Monday, July 23, 2018

Balancing Life, Work and Writing Without a Safety Net #authorlife #vetlife


Hello all!

It's been a long time since I visited with you. Life kicked me in the butt and now I'm at a point where I can breathe again...and write! Being able to put words to the page has brought me such happiness. It's hard for me to explain other than I feel like myself again. For the last two years I've been struggling, really struggling to find my way out of the darkness that nearly took my life. I'm happy to be here and ready to keep fighting to stay. Compassion fatigue and depression are debilitating for me and it's taken a hell of a lot of work to get to where I am now.

From December through March, I had to be the primary caretaker for my husband after he was assaulted in front of our apartment complex. Long story short, his right ankle was shattered and required orthopedic surgery. Multiple pins, plates and screws later, he is back to work and I finally have time for myself again. I'm working over 40 hours a week for my normal gig as veterinarian, but that has changed as well. I'm working in a Fear Free practice and that alone has cut my work related stress in half.

I. Kid. You. Not

Being able to say no to an owner who demands we trim the nails of their attack dog without sedation helps. Educating owners about the fear, anxiety and stress their pets feel traveling to and from the vet and being in the veterinary office itself is an amazing experience. About 80 percent of our clients are receptive to all of it from the start. Others take more time. A slim minority of them refuse to believe their pets are stressed or need special help to adjust.

Those are the folks I choose not to worry about any longer. I've done my part and so have my techs to inform them of the way we can help them and their pets have a less stressful visit with us. It's their CHOICE to not take the advice and it's our choice to part ways with them. No longer do we have to bend over backwards to make these few people happy, terrify their pets and injure ourselves in the process. My staff feels empowered to speak up for our patients when their owners are not aware of what is really happening.

Becoming Fear Free Certified has helped me see my own fears, anxieties and stresses in a new light. I am able to recognize when I'm about to derail and put on the breaks. I take time off and ENJOY it now. Once that happened, my muse returned and pestered me to write again. I'm still doing my crafts and reading for pleasure here and there, but since February, I have been working on multiple writing projects. Yesterday I managed to finally get The Island (Now and Forever 2) back out to the retailers. Siren reversed the rights to me in December of last year. At least it didn't take me two years to get it out like it did with the For the Love of Quinn re-release. Now all of my books are released through my publishing house, Sassy Vixen Publishing.

The new project is a joint venture with my friend, Amber Lea Easton. The shared world series is set in Ouray, Colorado during Million Dollar Fire. Little did we know that our series would release at the same time the real wildfires were racing toward Ouray. Freaky but it made our stories all that more realistic. The first five are out now. I have book six due to release in a couple months that deals with the aftermath of the fire and the final battle between the magical realms and the Fire Queen. If you haven't already guessed, my books tend to lean more toward the paranormal genres. I finally realized that is my true calling. So, look for all the magical creatures to show up with all of my pen names.

The compassion fatigue poetry journal has been a hit so now I have plans to release an expanded version of the poetry as an e-book and print (non-journal) format. It will have the original poems included with the journal, plus several more to round out my journey through it all.

from DIYGENIUS
Creative Commons Use
The title of this post reflects how I've felt at times juggling everything I want to do in any given day. As much as people want to say they were there for me all along, I was in too dark of a place to see it. The voices told me I was alone and I would fail no matter what. The voices convinced me the safety net wasn't there even though I could see it. The moment I slowed down and stopped trying to be all things to all people, the voices quieted and the net came into view.

My brain still never shuts off completely. It's always firing off in a hundred different directions. The difference now is that most of those paths are for new stories and scenes for current works in progress. I have started to learn to be able to focus on two or three of them and let the others stand by on vacation if you will. Some are on extended world tours, but they will be back. Then we'll work together to bring another story out to the world. For me, writing and publishing my stories is giving birth to another child. Right now, I'm the mother of twenty-two...yes you read that right...22 books from all of my pen names. It's been one hell of a journey and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

In that vein, I am working on revamping all of my blogs and websites so if you visit any of them and find them offline, please check back again. I'll have them rolling in no time.

Thank you all for following along with me. Together we'll make it a party!

Until next time,

~Tammy

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