So it’s October. Officially spooky season in my neck o’ the woods, which means it’s time to break out the spiderweb earrings, haunted house dress, and Ouija board skirt, (and pretend I don’t wear these things year round).
Halloween is a great time to be a dark fiction author, but it can also be scarily stressful.
Already I have two back-to-back book launches (and if I’m lucky, media appearances to promote them), hosting a cool program at a local library, teaching a two-day social media marketing workshop for high school students, plus three university courses to teach, four more to develop, two novels to chip away at, and a fellow teacher who needs me to cover for her (more teaching).
So what am I insecure about? Surviving. I’m being dramatic, of course, but I’m always aware of the risk of collapsing in a heap. Already I bowed out of two amazing-sounding gatherings last week–one a first-time gathering of dark fiction authors, which is something I’d always hoped this city would have–because of exhaustion and daily migraines.
It’s a delicate balance, because on one hand, I’m insanely grateful to be in demand. My little teaching side gig has really exploded in just over a year, and I never take that for granted. I’m lucky to have a publisher who is as awesome as Flame Tree has been about the upcoming launch of Those Who Came Before, and I was delighted to be chosen to stay in the haunted house overnight as part of the Thin Air International Writers Festival (part of that deal is returning to the house on October 31 to read the story that was inspired by that evening). It’s all good stuff, and my students are wonderful. The high school workshops came about because a principal took my evening social media marketing course and thought his students would benefit, which I found very flattering. I’m honoured he sought me out.
But I’m forever reminded of my former chiropractor’s wise words: “Good stress is still stress.”
Intellectually, I know I’ll make it through this, just like I’ve made it through the other crazy, overbooked times.
But am I nervous?
Do you have any advice for me? How do you stay sane when you have a wee bit too much on your plate, and letting something go isn’t an option?
The purpose of the Insecure Writers’ Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.