Being focused on providing a service, however, means that sometimes I lose focus on limits. I'm in a position where I choose the opening hours of the library I manage and I've found those hours stretching out longer and longer, until I don't get home until after dark and I'm absolutely shattered at the end of the day. Bottom line is, my writing has been shoved into second place again, often third place.
I learned the hard way several years ago, that if I don't have balance in my life, I burn out. With me, that manifests in my voice. I once had twelve months with no voice. I'm not going back to that.
So I've begun wresting control back again. We're a specialist library, not a public one, so if someone isn't working, I ask them to leave. They can go to the public library if they want to meet friends and chat. Yesterday (Friday), I decided I needed to leave a half hour early, so I went around and told all the patrons they were leaving half an hour early.
You know what? The world didn't end. I got home half an hour earlier than usual and felt more relaxed than I have for weeks. I didn't write but I did spend a couple of hours on edits for Just the Way You Are, which is coming out in a month or so. We're at the proofing stage, so it's getting close.
I think I'll do it again. Maybe sometime soon. I have a short story in my head that needs writing and that half-hour early one day would be the perfect amount of time to get the bones of it down.