These days it seems I’m the woman with a hundred and one hats…and the thing is, I’m not a hat person. Having said that, I have two favorites I’ll never part with. My ‘Mommy’ hat and my ‘Writer’ hat. Both are utterly fabulous in their own way, custom made for me in every way. They just scream ‘me’! They’re the perfect size, the perfect style and I can wear them without even noticing that they’re there because they literally feel like natural extensions of myself. The only thing that could possibly make them any better than they already are would be for them to be tiaras instead of hats, because I would make a rockin’ princess…but I digress.
My point is, that in addition to those two lovely hats, I have accumulated a great deal more in the last year and a half as I embarked on this adventure of becoming a published author… a few of which I think I may have to part with, or possibly box up and stuff into storage.
My ‘Editing and Formatting’ hat for instance. Man, I cannot tell you how tired I am of wearing that old dishrag! But when you’re in the business of self-publishing, it’s a hat you need. It’s not pretty, it makes your head itch…sometimes it makes your head hurt, but you need it, so you can’t throw it out. I am however shoving it all the way to the back, just so I don’t have to look at it for a while.
Then of course, there’s the ‘Marketing’ hat. It’s not all bad. I mean, the color is good and it looks pretty snazzy most of the time, but it just doesn’t go with everything. In fact, it goes with almost nothing. It’s incredibly demanding in the way it insists on being the center of attention. I have gone over this a lot lately, trying to figure out how best to deal with this hat. I like it. I picked it out pretty carefully and them customized it to fit my needs…but now, I think I’m ready to hand it in at the closest second hand store and let someone else have a go at it. I feel like a total hypocrite even considering this, but I’m about to seriously cut back on my social networking activities and Twitter is at the top of my list. Now, I would like to go on record as saying that Twitter is by far the best marketing tool I have encountered and I highly recommend that anyone attempting to get their name or their product out there should at least learn how to navigate the twitterverse, but I’ve been cruising around the twittersphere for some time now and I’m homesick. I’m not saying I’m prepared to give it all up cold turkey. My accounts will remain active and when the mood hits me, I’m sure I’ll still log in to play and catch up, but the level of dedication I feel toward this hat has definitely dissipated.
Then there’s the ‘Yes’ hat. That sucker’s gotta go! It’s the hat I put on anytime anyone asks me for a favor. It doesn’t matter what it is, or who is asking, but as long as I’ve got that hat on, the answer is always yes! And as much as I would love to help everyone, I just don’t have the time…nor am I entirely sure that I’m even capable of doing half of the stuff I commit to doing anyway. For instance, the other day a complete stranger called me asking me for my help with an issue I hadn’t the faintest idea how to fix. But did I say no? Uh-uh. I said “Well, I could try…” What the hell is wrong with me?! I have a five year old who is busy hiding my phone from me just so she doesn’t have to compete with it for my attention and about five different novels started I need to get to, not to mention the crap load of notes I have flying around that still need to find homes in stories yet to be written, and if you could see my kitchen you’d tell me not to go on – I do not have time to take on tasks I can barely comprehend to begin with! So, the ‘Yes’ hat is hitting the trash can at full force and I’m going out to look for a ‘Maybe’ instead…
I have a bunch more I need to sort through, and I will, but it will take longer than one evening to do it…after all, it took me over a year to accumulate them all. And it’s not like I don’t like them, I do. I wouldn’t have gotten them if I didn’t…it’s just that at the time I didn’t realize that wearing all those new hats would mean not having time to wear the two I love the most. And the truth is, that motherhood and my love for writing are the only reasons I even picked up any of the other titles in the first place. I want to be home to raise my daughter and I want to be able to share my stories with others, but neither of those things are possible if I’m too busy to be a mom or a writer. And as it turns out, sacrificing the things you want for the things you need, makes you not need the things you sacrificed the things you want for. So, I’m making the switch. The stuff I thought I needed to do, the stuff that stresses me out to no end and keeps me awake at night, it’s all getting the shaft. From now on, my time will be spent on the things that I love…and if I can only spare a moment here and there on the other stuff, I don’t care. It will just have to be good enough, because right now, it’s the best I can do.