Stress & Self-Care

Glide More, Flap Less

I have a new mantra: Glide More, Flap Less. As of this moment, I’m making a public commitment to go a little easier on myself.

Photo thanks: Andy Molina

Photo thanks: Andy Molina

I’ve already blogged about the pressure I put myself under to publish Sweet Pursuits this year, even though 2016 is fast ticking away and I want to “have a life” too. But it goes beyond that. As an indie author, I’m not subject to publisher deadlines or outside requirements, but instead I consistently squeeze myself to learn, write, produce, publish, connect and promote.

Does it go with the indie territory perhaps? By definition, as a group, we are extraordinarily self-motivated and take full ownership of earning our success. But the sheer breadth of tasks an indie tackles means we can get overwhelmed pretty quickly. I’m not going to list those tasks here and I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m just curious if others also find themselves striving too hard for their own good.

Photo thanks: Juha Soininen

Photo thanks: Juha Soininen

I do love this road I’m on and the mountain I’ve chosen to climb. But too often I find myself fixed on the trail ahead, or the next imagined summit, instead of pausing to acknowledge how far I’ve come, to enjoy the view, and maybe to pick the odd flower. Instead of stopping to rest, I launch a new project or borrow four more self-help books from the library. I’ve been to several workshops which preach the importance of saying no to others, but my biggest failing is in saying no to myself.

Since this is Julie Valerie‘s blog hop week I’m linking up and would be thrilled to hear from other authors. Tell me, am I the only one over-reaching, or is indie overwhelm a real thing?

Click here to return to the blog hop.

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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    Martina
    August 31, 2016 at 12:35 am

    What a beautiful post, Pauline.
    First of all you must be really proud of what you have achieved so far, because you have a full time job AND you published a few books already, with a new one on the horizon.

    The road to self-publishing is extremely competitive and we must do everything, not only write the book, which is the most important part, but promote it, which takes a lot of time and effort, extra time that we would rather spend relaxing or writing another novel.

    My suggestion, from someone who used to do too much (and occasionally still does), would be ‘stop and breathe’ while you can. Our bodies have a habit of forcing us to stop when we don’t do it voluntarily, and when they do, it’s not pleasant.

    So, yes, do enjoy the view, smell the flowers, feel the breeze on your hair and, last but not least, don’t write to do lists 🙂 I don’t have a single one. And yet, things still get done x

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      August 31, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Martina, you’re so right: if we don’t stop voluntarily, sooner or later, the body intervenes. Thank you for the kind words!

  2. Reply
    Sandie
    August 31, 2016 at 1:05 am

    I’m not sure over-reaching or being overwhelmed is restricted to indie authors.
    I’m not yet pubbed (traditionally or indie), but I find I still impose deadlines of when I want this draft finished, or when I want to get this ms ready to query etc… While I can always move those deadlines (and do), I still put a lot of pressure on myself and feel like I’ve failed a little when life gets in the way of my writing dream.
    But we shouldn’t feel like that. Someone famous once said “life is the messy bits”, so I think we all just need to be kinder to ourselves and, as you said, pick a flower every now and then.
    Pauline you have achieved so much and have every right to be proud. Take a breath and enjoy things a little.

  3. Reply
    Pauline
    August 31, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Sandie, I love that: “life is the messy bits”. So true!

  4. Reply
    Julie Valerie
    August 31, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Oh, Pauline. I think you’ve touched on something we all feel. I get so overwhelmed sometimes, I have to unplug and take a big time break. I think social media contributes a great deal to everyone’s feelings of being overwhelmed. We’re all working toward our own goals in the midst of our busy lives, and then BAM! we see something or someone on social media that’s waaaaay ahead of where we are. I can say this as someone who hasn’t released her first book yet – I envy you for working on your third. Unplug. Give yourself a break. Celebrate the flexibility the indie life gives you. You are your own boss. If it feels good, do it. If it doesn’t, don’t. But always know that you are not alone. We all feel it. I certainly do. xxoo

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 2, 2016 at 8:24 am

      So very glad I’m not alone! And yes: seeing others much further ahead can be a wonderful thing (mentors, role models) but also a source of pressure.

  5. Reply
    Jayne Denker
    August 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Wise words, Pauline. You’re absolutely right. We’re conditioned to go, go, go, forge ahead, do the next big thing (or big pile of little things). We definitely need to set aside time to breathe and be in the moment. Remember, so many people wish they were authors, so we have a lot to appreciate every day, just doing what we do!

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 2, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Jayne, doing the “big” thing and not the pile of “little” things is certainly something I struggle with. But you’re so right: we have loads to celebrate already.

  6. Reply
    Sandrine Piat
    August 31, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I just love your mantra Glide more, Flap less 🙂 So well said. It shouldn’t be so hard for us to do that, but somehow it is. What’s the point of doing all this if it ends up just being a major stress? I think we just need to find our limits and accept that we have them! There will always be others who are way more active than us, but we need to accept that that’s okay too. Take time to smell the roses Pauline – It’ll make everything seem so much more enjoyable. Give yourself a break sometimes and glliiiide away :-). Good luck!

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      September 2, 2016 at 8:25 am

      Thanks, Sandrine. Happy gliiiiiding to you too!

  7. Reply
    April J Harris
    September 6, 2016 at 7:48 am

    LOVE this post, Pauline! I definitely need to adopt this as my mantra too. I think we are all so hard on ourselves and expect so much, it’s really important to ‘glide more and flap less’. Thank you for sharing!!

  8. Reply
    What Am I Up To? | Pauline Wiles
    September 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    […] In case things seem a bit quiet on the blog, here’s an update on some of the projects swirling around my head. (Note to self: remember to glide more, flap less.) […]

  9. Reply
    Writing Goals for 2017 | Pauline Wiles
    November 10, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    […] a different style of writing, I’m going to spend the whole year pursuing my aim to Glide More Flap Less. Life as an indie author is busy and varied, and my personality type makes me especially prone to […]

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