For the last four weeks I have been in a state of constant rushing—rushing to work, rushing home, trying to squeeze editing and other work—publication prep, website updates, etc.—into those rare moments when I can sit down for a half hour at my computer. But there has been too much to do, and I’ve been feeling the strain of being pulled in multiple directions.
My overall stress has been exacerbated by the fact that I injured my heel/Achilles in spin class in June. That injury brought up my recurring IT band problems, and I had to scale back on all my exercise. I worried I’d have to skip my first triathlon in August, for which I’ve been training all winter.
But then a couple of things happened: First, I found an amazing physical therapist who diagnosed the root of my problem (which has been going of for years) as my SI joint. I’ve been to sports medicine doctors, other PTs, chiropractors, and this is the first time someone has figured this out. I almost burst into tears. I left his office with exercises and orders to go ahead and register for the tri. Two weeks later and I’m running and biking again. I’m slow and it’s not without pain, but I’m making progress. Hallelujah!
Second, I put in my notice at my day job. For the last two years I’ve been working in nonprofit development, writing grants. The work is fine, but of course it’s not my passion. It was work that paid bills and covered the cost childcare. Well, my little Zoë is heading to kindergarten this fall, which means I don’t have to write that large pre-school check every month. Again, hallelujah!
I had been toying with quitting for a while, but I hesitated to give up the reliability of a paycheck every two weeks. Then I got an email from a fabulous writer friend whose aunt was looking for a ghostwriter for her memoir. I nearly leapt out of my chair. Cheri sent me links to her aunt and uncle’s blog, and I began to read their story. Twin identical boys, now 23 years old, with severe autism. Both are marathon runners. The more I read, the more excited I got. The project seemed like the perfect combination of my passions: working with mothers to help them get their stories out into the world, writing, and editing (and even running!). Cheri’s aunt and I exchanged e-mails, spoke on the phone, and finally signed a contract. I fly to New York to begin interviews next week, and then will dive into writing the book proposal. Whoop!
So this fall, when the girls are both on the same school schedule and I’m working from home, free of office politics and the emotional energy that I expend when I’m constantly shifting gears, I can sit in my tiny office and write and read and write. My main focus will be the ghostwriting gig until the proposal is done, but I also plan to carve out regular time for my own writing, which has suffered these last two years. Dear Novel, remember me?
In other good news, Ready for Air is heading to print. The last typos in the page proofs have been corrected, and I will have my memoir in my hands sometime in August. So stay tuned for more information about fall readings and blog book tours. Mark your calendars for the launch on October 3rd at the Loft Literary Center. And if you’d like an advanced reading copy, head over to Goodreads for a chance to win one!