Saturday, May 8, 2010

Having "Enough"...and Wanting More

Recently, I said, “Enough.” It wasn’t easy. But I did it.

I’d been working my bloomin’ tail off at the day job to get a book out for my employer, I was crosseyed with fatigue, and yet I still took two projects home that Friday evening, something I never do...simply because I didn’t want to look like someone who didn’t care if her colleagues’ work went out on time
I’m here to tell you...this is a bad idea.

As I writer, I experience a different kind of “off” time from my fellow editors.They’re readers, with no real aspirations to write. When they go home from the office, they don’t go “home” to another “office.
But I do. And therefore, there come places at which I’ve finally had to say, “Enough.”

Those manuscripts I took home? They sat all weekend in the same place I put them on Friday afternoon. I felt guilty about it, but not enough to do anything more than say, “Nope. Burned out here. No can do.”

That week, I was working on Chapter Two of a new story. (I’m still working on Chapter Two of that new story!) I like this story. I could, eventually, love this story...if I made it a priority and wrote more per day. But when one comes home tuckered from one’s day job, it’s not a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of sheer lack of physical and emotional energy.

Which got me thinking about when it’s time to say “enough” to someone else’s mission...and embrace one’s own.

You see, there is another gig around the world of writing, one that doesn’t exhaust me—in fact, it fires me up creatively: speaking to writers about writing. I do it online, I’ve done it “live”at conferences, and I want to do more of it. Some people tremble at the thought of speaking, teaching, or presenting. Not me. I’d love, love, love, to do more of it. But when I have a week or two, or a weekend, like this, I wonder how I’ll ever make that transition.

So I’ve decided to do something really radical, for me at least: ask for help.

If you are a person, or know a person, who’s looking for an experienced (ohhh, boy, am I) veteran to come into a workshop, conference, or writing program and put the rookies through some basic training...
...please pass my name along.

I give you permission. Carte blanche. With only one condition.
Do not pass me along to people who only want someone to do this for free. (!)

(Please understand, I do know that the occasional free gig is fine. But as a habit? Not so much. The Bible says the laborer deserves his/her fair wage. Besides, one look at me should tell you...I like to eat. ‘nuff said.)

Bottom line is, it’s long past time, in this writer’s life, to connect with people who’ll appreciate what I’ve come to understand about the writing trade over the past (you don’t want to know how many) years, and who may be willing to offer good old-fashioned honest Coin of the Realm for it.

So I’m hanging out the shingle. I’m placing the fleece. I’m praying for the best. And, with a few blessings, sooner rather than later, I hope to say “Enough!” to the rest.

(Janet W. Butler)


  1. I do get requests sometimes Janet and will absolutely keep you in mind! Great post.