I don’t consider myself someone who suffers from panic attacks, although I have gotten them in the past. It’s just not a regular thing but rather something that happens in very specific situations, and they always catch me unawares. If nothing else, having experienced them at all gives me a huge level of sympathy for those who deal with them frequently.

The point here is, I was kind of surprised at myself when I threw my brand new two-year planner across the room last night.

Back in 2010, after nearly two years of therapy stemming from my breakdown in early 2008, I got divorced and started graduate school. (Yes, that’s me, riding from one traumatic even to another at full speed…I think it’s my comfort zone, which is pretty horrifying.) For the moment, I had a very clear two-year plan: graduate school.

Of course, being me, I also piled on top of that a writing career and had my first story published by Dreamspinner in late 2010. At that point, the graduate school thing had priority, and while I took the writing career seriously, it was also secondary. By the time I was desperately trying to graduate through a haze of exhaustion and illness in 2012, I put the writing career on pause completely. It’s taken me most of 2013 to get it revived, listing from one project to another and without any solid goals in mind other than to submit something for publication.

I did that back in July, and The Protector, my next novel, is due out in February. It was something to cross of my list, but since submit something for publication was pretty much the only thing on my list, it left me at loose ends.

My new day planner...in process...

My new day planner…in process…

Like a good type-A personality, I decided it was time to get organized about things. I don’t have a medium term or long term goal set up to focus on, and I think that’s really affecting my productivity. Short term I’m really good at, I’m aces at short term. LOOK AT MY BEAUTIFUL TO-DO LISTS OKAY????

But yeah, two years from now? Five? Complete blank slate at this point.

So I took my brother’s calendar white board (he had it in storage) and bought a small two year planner and sat down last night to map out a plan.

Cue panic attack.

Is it a fear of failure? Fear of success? A crippling sense of self-doubt? An inability to commit to deadlines? Hell if I know. :/

It’s my nature to over-commit to deadlines and projects, I know that. I also doubt my abilities, pretty much all the time. I’m sure it’s some kind of mixed up soup of reasons that I freaked out at the idea of creating goals, a time-line, and deadlines.

I’m going to try again tonight, though. It’s something I need to do, or I will be having a panic attack at this time next year when I realize I’ve spent twelve months spinning my wheels.


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