On having difficulty relaxing

“A poem is never finished only abandoned.” – Paul Valéry

I’ve really enjoyed yesterday and today, spending Christmas with my partner’s parents, and tomorrow we’re off to see my parents. I already announced that in my last blog post, when I said I was logging off. The thing is, I’m not sure I really know how to have down time. Not properly, and definitely not for an extended period of time.

Now, I’m quite hard on myself. I know that logically, but it still doesn’t stop me doing it. I can spend whole days being busy – doing lots of really small things, spanning client work, housework, taking care of myself, and/or my partner – but when it comes to the end of those days, I feel like I’ve achieved nothing.

Productivity very much ties into my self-worth (again, this is despite knowing logically that there’s no point). If I don’t feel like I’ve done enough, I feel bad. Simple as that.

But where does relaxing come into this? I get tired a lot and enjoy my sleep, but beyond napping, I always have to be doing something. I can’t help myself (and, honestly, I’m not sure I want to. I mean, If I went easier on myself, I’d probably get less done. And there I go again!) *shakes head at self*

Yes, it’s all a bit silly – almost a non-issue (Help, I can’t stop working hard! #FirstWorldProblems), but it’s where I’m at, and I know I’m not alone.

Klout (a site that tries to figure out your impact across social media) actually just declared me an expert in time management, so maybe I’m doing better than I think. Honestly, I have no idea how they figure these things out, but it’s definitely better than the opposite side of the coin, which I also have experience in.

Back at uni, near the end of my time there, I all but broke down and had the worst depression of my life (so far). Those days? I could do practically nothing at all. I was a mess; incapable of taking care of myself. So, yeah, I know I’m very lucky to be where I am now.

But I think, if there’s to be a point to all this, is that balance is key, so that’s what I’m going to aim for.

Oh, the ideas I have for projects starting in the new year! But wait, I say to myself, let’s not get carried away. One thing at a time. 

I have this fear of burning out, see. Not just because it would suck, but because it would make me unproductive again. (Yes, I know, lost cause here! Cue more head shaking.)

The reason I chose the quote at the top of this post is because some of what I want to do to kick off 2017 is to re-release new editions of my books. Again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-edited, re-formatted, and re-released them at this point. It just that, the more I learn about writing and publishing, the more I want to do with my back catalogue; to bring it up to standard. But I’m probably (/hopefully) not going to stop learning, and those standards will probably keep rising in line with new expectations. Sometime, somehow, I know I’m going to have to stop. I keep telling myself I’m going to, but then I learn more about design and want to improve on my existing book covers or whatever. There’s always something.

I guess one of the benefits of traditional publishing is that, once the book is literally out of your hands, submitted to a deadline, you’re forced to stop tweaking it and able to get on with your future creations. (I swear, 2017 is the year I get my novel accepted! Just like I swore for the past three years…)

I’ve probably made myself sound quite daft. Like an addict or something. Really, I think it’s just perfectionism. Maybe it’s something I should work on in the new year. Maybe.

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