Posted by: devonellington | March 31, 2017

March 2017 Wrap-Up: Adjusting to Life’s Surprises

March was certainly a month of personal challenges, most of which I can’t discuss publicly.

Needless to say, I don’t even want to look at my To Do list, because it will read more like a “To Didn’t” list.

A great deal of the month was caught up in political activism, as it must be, if there’s any hope of surviving with this country as a democracy. Or having things like air to breathe, food to eat, etc. The level of corruption right now is immense. I’m working with my ethical representatives DAILY to try and make things better. Doesn’t mean we always agree, but at least they know where I stand, so they can represent.

On the positive side, I did a LOT of work on POWER OF WORDS — probably nearly another 30K.

On the negative side, I didn’t get anywhere near enough work on NOT BY THE BOOK, just a few thousand new words, and nothing done on SONGBOUND SISTERS.

I’m doing the research and plotting needed to finish the first draft of FIX-IT GIRL, but it’s not there yet.

I decided not to do a short story; in fact, I decided not to write several short stories for several potential markets because the calls for submission didn’t spark. I SHOULD go for them, but I want to skip them this year. Part of it is probably still being bitter about working so hard to meet a deadline for an anthology in which I was invited to participate, and then the publisher not having its act together enough to see it through, and the publisher not even having the courtesy to contact authors individually, but, instead, posting it on social media. Not professional by any standard.

At least I know that I don’t want to work with them in the future! 😉

There was some other conflict with a wanna-be who nagged me into agreeing to do something I didn’t want to do, and, when I put my own work aside to do it (as an unwarranted, unearned favor), tried to push it even further. Then argued when I put my foot down. Sorry, buh-bye. I shouldn’t have said yes in the first place; that’s on me. I had hoped that by giving an inch, that would end the constant nagging; instead, it made it worse. So, now, I have a firmer boundary, which I will not give on again.

I believe in “giving back”, I believe in sharing knowledge, in helping others, in answering questions and giving advice (if I’m in position to advise — otherwise, I’ll point them to a better source of information). However, there’s a difference between asking someone to share knowledge and experience, and demanding that they boost your career when you haven’t earned it or bothered to learn the craft, and, most importantly, make it clear that you have no intention or interest in so doing.

Between that, and the refusal, last month, to accept contracts that were detrimental to both my creative and financial life, the past weeks have been a lot of “no”. The positive part of that is it paves the way for more positive “yes”. While I may not have cleaned out the basement as I wished (or finished the spring cleaning as I wished), I am cleaning out a lot of detritus from my professional life that I think will only wind up as positive in the long run.

Doesn’t mean it’s easy now, but at least I’m making decisions based on knowing what’s best for me both creatively and financially, not out of mis-placed loyalty or fear.

The most important thing, for a writer, is to protect the work.

The To-Do List for April won’t be up tomorrow; I will most likely put it up early next week. I need to re-think a few things this weekend, and come up with something that makes more sense than my plan for March!

But that’s what Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions are — fluid. Living documents. That’s how you find the right path — by sometimes taking wrong turns, learning from it, and moving on.

Let’s move on, and hope it’s a more productive, creative, lucrative spring, shall we?

How was your month?

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