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  • melissaolthoff4

Getting Talked Off the Ledge

So, here's the thing. While we do our best as authors (and human beings) not to overcommit ourselves, sometimes things just pile up at the worst possible moment, and it feels like we're going to be crushed. Or drown.

When I was in the Air Force, I learned how to prioritize. Airfield Operations Officers never actually get through their to do list. We are the jack of all trades and master of none -- Air Traffic Control certified (but never have enough time to actually play with traffic, boo), Airfield Management certified (but only rarely get to spend time on the airfield and flight line), and in charge of on average a hundred airmen, most of whom were between 18-22 years old (oh. . .there's where all my time went LOL). There was always multiple things going on at once, and you learned to prioritize before you drowned. All that to say, I'm damned good at it. Even then, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. . .

Like, for instance, when I've got a relatively short suspense for a novel, two short stories due soon, taxes (oooh how I hate doing taxes), day job, kids, field trips, a husband I very much like to spend time with, conventions, AND a second novel that l really want to keep working on but have to set aside until I clear some of the above off my plate. Apparently, returning my kids to the store isn't an option, so I guess that commitment isn't going anywhere. I tried keeping a tally count of how many times they've interrupted me just while writing this blog post. I lost count somewhere in the twenties LOL

So what do we do when we reach that tipping point? Despite the funny gif above, alcohol usually isn't my go to answer (we all know it's a mocha), and sometimes we really can't shed any of those commitments. So then what? For me, it all goes back to what I've been saying from the beginning -- good friends are invaluable. My evil twin, Nick Steverson, talked me off the cliff. He laid out everything on my plate, and helped me prioritize it all in a way that absolutely works. That outside perspective was invaluable, because honestly? Once we talked it through, it really wasn't that bad, and definitely not insurmountable. Left to my own devices though, I probably would've wasted time panicking over everything far longer than warranted, simply because I was overwhelmed. So when you feel like you're drowning, don't forget to reach out, because it happens to all of us. People like to say writing is a lonely business, but really, it doesn't have to be. Power of friendship for the absolute win, ya'll.

(Speaking of friendship, this yahoo surprised me by showing up unannounced to Midsouthcon last weekend. Everyone, including my husband, knew except for me. Best friend ever!)

In writing news, Blood and Armor book four with Casey Moores is off to a great start! I was given permission, no, ORDERED to add a little romance to Nisti's story by none other than Bill Fawcett himself, and I'm fairy certain Casey could hear my mad cackling all the way over in Albuquerque. I'm also fairly certain this was his exact expression LOL

In fact, as we were on a zoom call at the time, I can definitively say both were true. Mwahahahaha! #Sorrynotsorry

I've also got a new release coming out tomorrow! A short story in It Came from the Trailer Park vol 3.5 from Three Ravens Publishing. It's the first of my tropy AF urban fantasy series featuring Jessie Carter, PI (because OF COURSE she's a PI). I promise you plenty of tropes, all the hot guys, and a dog, because who doesn't love dogs? Oh yeah, and magic. Too bad Jessie doesn't believe in magic. . .

Whelp, I've got commitments to meet and words to write. Until next week, folks!

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