Sometimes it’s hard for us – women, writers, mothers, wives – to not just hit the Pause button – but to even think about hitting it. Guilt will overwhelm us – thoughts of deadlines, schedules, plans – get in the way and we think that if we put a stop to everything, if we actually take a break – that the world around us will fall apart.

Come on, you know it’s true.

Think about it. Could you hit the Pause button right now? Could you cancel all the kids activities, the weekend plans, the writing deadlines … could you cancel it all and just relax in the moment?

I don’t think many of us can. BUT … sometimes we’re left with no choice but to do that. Sometimes deadlines creep up on us at the last moment and we react instantly – whether it’s rearranging our schedules or just saying ‘forgetaboutit’.

I know I’m not the only writer to experience a situation like this. So what do I do?I have a deadline – self imposed – on Emma’s Secret. From the moment I started to plot it out I knew I would have it ready for a September/October release date. But .. then Finding Emma became part of an Amazon promotion for August and I know that its wise if i try to get Emma’s Secret out before this promotion is done. (Finding Emma is now only $2.99 for the month of August instead of $7.99). I’m on schedule with a September release, but if I want it to be out this month – that means putting my life on Pause for at least the next two weeks.

I could make a list of all the unnecessary things in my life that can be put on pause – like catching up on 3 seasons of Criminal Minds or watching Big Brother, Master Chef and Hells Kitchen. I ‘could’ kick my kids outside and write during the days – but then I had already decided that this summer was going to be spent doing things with my girls, so that won’t work. I ‘could’ stay up late at night while everyone else is sleeping but lets be honest – that’s ‘my time’ and I like to read late at night. I ‘could’ cut down on the amount of cover art I do – but somethings that’s more relaxing for me than reading.

There’s also the case of rushing could do more harm than good. And that’s not something I’m willing to do anymore. And trust me – coming from a girl who had to have a release every month basically last year to this year cutting that down to half – rushing only hurts my readers with subpar stories and I’m not willing to go there anymore.

What I’m trying to say…is this. Sometimes thinking we have to hit the Pause button is not always a good thing. Somethings we shouldn’t do it. Sometimes it’s not in our best interests. Sometimes it’s actually okay to say ‘NO’ to the pressure and ‘NO’ to the new deadlines that force their way into our lives.

Now – if it were already September and my kids were in school – this wouldn’t even be an issue. I’d hit that Pause button no problem 😉 But … this summer is about me and my family and that has to be at the forefront of my mind.

It’s a hard lesson I’ve had to learn – putting family first – before my writing. (shhh…I didn’t just admit a weakness…). Please tell me I’m not the only one out there who had to learn this lesson the hard way. Please?