Thursday, December 16, 2010

Busy Busy Busy!

Have you ever noticed that "Busy" is defined differently by different folks? What makes my day "busy" isn't exactly the same type of day that makes, let's say, my grandma, busy. "Busy" can mean you're simply not bored, that you have something to do. Busy might mean you have so many things clogging your "to do" list, there aren't enough hours in the day to finish them all (and do a decent job at it).

I have a neighbor (a mom with a part-time sales job) and the way she tells it, she's the busiest person in the known universe. Then there's the 20 year-old medical student who spends her entire day going to classes, waiting tables to pay the rent, and studying. Which equals about 4 hours of sleep when she's not too stressed about an upcoming exam. And then of course there are all the bigwig career types who are contantly on their Blackberries.

I think the busiest I've ever been in my life was when my revision on "Lifted" was due. I sold that book on a proposal and my editor didn't like what I'd turned in. More to the point, the marketing dept. wanted something more issue driven (rather than character driven). I had to write (not revise, but actually come up with new material) 20 hours solid for 4 days in a row. Thank goodness, my mother was able to fly in and take care of my family (and me) so I could do this. My brain has never hurt so badly. My body, either. I barely took bathroom breaks, let alone showers. I lived on Diet Coke and whatever food my mom slipped into my office when I wasn't paying attention. I might have doubted my ability to be an author. I might have doubted the possibility of what I had to do. I might've broken down in fitful tears. However, I didn't have time!

But guess what? I made my deadline. And what's more, I loved how my book turned out. Though it was one of the biggest challenges of my life, this is what I remember most: my family and how they helped me through it.

During this season, which many people say is their busiest of the year, we oftentimes get so wrapped up in doling out gifts; we forget the best gifts of all. A kind word, lending an ear, a hug, an unexpected favor. These things don't cost a dime, yet can mean the world to someone you care about. It's taking time out of your busy (however you define "busy") day to make someone feel special. Priceless!


TinaFerraro said...

Wendy, the epitome of busy for me is right before a family vacation when I am trying remember all the details to tie up regarding family, pets, the house, and responsibilities we have to others. Plus numerous trips to stores for vacation-needed items and loads of laundry because those things we want most to pack are always dirty! Usually when we pull out of the driveway, I am frantic for rest and relief!

I didn't know your LIFTED revision story! I am very impressed with your effort--and result!

Wendy Toliver said...

Ah, yes! Trying to leave for vacation is definitely a crazy time. Good point!

Heather Davis said...

Wow, Wendy - talk about deadline madness. Glad you made it through your Lifted marathon. It's been in the TBR pile for a while and I finally started it the other night. It's great, of course!

I've had busy times like that too. The day after the launch party for The Clearing I was getting ready to leave for a vacation - talk about stress.

Glad you made it through!


stephhale said...

Thanks for the Lifted story, Wendy. I'm glad it all worked out and you have an amazing book to be proud of.
I always get a kick out of how many extra things the school/teachers ask me to do because I'm a stay at home mom/author and 'not' busy like the moms who work! ;)

Wendy Toliver said...

Heather, I bet that was a crazy time, having to go on a trip in the wake of your book launch. Hopefully crazy in a good (fun) way though. And thx for the kind words about Lifted. :)

Steph, LOL! ('nuff said)

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Oh wow, ditto on the deadline craziest. I don't think I could do it, 20 hours a day. If I write for 8 solid I feel brain dead, so I can only imagine how you felt. But yay you on making it through with flying colors!

Marley Gibson said...

I remember that time in your life...and you shined through it! Very proud of you, hon...and you have touched the lives of a lot of young people with that story.

erica and christy said...

Wow, Wendy, that's an amazing story. Congratulations for finding the silver lining.

I worked as a full-time teacher, a full-time mom, a full-time wife, and a full-time grad student - then decided it was a good idea to build a house (yes, build - not contract to build). Super-crazy year spent with less than 4 hours of sleep per night. Can't even imagine it now.

We can achieve our dreams, aye?