Wednesday, December 19, 2012

(Un)Healthy Obsession

For some time now, I've talked about my new hobby: home brewing beer.  It has been brought to my attention recently (and I spent an entire day reflecting on the thought) that I've become obsessed.

To give a little background, OCD runs in my family.  Chances are, I'll never develop OCD, but knowing that it runs in my family opened my eyes to to a very simple fact: whenever I get an idea in my head, I OBSESS over it until it's either resolved or I find something bigger, better, or easier.  When I remain focused on my writing, the obsessions are held at bay.  For the most part.  And this is because writing is my biggest passion.  It's what I want to do with my life.  It's easy to turn that obsession into drive to move forward with my career.

But as I said on Monday, the news in my writing career isn't turning out as "planned."  A day spent thinking about my writing, listening to writing and publishing podcasts, rather than the brewing podcast that's consumed most of my time for the last seven or eight months, has really shown me both how far I've come, and how far I have to go.  And it made me realize why I've been obsessing over my new hobby.  I need a distraction.

Over the past three and a half years (since I started querying my first project), I've learned how to take rejection without taking it personally.  As a writer with mild self-esteem, I like and seek validation for the hard work I do, and it takes a lot of time to learn how to accept rejection as something that's part of the business, not a personal attack.  But now and then, the frustration of doing the same thing over and over again with the same result (crazy right?!?) wears at me.  So rather than spending my non-writing time thinking about writing, I've been spending it thinking about beer.  Brewing beer, cooking with beer, trying to find new beers to drink.

And as many of my regular readers may have noticed, my blog is suffering as a result.  The rest of my writing is thriving like never before!  But without thinking about writing, the publishing world, or the changes that keep sweeping through our little universe, I've run out of things to say.

It's time for that to change.  I'm going to ease off on the beer obsession (though I'm not giving up this wonderful hobby!), and I'm going to do more research into the book industry, try to keep up to date with other writers, and THINK about writing.  Even when it hurts.

If you've made it this far in this post, thank you for letting me get this off of my chest.  I love writing, and I love every minute of the process, even the rejections!  But like anyone working toward career advancement, roadblocks can get discouraging.  They don't cripple me, or even make me want to give up, but sometimes I lose sight of the big picture.

And that's why we have hobbies.  But not obsessions!

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