Adjusting Expectations

Hello again from Newbabyton, where daily life is unpredictable and sleep uncertain! I’d meant to post an update last week, but between juggling check-ups, playdates, and school break (eek! I’d forgotten about February break!), time got away from me. Add on top of that the continued disrupted sleep of having an infant about the house, and my brain is in foggyland.

I’d been hoping at the start of the month to begin picking up writing habits again, particularly writing 500/day, which is my rock habit, but that has 100% not happened, and it was probably overly optimistic to set it as a goal. New words have been tough to come by, and at least this baby-time around, editing has been a challenge, too (probably in part because most of the short work I have on-hand to finish all requires a fair amount of rewriting or added scenes, AKA new words). Perhaps it’s just a case of “every pregnancy/birth/baby is different.” With my first, editing was a breeze, and I managed to have and make time for it somehow. This time around, not so much. Plus, there’s the added complication of having a bigger kiddo around, too, which means when baby’s asleep or Dad’s available for a hand-off, there isn’t really “quiet” time. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s certainly complicating my ability to carve out time to work. The nature of babies also makes it difficult to establish what a “normal” day looks like, and that makes it tough to know what goals or tasks are even reasonable to expect to get done. At least G-Bug is a happy baby for the most part! That definitely helps.

I’ve at least been able to keep up with the LitReactor class I’m taking (Writing the Weird with JS Breukelaar), and that’s been a lot of fun. In fact, the only new words I’ve gotten down at all have been in conjunction with that class, and it’s given me some great prompts for idea generation which I’m looking forward to using in the future, and not just for weird fiction!

I’m also struggling to figure out how hard to push the novel WIP rewrite, as it’s been the primary focus of my attention for a number of years now, and I find I’m suffering (hardcore!) from burnout on that idea. I really want to get it to a place that’s tolerable before I set it aside, but on the other hand, I’ve had project before that have dragged and dragged and dragged for years before I had to acknowledge that they weren’t working as well as I’d hoped, or that I just didn’t have the skills to accomplish what I’d set out to do yet, etc., etc., and I’d really like to practice writing another book to see if the problems in this one are systemic to my thinking process or if it’s just isolated to this story. But is it a “sunken costs” fallacy that makes me want to ride it out and get it done? Or is it the shiny-new-distraction of another project that’s driving this difficulty? Ugh. Who knows. I’d been hoping to split my months alternating between several projects and short fiction on the off-chance that I could rekindle my interest in this idea and plow through the third rewrite (because it is a rewrite, not just an edit), but so far, even minor words-per-day makes that seem pretty hard to pull-off this year. So, I don’t know. When is the right time to trunk a story? When is it appropriate to bite down on a tough strip of leather and get it out, even in a mangled, messy form for the third time?

But the wee one is telling me it’s time for a snack, so I gotta go! May be posting some Three Question Interviews for the upcoming Negative Space anthology I’m in come May, so stay tuned for more details! :)

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