I have a confession to make. I like my work. No, I love my work. I am obsessed with it. And I’m beginning to think that’s not such a good thing.
But I love it. I really do.
Since July 2015, when Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC was born, (and even months and months before that, actually, as I was building my team and doing market research) I have been obsessed with perfection.
That is, after all, our motto: “Where Fun and Perfection Meet.”
My work is such fun! I get to sit down with some of the most talented authors I have ever met and listen to their dreams. Then I get to read their prose and fall into each unique world created out of love, passion, and hope. Then if they find a home for their manuscripts with L2L2 Publishing, I get to work with them for months, perfecting their stories through editing and gentle suggestions to continue to build their story worlds (and platforms, if we’re being honest). Then I get to work several more months with my team, creating the perfect cover, writing up ad copy and back cover copy, deciding on the best marketing plan for their book, and letting my team have at it.
Then the author and I get to hold the finished product in our hands. A perfected product, thanks to my perfectionism tendencies. It is the most inspiring moment of my job.
See? Best job ever!
I love it. A little too much.
The hardest part of this for me is to find balance between owning a publishing company, freelance editing (which I have slowed way down on since the business has taken off), writing my own beautiful words, and being a wife, mother, and friend to those I hold dear.
You see, I’m the teeniest tiniest bit an introvert—okay, an extreme introvert—and people scare me. I’m terrified of saying or doing the wrong thing. I’ve actually woken up in the middle of the night, sat straight up in bed, and freaked out over something unfeeling I said or did in high school, for crying out loud! (I actually apologized one of the times this happened—and yes, it happens all the time—and the person didn’t even remember it! Thank you very much, Miss Introvert and Perfectionist Self. Sometimes I don’t like you…)
Wow, tangent! Back to the point.
Balance is hard for me. I want to work all the time. Books are my friends. They don’t judge, backstab, or fight like my darling children whom I adore but cannot understand how their screeches can reach such decibels at times. (Or should I say, all the time? Does this happen to anyone else, or is it just me?)
Monday I received a wake-up call from a well-loved resource, K.M. Weiland’s blog. (Here is the link in case you want to read it for yourself: https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/protect-creativity/) She experienced burnout this past year, something I am beginning to feel the effects of. And I desperately need to do something about it.
I have already put several things in place to combat this, but I need to up my game. Ensure I can do this for the long haul.
One, I take one rest day a week. Saturday evening to Sunday evening, I can’t be found online. I’m hiding. 😉 No work, nothing. If it involves my business, it sits until 24 hours have passed. God created Sabbath rest for me because He loves me and wants me to enjoy His beautiful world, not keep me from the things I want to do. (Ahem, my work. Because it calls to me. Constantly.)
Two, I try to only work during naptimes, playtimes where my children are engrossed and do not need me, or after they go to bed and I have spent time with my husband. In other words, five minutes a day. (Just kidding!)
Three, I try to take time for me, not just my job. And yes, that’s usually reading a book (though it really should be some form of exercise, right?), but it is something I want to read, not something I have to read. There is such a lovely difference.
So this is me, publisher, editor, author, combating workaholism, perfectionism, and introvertism (Is that even a word? Lol!) to enjoy all God has given me in this precious life. Seize the day, my friend! Follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and make this day the best one yet!
Michele Israel Harper
Author, Editor, Publisher
Michele Israel Harper, acquisitions editor of Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC, is on a mission to discover and publish professional, gripping, and wholesome speculative fiction. Currently obtaining manuscripts for their 2019 production schedule, Michele and her team seek stirring tales from both new and established authors. Her company strives to create an exquisite publishing experience for their authors and to produce quality fiction for their readers.
L2L2 Publishing is a small traditional press, dedicated to clean or Christian speculative fiction. The L2L2 Publishing team tackles every new project with relish, and their goal is an uplifting company where each author, reader, and team member puts others’ needs before their own.
Michele now leads the Heartland Christian Writers’ group and is treasurer for ACFW’s Indiana chapter. Author of Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, and the soon-to-be-released Kill the Beast, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing touches many lives in the years to come.