When you get the one thing you’ve worked so hard towards and dreamed of for years, how long does it take to actually sink in?
Last Sunday (7th June 2020), I assessed my final assignment, responded to my final student query, submitted my invoice and put on a permanent out of office. That was it. Done. I was no longer an HR tutor; the home-based role I’ve had for just over five years.
I didn’t set any major writing goals for my first week as a full-time author because I had a feeling that, the moment I took my foot off the pedal, the fatigue of a demanding work schedule would catch up with me. For the past five years, I’ve worked more than full-time hours in the day job, have written eight books, have created several works-in-progress (probably the equivalent of another full-length novel-and-a-half) and have obtained a Masters in Creative Writing. For more than half of that time, I was also the Brown Owl for a 24-strong Brownie Pack. Eek! I feel exhausted just thinking about it! With so much going on, sleep was a frequent struggle.
As suspected, it did catch up with me this week and I have felt phenomenally tired every single day. I probably should have just taken two days off and slobbed in front of the TV but I was keen to get some word count under my belt on the WIP. It’s been slow-going, though. Not because I’m struggling with the WIP but because I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I gave up and had a lie on the bed with the dog on Monday afternoon. Three hours later… Oops! Still, I obviously needed it.
Today – Saturday – is the first day I feel slightly less fatigued although I think the lie-in until 10.15 a.m. massively helped. I haven’t slept in like that in years!
The big difference for me this week has been a determination not to work every evening like I normally would and I have to admit that it has been strange. Very strange. I’m so used to watching some TV while eating my tea, then getting up as soon as the programme finishes and returning to work for the evening. In fact, I’m so used to it that, up until Wednesday, my body was actually twitching with that familiar routine and it has been so lovely not to have to get to my feet and retreat to my computer.
I do want to form a routine over the next couple of weeks where my time writing is focused, I finally have the opportunity to work through my enormous TBR pile, and I have some family time too but I think I natural routine will probably evolve once the tiredness subsides.
I’ve had lots of lovely surprises arriving in the post this week too. Flowers, cake and Prosecco, cards, a teddy bear with a special wooden necklace celebrating my new career, a Lucy Pittaway mug and notepad, some Cath Kidston hand creams (with hedgehogs on them) and a gift voucher. I really wasn’t expecting anything. And then hubby disappeared late this morning and returned with an amazing cake in the shape of my next release, Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow, which looked too good to cut into but, hey, it’s cake and cake does not survive for long when I’m around with a fork in hand! Thank you so much to Mark and Ashleigh, Sharon, Helen, Jo, Liz, Carol, Wendy and Mum and Dad for your amazing generosity xx
I also treated myself to a cross stitch – something I haven’t done in years but used to love doing to relax – and a new sign for my wall. Feeling very spoilt right now!
Despite everything, it still hasn’t sunk in that it’s finally happened. The thing I’ve been dreaming/wishing/hoping/longing for has come true. I keep expecting to have to do the day job. Maybe next week it will start to feel real…
Wishing everyone a relaxing weekend and a great week ahead.