Monday, 6 February 2012

Endings, Beginnings and Giving 'Bad' Stress The Bullet

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!


  1. I wish you all the best in 2012 and moving forward! Congratulations on being able to, and having the courage to leave your day job and pursue your dreams. You are an inspiration.

  2. Wishing you all the positive stress that comes through this courageous change!

  3. Good for you, Cat. I hate hearing of the job stress but applaud you for taking care of yourself. I quit a good job that was making me unhealthy about 15 years ago. It was without a doubt a tremendously positive move for me, happiness- and health-wise. WooHoo for you!

  4. Thank you Carolyn, Adonis and Keith. Your kind comments and encouragement are much appreciated. The very best to all of you in 2012 as well!

  5. Excellent! I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of making the same choice. It's so worth it! Congratulations!

  6. Good for you. Life is too short for stress like this. A supportive husband is the best. May 2012 be heaps better for you :)

  7. Hurray! I don't have any knighthoods here for your husband, but his armor's surely shining. What great news. And I know what you mean about good and bad stress. Enjoy the writing!

  8. That's great news, Cat. I'm so glad you're going to be able to concentrate full time on your writing - it's what you enjoy and are very good at!

  9. Congratulations on your new life Catherine - and best wishes for the future

  10. well done, cat! :)

    were i that way inclined, i'd want a husband like yours... since i'm not, will have to settle for a good woman, i guess :P lol

    -tony hunt

  11. stupid site knows me by name and website, yet DEMANDS i PROVE i'm NOT A ROBOT!

    talk about stupid programming! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  12. Congratulations. Hope it works out beautifully for you.

  13. Thank you all for your lovely comments. Very best wishes to all of you x