AMID THE CHAOS, FIND YOURSELF by Charlene Sands

 

They say if you want anything done, ask a busy person. 

I smile when I hear that, because it is so true.  Busy people know how to get things done. They know the value of slots of time.  They can adjust and think with an organized brain. 

This was ME up until five years ago when I was slammed by a blossoming career, social media and life in general.

WHERE THE CHAOS BEGAN

As I slowly morphed from being a part-time educator, teaching parenting, pediatric CPR and childbirth classes to expectant parents, to becoming a full-time romance writer, my life became a chaotic mess.  I was keeping up my AHA status and my knowledge current in the pediatric field while teaching nightly classes as well as writing an average of three books per year. 

When it comes to a time-suck, writing is never the problem.  Writing is the joy. I will repeat that, writing is the joy.  It’s the edits, Author Alterations, Art Fact Sheets, Dear Reader letters, promo, reviews, Twitter, Facebook as a whole that we are required to do that was driving me a little crazy.  No, I will amend that.  A LOT crazy.  

That joy, and the reason I had become a writer was gone. I found myself constantly working: days, nights and weekends.  I knew something had to give, and I’d hoped it wouldn’t be my sanity.  I believe every writer needs a valid support system.  Someone, who gets it and has your back. That was my hubby.  He was ultra supportive during this time. Whenever he could, he helped me with the mechanical and technical part of duties.  He and I both kept hoping that things would get better once I finished my latest contract. 

He would have his wife back and I would hopefully gain my life back. 

HOW IT CHANGED

Simply, I allowed myself the freedom to make valid changes in my life. I gave up teaching one of my nighttime classes and it just felt right.  It was time for me to let that part of my life go.   But I also did one other important thing.  I began to give myself a break, mentally and physically. 

In the morning, instead of heading to the computer at the crack of dawn and eating my breakfast at my desk, if I was extremely tired, I slept in.  I took that time for myself and luxuriated in an extra hour or two of rest.  What a concept!  

I also learned to keep my finger on Delete, when an average of 120 emails arrived on my computer screen each day.  (Of course, I read the important ones and support my friends and chapter mates whenever I could).  I stopped saying “no” to my friends for lunch dates and I sat down at night with my hubby to watch our favorite television shows together.  I won’t ever neglect my friends or family for my career again.  Another thing I’d learned, that I knew in my head, but never had practiced before, was to keep my body fit.  Thanks to Staness and the Menopause Makeover Challenge on Eharlequin, I began exercising and fine tuning my body on a steady and regimented basis.   After a vigorous exercise, I feel better.   I set aside at least 30 minutes every day to do some form of exercise. 

THE REVELATION

I had always been a good time manager. I don’t waste time. But I’d realized that there wasn’t enough time in my day, for all I had taken on.   I am not superhuman.  Silly as it seems, I finally figured that out.

And so with that simple realization also came a deep sense of relief. 

I couldn’t do it all.  

I embrace that now.  I prioritize.  I write the best stories I possibly can and really pour my creativity into them.  And I sprinkle my day with other goals.  Yesterday, I sent a book off for review, today I will write 2 blogs, tomorrow I will Facebook and Twitter. and Pinterest.   It works.  It’s BALANCE.  And I’m enjoying writing and my life again. 

 Is your life crazy busy?  Have you found your balance yet?  What ways do you do to keep everything in perspective?

Exquisite Acquisitions is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and in bookstores in August.  Here’s a little bit about it!   

Sold to the Sexy Cowboy!

 For Macy Tarlington, the only good part of seeing her legendary mother’s possessions sold at auction is ogling Carter McCay, the tall Texan who buys the famous diamond ring. Even better is seeing again whne he rescues her from the paparazzi like a white knight in a Stetson.

Carter whisks her to safety at Wild River Ranch, hiding her identity by day and lusting after her by night.  Yes, he’s sworn off love. But with the Hollywood runaway starring in his every fantasy, Carter may find Macy too much temptation –even for a hard-hearted cowboy.

