Evangeline Holland

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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

February 22nd, 2013 by Evangeline Holland

Shifting Gears When Your Hobby Becomes Your Job

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I snaffled a bit of the blog title from lingerie designer Sarah of Ohhh Lulu…, who discussed the difficulty of shifting gears mentally and physically when your hobby becomes your job. Most, if not all writers dream of the day when they can quit their day jobs and devote those 8-9 hours to playing in their fictional world. Most, if not all full-time writers, will tell you that these best laid plays often go awry.

I’m living proof. 😕

So much of what I do involves sitting in front of my laptop, and it grows difficult to compartmentalize my time because if I’m not writing, I’m worrying about writing, or if I’m not blogging, I’m worrying about what to blog. Then compound that with maintaining my social networks for my professional life and my personal life, keeping up with books, movies, and TV for professional reasons, and it is incredibly hard to unwind. Then there is the need to cultivate my other interests, which also zap my creative juices, thereby creating this continuous cycle of hobby bleeding into work, or feeling guilty for taking time off instead of working.

Granted, the solution is to try not to do everything at once, but when one’s income is dependent upon a creative venture, there is no rest for the wicked or for the weary!

Anna DeStefano’s blog is timely reading for the day: How We Write: When our soul is tired…

February 17th, 2013 by Evangeline Holland

On Self-Publishing and Perfectionism

Beyonce is a pretty polarizing topic online, and I myself go through phases of indifference, admiration, and disdain. But that’s not the topic of the blog post. Vulture, NY Mag’s pop culture blog, spoke with a life coach in the days leading up to Beyonce’s HBO documentary, Life is But a Dream, about Beyonce’s video-diaries focusing on her acute self-criticism and desire to be “perfect”. The interview is a little rambling, but this quote stood out for me:

You can have perfectionism, or you can have connections. You can either try to be perfect around people, or you can connect with people. You can’t have both. People don’t connect with perfect people.

As someone who struggles with perfectionism, this hit very close to the bone, and in the days after reading that quote I turned it over in my mind, parsing through how and where this struggle between perfectionism and the desire to connect with others impacted my life. This morning, I awoke with the thought that the act of choosing to self-publish is to shun perfectionism in order to connect with readers.

For most writers–or perhaps all writers–there are voices all around us and inside of us telling us we are simply Not Good Enough. A lot of it is arbitrary–“I’ve already read ten manuscripts with a smoke-breathing dragon and a boy wizard” or “No one wants to read a romance novel written in first person POV”. Some of it isn’t, such as when you’re a new author still testing your voice and storytelling ability. However, the existence of the author has but two truths: you write and others read. I’m not here to argue over concerns of quality with the ease of self-publishing, or the whole hoopla over the Gatekeepers of Publishing, because YMMV. All I recognize is that the act of writing is a desire to connect with others, and choosing to self-publish is to shake off those voices that shout “you aren’t good enough and never will be” in order to fulfill that desire for connection.

December 3rd, 2012 by Evangeline Holland

December Means Christmas Trees!

The main thing I love about Christmas is putting up the tree. I didn’t take 2011’s down until late January of this year, haha. My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up (still don’t, in fact), and sometimes there were no presents under the Christmas tree. It sounds sad, but I did learn to live with not having things like Christmas presents or even birthday parties, so the fact that I can have a Christmas Tree every winter means the most to me. The downside to Christmas trees? My cat! He loves to climb the thing or–most of the time–sleep beneath it and doesn’t allow us to put presents on the tree skirt. Funny enough, he seems just as sad as I am when it’s taken down and packed away after the holidays!

My cat beneath the tree