Often people tell me I am crazy. It seems I have heard this phrase more times this fall than at any other time in my life. And I get it. I do.
I am crazy busy. Crazy productive. Crazy ambitious. But I am also crazy supported. Crazy blessed. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I work full time as a middle school teacher and am married to a husband that does the same. We have two sons who go to two different schools, and who are in two different sports. We also each have a passion project which we pour our hearts and souls into. His is baseball and mine is writing. These obsessions put an extra two to eight hours of work into our lives DAILY. And then to make it even crazier I added an extra five hour a week tech college teaching gig on top of it. When I shared that news, people responded in kind. You are crazy! Crazy busy! Your life makes my head spin.
You know what? It makes my head spin sometimes too. But it will be worth it because I have a big dream. And I’m not afraid to work for it. Replacing a full time, benefit offering teaching salary doesn’t happen over-night. And if I really want to do what I’ve been telling people that I am going to do… I better put the time in and do it right. So for now, crazy busy, working three-ish jobs is the way its gotta be.
My friend Colleen is working on a book project of epic and global proportions. We met through an online mastermind group and have been each other’s cheerleaders ever since. Recently we decided to work together on a professional level. We spend our time together talking equally about business and writing, life and family. Colleen tells me all the time that I am crazy productive. I tell her it is because I don’t watch TV. But it’s more than that. When I pair my crazy busy life with my crazy big goals, I know that in order to get a decent amount of sleep at night (I require seven hours at a minimum) I MUST WORK QUICKLY.
It’s kind of like being a college athlete, which I was… but not a very good one. Most students on campus had from the time class ends, let’s say 4, until the time they go to bed, approximately 12, to get their homework done. 8 hours. In that 8 hours they probably hung out, played a few video games, had dinner, contemplated homework, watched some TV (Netflix wasn’t a thing when I was in college) and then at 11 decided they were too tired to put forth the effort of thinking needed to study. My teammates and I lived a different life. Practice 3-6. Dinner 6-7. Study 7-10. And then you go to bed because you were just plain exhausted. Because we had a limited amount of time in our schedule for homework, we sat down and hit the books… because if we didn’t use that time slot, it wouldn’t get done.
I operate the same way today. The kids go to bed at 8. I go to bed at 10. I better do something with those two hours, or the blog won’t get written, the manuscript won’t get revised, the email won’t be sent. I’m crazy productive because I have a dream, time’s a ticking and I refuse to let either one slip away.
I have big dreams. I want to write full time. I want to traditionally publish a book. I want to create and sustain a writing co-op that nurtures a writing community within my hometown. People start small business and live the life they’ve dreamed every day. I want to be one of them.
But there’s more to the story. Crazy busy, crazy productive and crazy ambitious are only half of it.
I am also crazy supported and blessed. (I know that doesn’t work out mathematically, but just go with me here… I am a self-proclaimed word nerd, numbers aren’t really my thing.)
I am crazy supported by my parents. I can always count on my dad to respond to my monthly mailchimp emails. Even if no one else does, he’s there, cheering me on, every time. My mom likes and comments on every single one of my Facebook posts, shouting out how proud she is of me on a daily basis. And when the schedules collide (or sometimes explode), they are always there to take care of our kids, allowing us to pursue our dreams while they love our children in our absence. Much the same can be said for my in-laws, who take the kids for entire weekends during baseball season so that I can catch my breath, or at least administer disaster aid relief to my kitchen and laundry room.
Every week my husband carves out hours for me, my writing and my sanity. My crazy productivity would not happen without him. In addition to this herculean feat, he gives me words of encouragement and gifts of flowers or a massage after his long day/weekend/tournament at the field have left me for long hours at home as a single parent. These gestures are the fuel that push me forward. I am crazy blessed because I know that he is 100% on this journey with me.
I am crazy blessed to have an incredible network of writing friends. I have my amazing Luna writing group that word nerds with me twice a month, offering equal shares wisdom, practice, encouragement, and fun. I have mastermind friends across the nation who give advice, buy each other’s books, share resources, and offer up guest blog post spots all in the name of collaboration and “pay it forwards”. I am blessed to have a sister who convinces her entire book club to read my novella, and who posts a review on each of my books, without me even asking. I have a critique partner who will road trip with me when the occasion strikes and a forever friend who will edit every manuscript I send her way. I am blessed to have two amazing sons who tell everyone we know, and some people we don't know, that their momma is an author and she writes books. How could I not find success with all these people in my corner?
And if that isn’t enough, I am crazy blessed to have an amazing extended family, the best babysitters on the planet, friends who inquire about the next book, and a God who gave me a brain to dream and talent to accomplish big things.
So, that’s fine. Go ahead and call me crazy. I agree, and couldn’t be happier about it.