US indie novelist (and many other things) Dr Carol Soloway shares her cautionary tale of a road trip that went wrong as a vivid reminder that as indie authors, and therefore our own bosses, we really must learn to take better care of ourselves! Over to Carol…
At the age of sixty-plus, Colonel Sanders promoted his chicken by going restaurant-to-restaurant, virtually door-to-door. I didn’t have fried chicken – although on some days that would have been a better option – but I did have a new novel.
Planning an RV road trip seemed like a perfect way to promote that novel, Sex Happens.
Prior to launching our RV tour, my husband meticulously researched RV makes and models, RV parks, and routes, and he prepared supplies for our seven-month adventure. I approached the companies for which I work and asked if they would consider scheduling my medical legal evaluations within a one-week time-frame each month.
My Action-Packed Schedule
Before we took off, my work schedule looked something like this: I’d start work at 9am and work until 5pm, and then go to weightlift or play tennis. Following my evening work-outs, I’d return home, make dinner and then write my medical-legal reports until midnight. After midnight, I’d do PR for my novel.
My usual work, I decided, wasn’t going to be interrupted by the RV tour, since I’d arranged for all of my medical-legal examinations to be performed within the seven-day time frame during which I returned to Southern California. Then I’d return to the RV and keep up a grueling schedule of speeches, articles, and social media.
Additionally, I tried to communicate with all of the people whom I’d met along the way.
Familiar with driving myself to achieve, this seemed like just another hurdle—until it wasn’t. I was living two complete lives.
Out of Action
By the third month, I started falling asleep everywhere—even on the dining room table! I started to sleep twenty-two hours a day. I’d get through my speeches only by promising myself I could sleep right after the speech. Finally, after one speech in Houston, I just couldn’t go on.
My husband who knows me so well and knows I don’t even take a five-minute nap, knew something was wrong—very wrong. He insisted on taking me to the hospital.
I checked into the hospital wearing my “signature speech” red dress and remained in said dress for the next two days. No one offered me a hospital issue gown!
So, lying in my red dress and worse yet, walking to the hallway bathroom all dressed up made me realize the absurdity of my relentless pursuit without heeding my body’s limits.
The hospital’s examining physicians asked me to explain what had happened. And in each of the retellings, I realized the absurdity of my lifestyle.
I had allowed my goal, my desire to get my novel out at all costs, to negatively impact my life.
Specialists probed and tested, but nothing was positive. My close friend called and instructed me to leave the hospital, return to California, and stay at her house where she’d make me lots of chicken soup and insist I rest! I laughed at her remedy, but then the MDs concurred.
The diagnosis was exhaustion, driving myself beyond physical limits and ignoring the limitations of my body – anyone’s body.
Yes, sometimes we drive ourselves beyond limits for a dream, we suffer and the only remedy left is a good dose of chicken soup.
Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. I was so completely focused on my dream of promoting my novel that I forgot about taking care of myself. I’m on my way back to Orange County to see my good friend whose wisdom is indisputable – and her chicken soup delicious!
OVER TO YOU Does Carol's dilemma sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself pushing your body to ridiculous lengths? What do you do about it? Join the conversation and share your experience!#authors - don't overdo it! Self-care is important as @DrCarolSoloway1 warns us Click To Tweet
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