Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice

Whoa, What Is This Place?

It’s September and my self-imposed blog break is over. I return a bit refreshed and even have enough ideas sketched out to get me through a month of this–the question is whether or not I’ll do enough pre-writing on these would-be future posts to make it not too much of a struggle or not. I’m thinking I might. At least for a little while.

Now, I must admit, I’ve totally screwed up. I sat down this morning thinking how I would ease into the blogging thing by reporting on my reading list for the third quarter. I even started writing up the introduction. But, somewhere on my way to get the coffee ready (and it’s still not ready; another two minutes or so), my fogged brain did some calculations and I realized I’m too early–the third quarter doesn’t end until the end of September. Which means I’ll actually have to post something else (I knew my reading list for the quarter was looking a little thin!). Let me think of that while I get me some…


 One sip, and things are suddenly much better!

So, reason for the break: as I may have said when announcing this break, I really haven’t been happy with either my post quality or the fact I’ve been squeezing things out under pressure. I like to post on Monday mornings, and several of my posts were coming Monday evening, and I think I even deferred one to Tuesday. Not what I wanted. So, here’s where I place the blame for all this!

Summer is typically my busiest time at the job, as I have a lot of outdoor work to arrange, and I also tend to have a lot more weekend work because of the nature of what I do. This summer was no exception. It was compounded, however, by the departure of my boss, who told us back at the end of March that she was leaving. Her last day was in mid-May. While the board of directors searched for a new boss, I took on most (hell, pretty much all) of Old Boss’ responsibilities–in addition to my own. I didn’t necessarily work longer hours, though perhaps I should have, but my days were definitely packed a bit more.

I did not realize until New Boss started how much the job was weighing on me, until New Boss started. Some of it was almost certainly the pressure of carrying two sets of job responsibilities; I suspect there was some anxiety in there about what kind of person New Boss would be. She started in early August, and so far, so good.I like her personally; professionally, I think she’s going to do a great job. The evidence of how tough the summer was for me is that I realize I’ve been in an extremely elevated mood for the last three weeks or so–my energy level is up, my mood is up. I’ll ride that as long as I can.

On top of all the other stuff, summer is summer and both girls were home (Yay!). We’re a one-car family (Boo!). So, there was a lot of ferrying of people back and forth, and a lot of car juggling going on.

And then there are the worries of being on submission, even though through most of July I was on Amnesia Mode where that was concerned, and working on The Next One. I’m happy to say I made solid progress on The Next One, particularly during July. I slowed down a bit in August, but there is some reconfiguration I need to do on that piece.

Anyway, New Boss is working out really well so far, the Catbird is back at school, thus cutting some of the car juggling, and I’m back and ready to blog–at least this week, so far. I’ve been keeping tabs on many of you, but tell me: How’s your summer been?

11 Responses

  1. Hey! Welcome back (even though I see you at my blog–thanks for visiting)! Summer was kind of slow, but it's picking up steam, now. Dragon Con this weekend. RomCon at the end of the month. Two cruises coming up. Yep, fall is our busy time. Whoo hoo!

  2. Had a good summer. Freelance work is steady and I'm enjoying your daughter and friend's Youtube channel Discount Pants. They discuss series and movies so fluently and honestly. Sorry you had so much to do but at least the new boss is doing well and you've gotten back some free time. Best of luck with everything, especially writing.

  3. Thanks for coming back, Stacy and Sheena-kay–nice to see you both again. Sheena-kay, glad your freelance work is going well. The kids do have fun with their anime/cartoon reviews, don't they?

  4. Dang real life can totally suck our energy and our brain function. Next year will be an election year for me again. So much work. I have to get done what I can this year.

    Welcome back!

  5. You're too hard on yourself. Your posts are great and always interesting. That's all that's required of "quality" posts. (That and that they aren't 2000 word epics like some people write…) I'm glad the new boss is good. Would suck if she weren't!

  6. Shoulder to the grindstone, nose to the wheel, right Donna? Wait–isn't this year an election year, too? Or do you do more with local elections tnan the nationals?

    Thanks, Lexa. I could probably easily do a 2000-word epic–I tend to run on the wordy side!

  7. So glad the new boss is working out – and you've got your energy back. My schedule is now packed – school started yesterday and it was a crazy fun whirlwind. I'm sure the rest of the year will be the same! 🙂

  8. Glad to hear things have levelled out at work a bit and your energy is up. It does sound like you got quite a bit of writing done in the summer. We spent a couple of weeks on a road trip to pick up a new pup and I was working and doing sporadic writing the rest of the time. Good to be back in a routine now!

  9. -Jemi–all, the first week of school–I kind of miss it! Hope you have a great year with great kids!
    -Nick–I remember reading about that trip–how is the pup? Routines are definitely good to have. Enjoy the weekend!

  10. Well, we'll see if I make good on my self promise to actually, really prepare myself better! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Diane!

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