancing is in no way steady). So, day job remains.
What does that leave me? A hard decision. Writing, or continuing to build a formatting business that has already imploded all of my free time? A friend of mine is a cover artist. But she’s the first to tell you her own books come first. I always admired her honesty.
SO, here’s my honesty. My own books officially come first. I will continue to work for my regular clients, but half of my time is devoted to writing. 2012 I said would be MY YEAR. Well, it hasn’t been. Heather has been buried so deeply beneath her responsibilities that she’s no longer than girl she used to be.
I’m getting that girl back. And that girl is always, first and foremost, a writer.
I’ve wanted to make changes to my life for some time. I’ve talked about it. Considered it. Ignored it, forgotten it.