Romantic Times Book Reviews

 4 STARS**** – 

 EXQUISITE ACQUISITIONS (4) by Charlene Sands: After being turned down by the woman he hoped to marry, rancher Carter McKay finds himself rescuing a damsel in distress, coming to Macy Tarlington’s aid on a New York street and offering her a place to sort out her life. Macy’s famous mother left her with a wariness toward love and a chest full of jewels that Macy swears is cursed. Though neither Carter nor Macy wants a new relationship, before they know it the two are working to restore a decrepit B&B and falling in love. Even without the underlying mystery, the witty banter, well-drawn characters and satisfying conclusion will draw new fans to the Auction House series.
Reviewed By: Pat Cooper

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Charlene Sands is a USA Today Bestselling Author of 35 novels, writing both western and contemporary romance. She's a lover of all things romantic, especially her bold, rugged, heartstopping "real good men" heroes! She's the recepient of the National Readers' Choice Award, the Bookseller's Best Award and the Cataromance Reviwer's Choice Award. When not writing, she spends time with her "hero" husband, enjoying Pacific Beaches and drinking iced mocha cappucinos!

Charlene loves to hear from her readers.
Drop her a line at www.charlenesands.com or write her at PO. Box 4883, West Hills, CA 91308
"LIKE" her at www.Facebook.com/CharleneSandsbooks

13 thoughts on “AMID THE CHAOS, FIND YOURSELF by Charlene Sands”

  1. Charlene this book sounds fantastic.
    I haven’t preordered it because I like buying them in the store. It seems more supportive of brick and mortar bookstores to buy from them.
    But I may not be able to control myself. 🙂

  2. Thanks,Mary! Living near Hollywood, this book was fun to write on many levels. I hope readers embrace it. I agree about brick and mortar stores, but I am so addicted to my Kindle right now, I feel guilty about it. 🙂

  3. Hi Charlene, I’m a Kindle addict, too. And you KNOW how much I love the name Carter. The excerpt is awesome, and I know I will enjoy this book as I do all of yours.

    I think I have too much ADD in me to be balanced LOL. I’ve been sitting on the edge of sending out a newsletter way too long. Next week for sure. But it seems things get done somehow. Mostly right now I want to be with my grandbabies. I loved being a mom but being gramma is just the best.

    Loved the personal nature of this post, Charlene. Best wishes to you and the fam and see you soon! xoxox

  4. Hi Tanya – I love being with my grandbabies too! Next week, too for my newsletter hopefully. I will be getting ready for RWA too! Lots to do that’s for sure…balance, I keep telling myself. 🙂

  5. Hi Charlene,
    Loved your post–it really hit home. I had to slow down a few years ago, too. About 5 years back, I woke up in the night and got out of bed with no feeling in my leg. It went from bad to worse with numbness in my side and vertigo, spiking blood pressure, etc. I was in the hospital for 8 days and no one could figure out what was wrong with me, but I regained my feeling in my leg and side and got rid of the vertigo so they sent me home with all my test results. Went to my family doc and he looked at everything, asked a few questions, and told me I had “internal shingles” (which I had never heard of) and they had “settled” behind my left eye. I felt like saying, “OH, thank GOD. Is that all?” After all the conjecture about what it “might” be by no less than 5 different docs there at the hospital, this was a relief. Some docs say that it has not been proven that shingles is brought on by stress, but I’m living proof of it. After that, I have not let myself get over burdened with anything, and I refuse to put pressure on myself. Yes, some things have to be done by a deadline, but I try to keep those to a minimum and spend a lot of time relaxing–much more than I used to. I have a lady who comes to clean my house– a luxury I never would have conceded to before that illness. But it reduces my stress considerably. I try to do the things like that I know will help and keep me stress free, and able to do the things only I can do…things that must be done and are not the most pleasant of things to do. LOL Then I make sure I spend a lot of time writing, with my family, and resting. If I feel like the shingles are starting to act up, I start on the meds immediately. I’ve learned to recognize the warning signals, and I’ve learned to take care of me–I want to be around for my family for a long, long time.

