Hey folks! Yet another guest post for the release of Springtime in Surrey. This one is by Andrea Renee Cox, who you can read more about at the end of this post. But for now, let’s not delay TOO long before getting to her blog post!
If you don’t remember, Springtime in Surrey is available for purchase now! Grab yourself a copy to support us … or contact us if you’d like to become involved in the promotion process. I’m always happy to guest post or otherwise collaborate with folks!
If you’re interested in becoming involved with Wild Blue Wonder Press, you can also head here to find out more!
Staying Sane at an Insane Pace
While writing The Cottage on the Hill, my novella for Wild Blue Wonder Press’s debut anthology, Springtime in Surrey, I felt like my life was careening into the future at an insane pace. The plea I kept sending up to God was “please keep me sane through this crazy stretch of life.” Thankfully, He answered by infusing me with peace and keeping me on task each step of the way.
During this past spring, I worked three jobs, hosted a writing camp, and volunteered as a co-moderator of a Goodreads group. This has been one of my busiest copyediting years, for which I’m happy and blessed. My tutoring work has been fulfilling, even if I didn’t have quite the number of students I’m used to. Writing for Wild Blue has been a blessing already, and I hope to write more stories for this company in the months and years to come.
Even with this heavy workload, I still made time for my family. Spending time with my parents was crucial for keeping me sane. The conversations we shared, the walks we enjoyed, and the movie nights we sneaked in all helped me stay grounded when my responsibilities swelled to an overwhelming point. My sister was also a busy gal with responsibilities of her own this past spring, so between the two of our packed schedules, I wasn’t able to spend as much time with her. However, those moments we took to chat near her car in the driveway were ones I cherished. Our discussions might have been brief most of the time throughout my very busy season, but they were rich in heart and made me smile.
Pursuing my favorite hobbies also kept me sane in the midst of my crazy-busy schedule. An enjoyable break from triple-checking facts and finding new ways to work a scene was to watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs. My home team, the Dallas Stars, made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals this season, and I loved rooting them on each step of the way. Reading books is ever a favorite for me, so I had to find a way to sneak in a few books. My stash of finished tomes racked up more than I expected when I discovered reading as I fell asleep or when insomnia woke me in the middle of the night was helpful for lulling me back into slumber. Although, sometimes I simply got hooked into the story and kept reading until it was time to get up and back to work. Seeing how other authors handled certain scenarios in their books helped me shape some of the scenes in The Cottage on the Hill, so this leisure-reading time was put to good use during my working hours.
Part of the springtime found me a bit under the weather, which made my body extra weary. One thing I found that helped keep me sane through this time was taking naps. I didn’t get one every day, because responsibility demanded I stay awake to accomplish tasks on my to-do list. When I was able to sneak one in, I took full advantage of that and appreciated the extra rest. Another thing that helped was taking walks around town. Some were as short as three blocks, while others stretched to about two miles, but they all got me out in the fresh air to clear my mind from all obligations for a little while. By the time I’d gotten a decent workout in and returned home, I was ready to grab a bottle of water and settle back in for a few more hours’ worth of work.
Connecting with other people helped keep me sane as well. It was enjoyable chatting with bank tellers and store cashiers, among other people, about many things, but a favorite topic was the book I was writing. Their excitement about Cottage fueled my own enthusiasm for the story and helped me approach my writing with new passion when my energy reserves were waning. I really appreciated every person who asked what my weekend plans were or how my story was coming along. Their interest showed me that my hard work was worth every tricky balance to fit everything into my schedule.
This last spring might have been a crazy season racing at an insane pace, but God kept me sane through it all by showering me with love from my family and friends. He helped me find time and ways to step away from my obligations just enough so that I could catch my breath for the next phase of work. The rest of the year is likely to be just as busy, but I’ve learned to schedule in some pockets of rest-and-relaxation time. I’m also planning on continuing this walking habit, because it refreshes my wells of creativity as well as giving my body some decent exercise.
What are some tricks you’ve found to keep yourself sane when you’re facing an insane pace to your schedule?
About the Blogger
Born and raised in north Texas, Andrea Renee Cox is a born-again child of God who enjoys writing stories that inspire, copyediting fiction manuscripts, tutoring middle school students, and going on road trips with her family. Whether she’s writing historical or contemporary, women’s fiction or romance, she uses her skills in research and writing techniques—as well as prayer and guidance from God—along the journey to produce the best stories of her ability. Her books may be found on her website, and readers are welcome to follow her blog for the latest updates in her journey.
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