The Guilt of Saying No

Paw print cupcakes made last week for a friend's daughter's birthday.
Paw print cupcakes made last week for a friend’s daughter’s birthday.

I don’t know about you, but my life is crazy right now. I’m working on revisions for two books, preparing to go on our family’s first-ever out-of-country vacation, still coping with my concussion and a seemingly never-ending flu, all while getting ready to launch FUN WITH FROSTING.

Since this is my first book (squee!) I want to do everything possible to make it a success. I’ve been sending out publicity requests, researching how to throw a book launch party, and doing my best to keep on top of my social media commitments. (In fact Bri hooked me up with a social media guru – hi Julie! – who assigned me a bunch of homework to improve my social media presence, which has been amazing and crazy-helpful, even if it practically doubled my to-do list :D)

But when it comes down to it, there are only so many hours in a day, and as much as I want this book to succeed, I have to keep writing and take care of my health and family, too.

Which is why, this week, I said no to a potential source of publicity. You see, our local Humane Society is sponsoring a fundraiser called National Cupcake Day, where bakers invite their friends over for a cupcake party in return for donations to the Humane Society. It sounds like a lot of fun, and a great cause, and I’d get to announce that I’m doing it on my blog and stuff.

But…

The event is only a day or two after we return from vacation, which would be a crazy-stressful time to bake. And, I’d really only be advertising to my friends, since it looks like there’s no master list of bakers to view online.

So, I’ve decided to opt out.

And the guilt is driving me crazy. There’s this little niggling voice in my head saying “Are you crazy? How can you say no to publicity?” But honestly, I can only spread myself so thin before I start to fall apart.

A friend who recently launched her own book warned me, “You can drive yourself crazy coming up with all the things you *could* do/have done to promote your book.” Now I see what she meant.

It’s the same with being a mom. I would love to go on field trips, volunteer in classrooms, help organize bake sales – but with three kids in three different classes, it’s just not feasible to do everything.

And that’s OK.

As hard as it is for me to say it, it’s true. I can’t let guilt haunt me. All I can do is try.

So I will keep trying to do as much for my book and my kids as I can, while still holding the rest of my world together. And I won’t feel guilty (much!).

But, if you’re volunteering as a baker for National Cupcake Day, go here to sign up for my newsletter to receive free instructions on how to make some adorable cat and paw print cupcakes to serve at your own Cupcake Party. (You’re also welcome to sign up and get the instructions even if you’re not volunteering.)

What about you? Ever felt guilty about having to say no? Let me know in the comments.

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