I’ve been really hard on myself lately. Struggling with edits. I could list the reasons–and there are many, from the move to a loss of a loved one to the subject matter of the book–but the important thing is, I’ve been too hard on myself.
I’m *always* hard on myself.
Most days I’m proud of that, proud of my ability to push myself, but this past week I pushed myself too hard, right over the edge and into the wastelands of self-loathing, and that’s no good for anyone.
It’s just that sometimes I feel this crippling panic that I haven’t done enough, that I’m not doing enough, not living enough.
This post is a letter to myself, really, a reminder.
I made a list. To prove to myself that maybe I’m not always the best judge of what is “enough” because I don’t think I will ever believe I’ve done “enough.”
So here’s what I’ve done. What December Victoria, in her current state, has deemed “not enough.”
This winter I moved to the UK. Well, before that I went on a writer’s retreat for 5 days with 23 other authors, got snowed in, got a new book deal, went to New York, met my agent, met my pub team, and THEN moved to the UK. I lived in Liverpool, spent three months residing in a shed (true story, check out the vlogs) in the yard of a house shared with 8 other people, and wrote a 350-pg first draft of THE ARCHIVED.
I hiked the hills of northern England, hitched a ride with a friend to Glasgow, trained from there to Edinburgh, and spent the next few days wandering ancient roads.
I spent two weeks driving through northeast France with my family, drinking wine and climbing boulders and writing in corners of cafes nestled into the woods. I found places where magic still exists.
I was interrogated by border patrol returning to England, b/c they did not think I had a good reason to be there, let alone come back. I got back, spent a few days in London with cousins, and returned home.
I hosted seven giveaways in the seven weeks leading up to the launch of THE NEAR WITCH. I *survived* the launch of THE NEAR WITCH. The day after it came out, I went on tour with Myra and Beth.
Between that tour, personal travel, and the other events that followed, I traveled to Denver, Boulder, Forest City, Morganton, Asheville, Spartanburg, Sylva, Knoxville, Kingsport, San Antonio, Decatur, Boise, Auburn, San Diego, Sacramento, DC, New York, and Charleston.
I met dozens of amazing, inspiring, lovely authors, and many of them I now count as friends. I also met (and hugged) my hero, Neil Gaiman.
Somewhere in there, I’m not entirely sure where, I wrote my first adult novel.
And then I moved to New York.
And that’s where I am.
Sitting in a chair in my Brooklyn apartment, thinking it’s not enough. The hardest part is that I don’t ever want to feel that it’s “enough,” at least not in the satisfied sense. I want to stay hungry. But some days it’s really hard to walk the line between wanting more for the future and disregarding the past.
I have to find a way to be happy with what I’ve done while striving to be more.
And so, along with the many, many other goals I’m setting for 2012, I’m setting that one, too. To push myself, yes, but to remember, every step of the way, the adventure that I’m on, to savor what I’ve done as much as what I want to do.