Before You Break

Hi, guys!

I’m almost done with my last round of edits on The Gem of Meruna! Then, it goes off for proofreading in October. I think I’ll be finalizing the release date soon.

I also went through Salt and Silver with Grammarly, and learned that…Grammarly hates when you write a character with an accent. But I don’t care. The editing program just had to get over that. Lol.

It really sets that character apart.

Which is important.

Not to mention the impact on the plot for him to have come from a different country. He’s seen more things than the other two MCs. He’s experienced things in coming to their country that shaped him into who he is.

So it’s plot related, thus Grammarly can shove it. The accent stayed, misspelled words and all.

Also, Soul Bearer is so freaking close…Officially less than a month, now! Release day is so close, and I’m super excited.

But I’m also…not where I need to be.

I should have called a bunch of places last week (local libraries and bookstores) about carrying my book and doing signings (something I’ve never done before). Honestly, I should’ve done all that long before now.

I went to a few places a couple weeks ago. I put on my big girl pants, and told myself I just had to do it. But…

I don’t do well with people.

The librarians I spoke with were so nice…

But my nerves were so frazzled from speaking to strangers, from trying to tell them my book was good enough for them to bother with, and by extension, trying to convince them that I’m a good enough author for people to bother with…

…my hands were shaking when I got back to the car. I sat there with tears pouring down my cheeks, telling myself I was stupid for crying.

I mean, all I did was talk to really nice librarians.

True, the bookstore I went to before that turned out to be disappointing. (They charge authors a LOT of money to do a signing. I don’t know if that’s normal, as this is the first attempt I’ve made at doing a signing. Possibly the last for a while if I don’t get a better hold on my social anxiety.)

Anyway, it took me far too long to stop the tears and still my trembling hands. I held it together while talking to the people, but after the fact, I fell apart.

I have no patience for myself or the ways that my body reacts. I’ve never had patience for myself. I always expect perfection in anything I do.

But this social anxiety…I’m so tired of it, you guys.

In the moment, I vented to my husband and to some writer friends, and they all told me what I would have told them, if the roles were reversed. “It’s how your body reacts. It isn’t stupid. You’re not stupid. This is just a stressful thing for you.”

And of course, they were right.

I’ve never handled social situations well. It just isn’t my strong suit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m getting better at it.

I push myself.

But it’s still holding me back, and I hate that.

Even more so, because this is my dream.

This is it for me. I’m a writer. I want to be a successful writer so I can stay home and write even more. But publicity and events and all that is such a vital part of getting my books out there, and I’m just…not sure I’m there, yet.

I’m sure it’s like tons of other things, do it enough and you get used to it.

And I’m sure I’m not going to let myself out of it. I’m not that kind to myself. I push.

But god…There should be a limit to how many times a person can fall apart. Lol. You deal with a set number of anxiety attacks over the course of your life, and then after that, your anxiety levels are proportional to the things going on in your life.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

I feel like I’m rambling.

Anyway…

I did take a bit of time for myself this week. I’ve been overextending myself lately, spreading myself too thin.

I’ve always been reclusive, and I’ve always needed that time to myself to recharge. But I’ve been people-ing nonstop for months now, never truly being alone.

It was running me ragged. I know it’s hard to tell on social media sometimes, but I’ve been incredibly cynical and flat, of late. (I always am, but it’s been really bad lately.)

So, this week, I did one nice thing for myself.

When it came time for editing a few days ago, I locked myself away in my library. I ignored my phone. I put in headphones, and tuned out the real world and all the people I needed to call or message, and all the things I needed to do that involved people.

I let my little sanctuary soothe me. I let the unbelievably mesmerizing scent of that room, with all its old books and candles and incense, take me away.

And I just sat there, by myself, editing my book.

And barring the absolute shit show at work the past couple days, I’ve been in a much better mood since then.

Surprise, surprise.

*rolls eyes at self*

God…

Guys, take care of yourselves.

Don’t be dumb, like me. DO something to help yourself cope with the world around you BEFORE you reach anxiety-attack-levels of stress.

You can even keep yourself productive while you do your self care, like I did, if you really feel like you don’t have time. (Another jab at myself? No…never…) I sat by myself with candles and music and chocolate and old books, and did some editing.

But chances are…you probably have time. Even if it’s just five minutes to unwind.

Stop scrolling, set the phone aside, and do something for you. Maybe stay up ten minutes later and go for a walk, clear your head.

Do something for you.

Please.

As always…

Keep reading. Keep writing.

Later.

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