I had spent months worrying about it and it deeply affected my mental health.
It was about book-launch versus day-job.
For months I went around the conundrum of whether to take a break from my job to launch my debut novel.
I had a deep urge to spend a few weeks giving my all to the launch so that I could give the book its best chance possible. But at the same time, I didn’t want to jeopardise a lucrative income-stream and the flexible part-time arrangement that I have with my client.
See-sawing between “being sensible” and “listening to my heart” took its toll.
I work as an independent consultant and there had been a change in the tax law, due to go into effect in April, which was going to materially affect my relationship with my client. I was going to have to renegotiate my terms anyway so I had this idea that I could ask to delay our new arrangement until early July, and take a few weeks to focus solely on my writing and the launch.
After much deliberation I plucked up the courage to ask for this break. I have a wonderful manager who is very supportive of my writing. At the beginning of March it was confirmed that I could take a break, from mid-April until early July.
Result! My stress lifted. I had secured a fantastic arrangement where I could have time and energy for my launch, and then have a job to which to return. Could it be any better?
And then coronavirus happened
As the country went into lockdown it didn’t seem such a good idea to be away from the company in such uncertain times. What if they couldn’t afford to take me back in July? With so many people losing their work it didn’t feel wise to take a voluntary break from mine.
A profound shift occurred within me. After spending months wanting to get away from this job, I was now truly grateful that I had it. My client is a private healthcare provider and we are supporting the National Health Service in the fight against coronavirus. I feel truly blessed that I work for a company that still has business and is making a valuable contribution to society.
As an added bonus, the tax changes which would have forced the re-negotiation of my terms have been postponed.
And the book launch?
I’m going to aim to get the book onto Kindle and just release it. The story features a modern-day Countess and her talking handbags. If ever people need such escapism, it’s now.
The launch with a capital L won’t happen. I will keep plugging away over the coming months with various marketing activities and the book can have a slow-burn release. I need to read through it one more time, set up the landing page to capture people’s email addresses for a bonus chapter and then set it free. I will follow up with print later.
Why did I spend all those months worrying?
The stress has all been in vain. None of us, at the beginning of the year, could have predicted how these last few weeks have unfolded.
As a constant worrier, it has taught me a valuable lesson. There’s no point in worrying about stuff — it probably won’t turn out how you imagine anyway!
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