I fret. I worry. I brood. I stew. Sometimes I even panic.
If there is a World Champion Fretter sweatshirt, I can wear it with no fear of false advertisement. The nice thing about the writing, publishing, and marketing world it’s so crazy that it provides an endless supply of fretting opportunities.
There’s micro-fretting. Is that comma in the right place? Is this the best word? How does Marion know that Randall was in Chicago in August? He said he was in Hawaii. Am I running out of printer ink? Can I get to the office supply store before it closes? Am I blogging too little? Am I Tweeting too much?
There’s metta-fretting. Should I work on a series or a stand-alone next? What are the current mystery trends? Do I know enough about where publishing is headed? Which social media platform is going to be big next year? Have I found my best market niche?
The good part of fretting is it leads to interesting side trips, also known as avoidance. This morning while I fretted about how over-the-top busy this week is, I also created my first Twitter hashtag. This is the electronic equivalent of sorting your buttons by size and color, but because a hashtag is vaguely work-related I feel virtuous while not getting any real work done.
The problem with fretting is that it solves nothing. It circles and spirals. I easily fret in a 360-degree circle, returning to the same place where I started. By applying a little concentrated effort, I fuse two or more frets thus raising my worry level to a higher plane, and making both problems more difficult to solve because they’ve become meshed in one another. This is good, how?
The fretting first aid routine I’m developed is brief.
- Breathe: close my eyes and take a few slow, deep breaths.
- Relax: start at my toes and tense all my muscles all the way up the body, hold, release, and repeat.
- Inspire: go to my inspiration folder and look at photos of people who inspire me.
- Exercise: shake my body even if it’s only for five minutes.
- Fun: go do something fun for a few minutes.
By the way, if you Tweet, the hashtag I created is #yycread (YYC is the airport code for Calgary + read.) It’s a place for readers and writers in the Calgary area to connect. If you’re a reader, or a writer, or both, drop by, even if you don’t live in the Calgary area. If do you live in the Calgary are, definitely drop by.
Quote for the week
It is the little bits of things that fret and worry us, we can dodge an elephant, but we can't a fly.
~ Josh Billings, 1818-1885, American Humorist