Friday, February 24, 2012

ON WRITE SUPPORT: Donna's Monthly Checkup

PHS Columnist Donna Alward joins us again with another update on a month in the life of a working writer.

February was absolutely insane, in some of the best possible ways and some of the worst. Never mind the virtual check up here with the “doc” – I ended up at the real doc’s in a whole lotta pain. We’ll get to that in a second…let’s check in with my other monthly “symptoms!

Symptoms: intermittent fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness

The doc, looking very serious, wants to know if I have any idea what might have brought on these symptoms. I explain that since last month’s update I finished the short story as well as revisions on it, I wrote (and sold!) a 30,000 word novella, did revisions  on my November 2012 book, and read 5 of my 6 RITA judging books in addition to the normal day to day mom/wife stuff including 2 days of volunteering at the school.

Doc’s pretty impressed. It kind of explains the tiredness and the fact that sometimes I refer to the children by the dog’s name.

I further explain that since starting #1k1hr back in September, I’ve been very productive. In fact, since September 4 I’ve written two 50-55k novels, two 30k novellas and a 15k short story - as well as taking 3 weeks off at Christmas. That’s somewhere between 175 and 185000 words in about 5 months. God bless #1k1hr, I wouldn’t have finished these projects without it!

Doc warns me that I might not be able to keep up this sort of pace. I nod and agree, and that explain that in another few weeks my schedule eases off considerably. Sort of.

With all this work stuff going so well, it makes sense to ask about what I’m doing for relaxation and how the weight loss is going. Well, I’m sad to report I’m not losing but I’m not gaining either, so it could be worse. I started P90X again and got 3 weeks in when I injured myself.  Looking back, I think the problem stemmed from a different workout move as my shoulder bothered me for some time, and then I went back to P90X thinking it would strengthen what was going on. It didn’t. I woke up Valentine’s Day in terrible pain and unable to move my arm much at all. Tendonitis around the rotator cuff was the issue and I’ve been on drugs and physiotherapy since. It’s improving, but it put a kink in my workouts big time. I compensated for a bit with lots of walking, and I’m just now getting back to cardio and legs since I have movement back in the arm even if I can’t do weights yet.

Relaxation wise I’m doing okay, because I know without relaxation I go crazy and it doesn’t make for a lot of balance, and I like balance in my life. With both my girls in a sport right now, plus one in two choirs, I take some of my relaxation alone in the car or watching them play. I watched a couple of movies and the husband and I went out for supper one night and hung out with friends a few times.

All told, doc’s diagnosis is that I’m a borderline workaholic and his recommendation  is to streamline my schedule a little and make sure I take time to breathe.

I agree.

I like breathing.

Check back in next month as there will be tales – or is that tails? – of March break dog-sitting adventures, a zillion appointments, and trepidation as I stretch new writing muscles by working on a very different sort of project! Can’t wait to see what the doc says about that!
Donna's current book is HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART, out in the UK! You can check out her website at

1 comment:

  1. I overdo it all the time. I want to have it all, be a hands on mother and wife and still have lots and lots of time for my creative stuff. It can't always be done and we have to be happy with our limitations soemtimes!

    I think you can safely agree you've been wonderfully creative lately. I think some time out is due.