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Monday, December 30, 2013

Stop and Breathe

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season!

I had to make sure that got into the post. :) You see, it has been a c-r-a-z-y holiday season this year. With the USA Thanksgiving arriving later than normal in November, we all missed a week of planning between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not to mention the fact that my Christmas cards arrived late, and my mother decided to hold my extended family Christmas celebration early... Well, you can see how things quickly got out of control.

But now all of that craziness is behind me, sort of. The house is a mess, and with the kids and dh home, there is constant eating, laughing and chaos, lol. Let's just say that not much writing is getting done. On one level, this is incredibly frustrating for me. I have both personal and contract deadlines that I need to meet to stay on schedule. (See the end of this post for my tentative releases for the beginning of 2014.) For me, serenity won't come until January 2nd, when everyone goes back to school and work, and mommy has a little peace and quiet.

But that's okay. Those of you who know me well, know that I'm a workaholic. This is something that has been a part of my personality my whole life. I work hard, often pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion to get something done and done right. It can be easy for me to lose that coveted "life-work balance" and throw myself into my work, forgetting to eat, shower, even breathe.

This is where my family comes in. Well, okay, my husband. I recognized early on that this guy is critical in keeping balance in my life. Without his influence (and incredible patience), I probably would have worked myself into a grave a long time ago. He knows that there is more to life than work--even work you love--and it's important to stop every once in a while and breathe.

This message (stop and breathe) has really hit me hard this holiday season. This is mostly because it's probably the last year that my eight year old will believe in Santa. She has already started asking questions, and while dh and I have been rather vague, I can tell that the magic is fading. It won't be long before she's that skeptical teenager. You know the type... those kids with an ipod and ear phones, the ones who completely ignore their mom and dad.

As writers, it's so easy to get lost in our work. Our characters are seductive, and our plots intriguing. This is good, because if we're captivated by our stories, then our readers will be, too.

It's equally important to remember to stop and breathe. I don't mean literally breathe, although that is important, too. I mean stop, close your eyes, and commit to memory those precious holiday moments, because they'll be over before you know it. Years from now, what will you remember from this Holiday Season? Make sure that you create those special moments so that not only you, but your family will remember this holiday for years to come.

As for me, my husband has once again ordered a "internet free" zone over the holidays, lol. I'll be (trying) to put aside my computer and just enjoy the moment this holiday season.

How about you? What are some of your family traditions? What are you doing this holiday season to make sure you and your family stop to breathe?

And as always, here's my upcoming release schedule for the first quarter of 2014. Be sure to sign up for my Newsletter in the right side bar of my website for the most up-to-date information concerning my new releases.

Suzanne's Tentative Release Schedule for Q1 2014

Seduction in the Sun 2

Seduction in the Sun (Releases Dec. 31st - THAT'S TOMORROW! Be sure to follow me on Facebook so that you'll get all of the buy links when they go live!)

The Great Escape in Audio (Ecstasy Spa)
Whispers re-releases in ebook AND print

Conquista (Book #2 in the Jungle Heat Series)
Pressure Point in Audio (Ecstasy Spa)

A Little Bit Daring from Ellora's Cave (Book #2 in the Small Town Seduction Series)
Bonded in Hope from Siren Bookstrand (Book #3 in the Warlock Mating Chronicles)


Sandy said...

Your hubby sounds a bit like mine, Suzanne. He seems to always know when I need to take a break.

Melissa Keir said...

I'm horrible about the work/life balance. Hubby helps but he knows to stay away when the muse is riding me. I did spend a lot of my holiday break doing things with the family but now I'm back to writing (my other career) while the day job is on break. I feel the harsh breath on my neck to get things done before time passes....I can do it. :)

Suzanne Rock said...

LOL, yeah Sandy. I don't know what I'd do without him! :)

Suzanne Rock said...

OMG, Melissa, I'm awful at it, too. I'm getting back to the grindstone today myself, although it's been rather hard with the whole family home. My 6 year old doesn't really understand that I have deadlines, lol! I hope you get a lot of writing done!

Nicole Morgan said...

Wait.. you want us to "stop" and also "breathe"? Like... at the same time? Dude, that seems like a lot! Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!! Can't we just do one or the other? :p

Seriously though.. great post and reminder! :)

Rose Anderson said...

Oh I remember those days. Stopping to breath is good. Nice post, Suzanne.

Suzanne Rock said...

LOL Nicole! You made me spit out my coffee! I'm trying to cook a turkey, write, and answer my kids multiple questions at the same time. It's like...who has time to breathe! But it's so important. I really need to be reminded of this daily, not just around the holidays. Glad you liked the post!

Suzanne Rock said...

Thanks so much, Rose, I'm glad you liked it! :)

Dorothy said...

I haven't had time to breathe yet. The only time I can breathe is when I schedule vacations away from home and the computer, lol.

Marianne Stephens said...

I'm not done with Christmas yet. Two kids and families coming this weekend so we get to do Christmas again!
Breathing space comes in small spurts. Too much to do but I love the craziness of the season.

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks for the reminder to stop and breathe! When things get chaotic I let go and go with the flow to avoid frustration. Being in the moment is my best remedy and then I have fun. Great post, Suzanne.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

Wow, that is one busy year for you!!! But it's so awesome to see your career jumping starting into action. I wish you all the very best, Suzanne!

Suzanne Rock said...

Dorothy - LOL, I hear you. It's hard to relax at home when all of your "to do" items are sitting around you. I guess you'll just have to plan a vacation. :D

Suzanne Rock said...

Marianne - the craziness IS great, right? YAY for having your kids come and visit. I hope you have a wonderful time!

Suzanne Rock said...

Thank Gemma! I'm glad you liked it. I have to keep reminding myself to stop and breathe. It's a little too easy for me to forget. Thanks for stopping by! :)

E.L. F. said...

I definitely agree with the need to stop and seems like I had a few too many obligations to get everything done and wound up feeling stressed instead of enjoying the holiday. Fortunately, there are always good books around to help me decompress (0:

Suzanne Rock said...

E. L. F. - That's right! Good books can always help us slow down and take a break. I've acquired a lot of books over vacation, but haven't read any yet. Once my writing deadlines are behind me, I'm diving in! :)

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