When You Are Your Own Worst Boss
If you met me just a little while ago, you would know that I have a problem–with several symptoms. I burn the candle at both ends for several months at a time and then I sleep nonstop for several days. I go through the whole process all over again several times a year. Because I have become a crazy nocturnal writer, I tend to drink too much wine and have the “occasional” cigarette to get my mind focused. I follow this process to the frustration and confusion of my family and friends. But such sacrifices are for my art, right?
Wrong. If I knew at the beginning of the year what I know now, I can assure you, I would have written down a message to 2012 me and said, “Follow this. Your life depends on it.” I would have opened up the note and read, “Tell your bully boss to shut up.”
My problem is my boss–me. You know that boss, right? That part of you which is never happy, never done, always finding things to edit, always pushing you up to the last possible moment to finish something. Loves to stress you out. Has the motto “If it’s not painful, It’s not work” tattooed across her forehead.
With the end of the year closing in, I nervously observe my boss scribbling out her evaluation of me. My palms sweat. I know that I have decided to publish a book one month later than planned, which would make it a 2014 book instead of 2013. This means my goal of five books for 2013 has fallen short by one book. It’s really a bit precocious, the way the boss frowns at me and hunches over her desk, shaking her head in disappointment. Four books is nothing to sneeze at. I know this. So does she. So why do I still listen to her? Why is she still in charge of me???
Well, I’ve made a decision. I’m firing my boss. LOL! How awesome is that? my new boss has gone through a network of interviews. She’s smart, understanding, and has five goals for me everyday.
1) write 1500 words a day
2) edit ten pages of manuscript
3) work on marketing 1 hour a day
4) work one artistic endeavors once a day
5) meditate, followed by focused meditation on story lines once a day.
That’s it. Everyday. No more AND no less. We’ll see by year’s end if I am more productive, less, the same? And most importantly, am I a nocturnal drunken zombie or a halfway healthy writer?
If you need to fire your “old” inner boss, what qualities would you hope your “new” inner boss would own? How would it change your process?
My book, “Vampire’s Fortune, Fortune Teller’s Curse,” is the story I pulled back for 2014 so it will be at Amazon in January. Keep an eye out for it and see if the extra time was worth it!
FABULOUS post! Very helpful. I checked out that mediation thingy. I’m so sorry I just now visited. I love that you found a new boss. Sounds like this one will be more understanding, and you’ll probably accomplish more. Hmmm…I suppose I would tell my inner boss to stop making me say ‘yes’ to everything that’s asked of me. And to prioritize my time better. And to get my A$$ up at 5 a.m. (two hours earlier than I need to), so that I can get some writing done before I head to the day job and my other boss. Dang…it doesn’t sound like my new boss will be any more lenient…
Thanks, Kathy. I had a great time. 🙂
Lynda! If only day job bosses were more understanding, writers wouldn’t suffer so much! LOL! 😉
Great post. I fight with my inner boss all the time. But I fight with my day job boss more because He won’t let me write during the day. He insists on me doing what he hired me for, I just don’e get it. : ) Loved your post and good luck with your goals.
Thanks so much your great insight, Kara. As always, it’s terrific.
You, too, R.T.! That would be so awesome!
Someday we’ll be that kind of author who has people for all of the other stuff. We’ll just write.
Good luck on getting there soon!
Thankd, Nicole. Here’s to a productive, sane 2014! 🙂
If you find a way to get your inner boss to do that, could she schedule a meeting with mine to discuss? 🙂
We do seem to be our own toughest critics, don’t we?!
I’m with your more rational side – 4 books in one year, definitely nothing to be ashamed of 🙂
I hope your new boss is more understanding and gives you positive, motivating feedback.
Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Gerri! 🙂
Sounds like a good plan, Kara. I wish you much success. 🙂
Hi Paula. You know I just found a great Envisioning Method Meditation through Mind Valley Academy (love that place). Just take ten minutes in the morning to relax, clear negative thoughts, and visualize the best possible day imaginable. It’s suppose to help with creative flow. We’ll see! 🙂
Oh wow, MJ! Do they have Junior Prom? Busy year for you. Enjoy all those moments. 🙂
Good luck, Rachel! Keep me posted. 🙂
My inner boss needs to work on her time management skills.
And finding new ways to relax.
Great post! My boss needs to learn to prioritize. I’d like to do something like this, but mine would look a little different. Write a little, market a little, read a little, clean…very little, but more… I just need to balance more. Spend more time with my kids. They are high school juniors. I only have a little more time with them. Thanks for sharing this!
Great post. I’m doing something very similar this year. I’ve been the laziest boss ever! 🙂
Thanks for having me, Kathy!