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Me, myself and I

It's just not that simple.

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I screwed up
Some weeks ago, a nice girl looked for willing beta-readers. I've never done this before but I love LnC, so I was pretty excited and everything.
But I had no idea, what my life would look like right now:
I get up in the very morning, keep studying all day and end up curled up on the couch at midnight because once again I didn't manage to go to bed :(
I guess, my last response to her apologizing for not having too much time is about a week ago and I somehow managed to push it aside. But well, today she wrote again and I truly understand that she's getting impatient meanwhile.
But I have no idea what to do:
I do want to do this job properly which means I need about 3 or 4 hours to read all the stuff (plus recalling what the whole story was about). But the earliest possible time to do so is in about 3 weeks.

So, most of you are authors yourself: What would you want to hear in such a situation?
Wait for my next BR in 3 weeks?
Go on writing to have me back BRing when I have more time?
Get me out of the story at all?

I feel so bad for not having enough time when at first I eagerly volunteered. *sighs*

Oh right, did I already tell you that she asked me to do a trailer on this very story?
Wanna bet who felt flattered enough not to say no? *bangs head*

And why am I telling you all this stuff? I should be in bed now and not whining here :(
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Rule #1 of fandom: RL happens.

You made the commitment in good faith, but you've rightly given RL the priority. And you're not willing to do a slapdash job, which is also a good thing.

Set the guilt aside. Your only mistake was underestimating the insane workload you'd be having at this point. And that's an honest mistake.

So, what do you do?

Don't ask me. Ask her.

Explain the situation. Tell her just what you've told us. Give her the options you've listed. Then let her make the choice.

You're volunteering to help her. With her hobby. In your spare time. She has to understand and respect that. It's good and fun and deserves time and attention... but RL takes priority. Simple as that.

Explain the situation, tell her what you have to offer, and let her decide what she'd like of those options.

(And she asked for a trailer? I've been out of the fic game for a while now, but... isn't that kind of tacky? Egotistical? Making a trailer is like leaving novel-length FDK. It takes hours of work to make a decent one, and last I heard it was something you did out of love for the story.)

Thanks, Paul, I really needed that. I started to feel really bad because I committed myself to help her with the story and then couldn't fulfill what I got myself into.

Yeah, I know, I should probably explain everything to her. It's just that this whole fandom is so special to me - I don't want to ruin things by disappointing someone's belief in me and my help (which I'm doing by not telling her what goes through my head, I know).

As for the trailer I don't really know how that happened. I posted this video some months ago and she was like "Well, I like your work - would you do a trailer on my next story?"
And as I said, I was pretty flattered since it's only been my second published video and someone liked it so much to ask me such a favor.
Another kind of pressure is that she told me she wouldn't want to start posting the story without having the trailer on the boards. Well, I better start getting something because apart from a vague idea there's nothing finished so far...

Anyway, thanks for the help - I really appreciate it!

You won't ruin things by being honest. You're more liable to ruin things by stringing her along when you know you won't be able to do anything for another few weeks, at the least.

It's great that you care about the fandom. It is really special. And it's good that you want to uphold the commitment that you made. That's important. But you have to actually have the time, energy, etc. to do the work. And RL has to take priority.

Talk it out with her. Stuff like this happens all the time. Trust me. I've been around the fandom almost since the beginning. Just explain the situation and talk it out. Understanding and respecting your BR's needs (as long as said BR is being responsible about stuff and not just putting it off for no reason) is the most important rule of having a BR. If she can't do that, then she needs to learn how. Or she's going to wind up in a lot of trouble down the road.

As for the trailer... IMO, it's not right. Pressuring your BR is a big no-no. Pressuring her to do a trailer, ASAP, on top of that... no way. If she wants to hold off posting until it's done, that's her choice. But you've got RL concerns. You don't even have enough time to properly BR. A trailer on top of that? I don't think so.

Don't let her guilt you into overextending. Talk it out. Tell her what's going on and what you can reasonably do. Take it from there. And if she can't understand that, stop pressuring you to do more than you're capable of, and learn to be less selfish and self-centered, then she'll be the one ruining her place in the fandom, not you.

Do your best, when you have the time and energy to do a proper job of it. No one can or should ask more of you than that.

Hey Paul,

just wanted to update you that I talked to that girl. I still feel pretty bad but she said, it's okay and so I can tell myself that at least, I did everything I could.
It's not exactly perfect right now but the rough times are going to be over soon and hopefully, this will soothe my bad conscience.

Thanks for the good advice and the help!


Thanks for the update. :)

Sounds good! Glad to hear you talked to her, and that she understood. Now relax, take care of your exams and whatever, and do a good job for her when you have the necessary breathing room.

Oh, and happy belated birthday. :)

I think you and I suffer from the same disease... complete inability to say NO... :(

Yeah, apparently - you don't happen to know a good cure, do you?
But it's still good to know that there are others :)

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