To say that 2011 was a milestone year in my life is putting it mildly.
- I achieved my first publishing contracts
- Etopia Press and Gypsy Shadow both published books of mine
- I achieved my first ebook sales on both sides of the Atlantic
- I found out how great it is to work with a professional editor - and to have fantastic cover art
These were the good things.
But there was another darker, and more dangerous, side to 2011.
It was the year, I became ill with work related stress. Not in my writing life - that proved to be the therapy that stopped the men in white coats from coming to cart me off. This was all related to my 'day' job and carried on for well over a year, probably more.
I do not recommend work related stress. As most of us know, there are two kinds of stress - positive and negative. Positive stress is 'Good Stress'. It fires the adrenalin, kickstarts creativity and imagination, makes us strive to achieve. I have always thrived on positive stress.
Negative stress is something entirely different. It is 'Bad Stress'. Dark, morbid, scary, inhabiting a murky world where all you want to do is run away, or hide, climb into a box, pull the lid down and not emerge until it's all over. In its wake, come nasty little demons, crawling out from under slime encrusted nightmares and fetid pools of bad memories. Panic is the norm. Relaxation unheard of. Sleep impossible. Self esteem and confidence crumble. 'Can do' becomes 'Can't hack it.'
No. Negative stress is not our friend.
2012 is the year I decided to give negative stress the bullet. Hurrah!
I am waving farewell to my previous life. As of February 16th, I no longer have a 'day' job. All very amicable, I hasten to add and I am full of praise for the amazing team I worked with. But the current practice of piling more and more work on fewer and fewer staff is something I have grave reservations about. I know what it did to me...
So, 2012 heralds a new beginning in my life. A house move follows in mid-March and, no doubt, I will be still bashing away at my keyboard as they carry me into the removal van.
Of course, I couldn't have done this without the support of my wonderful husband. Somebody please give that man a Knighthood - or at least a medal for service above and beyond the call of duty. Goodness knows he deserves it!