    Your book sounds great, too! That’s a very unique premise. I love your characters’ names (I’m kind of ‘name collector’ and these are very different.) Great cover! I’m looking forward to reading it.
    Hugs,
    Cheryl

  6. Hi Charlene,

    So looking forward to reading EXQUISITE ACQUISITION, I have it pre-ordered on Amazon!

    When I first started writing, and it was tempting to tell friends I couldn’t go to lunch or do this or that it hit me how wrong that was (at least for me). So, I pledged I’d never put writing above friends and family and so far I’ve kept that promise. Since starting to blog things have gotten a bit crazier, between a full time job, writing, blogging, and relationships, but I’ve given myself permission to keep blogging optional (since that’s the one thing I can drop if I need to) and not make it a second job that I dread doing.

    Like you said, the writing is always a joy so writing is the easy part.

    –Kirsten

  7. Charlene, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I am just now reading Maureen Child’s book in this series.. I am loving it..

    I must say that life for me is never boring and there is alway chaos in my family.. I have become the Matriarch of the family now that my mom is gone and just last night I wanted to just run away… I have had to slow down a lot of activties becasue of health reasons and my brother’s don’t make it easy for me..Espeically the youngest ones.. Just when you think life settles down a bit, soemthing comes along to make you wish you you were an orphan… But then I would not have my fantastic nieces and nephews..

  8. Hi Charlene! All I can say is, “Amen!” Life is too short to miss out on friends, family and all the good things we right about it, yet it’s a hard lesson to learn. When I was a brand new author, I was thrilled to get maybe 10 emails a day from various lists. Now I get . . . I have no idea. A lot! And I love it all. I’d like an additional 4 hours per day just for fun stuff.

    Your book looks great, btw! What a fun set-up!

  9. Hi Cheryl – Well, my goodness. I am so glad you got the right diagnosis and are doing well. I tell you, something similar happened to me two years ago, I ended up in the ER and I am sure it was stress related.
    From then on, I have a different attitude about things. My family comes first and I love writing again.
    I have had more than one writer tell me they thought their cancer,,yes cancer, was brought on by stress… so I take thing slower now and enjoy life!
    Thanks for sharing. I am glad you are so balanced now!! It’s a good thing.

  10. Hi Kirsten – well I give you praise for working full time and doing all that you do. I am always amazed at writers who work other jobs full time.
    I hope you enjoy the book!!

  11. Hi Kathleen – oh no. I feel for you wanting to run away. Take a breath, slow down and learn to say “no”. It’s really freeing to do that. I hope you like my story. It was fun plotting with Maureen and Yvonne Lindsay and being a part of the whole Highest Bidder series. 🙂

  12. Hi Vicki – Oh, I know I’m not alone with the emails. Any time of day or night, there’s dozens upwards of 60 to 80 when I log in. If I miss a day, there’s 200 waiting for me. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time! LOL. Then add Facebook/twitter/pinterest (the latter I find fun and fast and easy) and a writer can get very distracted!

  13. You are so right about the old saying about asking a busy person if you want something done. It always seems to be the same group of people involved in everything, making sure things get done. I am still in that group, but don’t accomplish as much as I used to. When my children were little and my husband was in the Air Force, I was constantly on the go and managed to be everywhere at once it seemed. I still can’t believe all I did.

    I wish I could get half as much done now. I’m older, the kids are grown, and I have more free time. I am getting less done. The internet is a distraction. Like many others, I get many emails every day. Every time we go away I have a backlog to contend with. We just got back from a 2 1/2 week trip with little internet access. Will be deleting many I would have checked out. Then there are the blogs and all the great research links.

    You found the key. It isn’t worth sacrificing your health and family. Learn to cut back, say no, and take time for yourself. That will make a happier you for your time with that special someone. It will also make you more productive in what you choose to do. I’m still working on it.

    Congratulations on the release of Exquisite Acquisitions. Sounds good. I’ll be looking for it.

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