Yesterday I decided to pull the plug (or at least, put on a far-back burner…on low) on a project that I realized I just couldn’t do right now. This project being my next book project which I was aiming to have done by the end of the summer. The thing is that I had already committed to it, and I really have a visceral aversion to not following through with my commitments. Put another way, I don’t like to fail. And since I had already said yes to the book and went all the way through the contract process and had even received an advance check, after three months of failing to make significant progress I finally had to get real and admit that I just can’t do this project right now. I think I knew deep down that this might happen (how I would do it with a toddler at home was always a mystery), as I never cashed the advance check that I received weeks ago.
It’s still possible that we’ll spin the book idea into something else (smaller), and/or put it off by 3 months, or even a year, but the hard part was making the decision yesterday that I just had to throw in the towel on the book as we originally planned and scheduled it. And then after making the decision, to send an email to my editor telling her the news. I still haven’t heard back from her but I’m just going to have to hope it’s OK.
The feeling of dread and shame for not being able to do what I said I’d do is still there but waning, and I’m getting flashes and longer stretches of feeling incredibly invigorated by how this frees up my life. Being able to focus on the other things that I’ve been wanting to focus on — my kids and husband, playing music, starting a meditation practice, expanding my coaching and other aspects of business — feels great. So great, in fact, that it’s telling me that I really made the right decision. No Rooz (Persian New Year) is right around the corner, so I can enjoy getting ready for it instead of feeling guilty that I’m not working on my book. I can tackle spring cleaning, fix the pile of toys and random objects on my “fix it” bench, get regular about running again, make some crafts and maybe even write some songs.
I think what I’m most looking forward to is enjoying spring and summer with the kids, especially Jasper who can now walk and actually play outside for the first time! The weather has been getting quite lovely lately, and in the few times I’ve been able to take him out (it’s mostly been daddy these days) it was just the most fun thing ever hanging out with him and watching him dig around in the dirt, poke at spiders and watch birds in the sky. It had been weighing on me that I’d be preoccupied with a book during these months which made me sad…and now I feel such great relief and excitement about the months to come. I’m all pumped up now about working in the garden and planning some spring/summer travel. If having spring fever is wrong I don’t wanna be right!
Still I will be grappling with how to make good on this book project and am leaning towards scaling it down just a bit and aiming for next spring. I do truly want to write it, but frankly I think it’ll be a better book if I wait a bit and write from a clearer place. Sigh.
Photo by Christina Kennedy.