Journal

Friday Update: Like a Factory

Sometimes, you just have one of those weeks when things go smoothly. I know! It sounds insane. But this was one of those weeks.

The baby napped beautifully every day. The weather held-out so we could take his “go-to-sleep” walk, and it wasn’t brutally cold. I exercised every day. And I wrote STUPID amounts of words.

I say STUPID, because although the words flowed beautifully and I hit 2k on Wednesday (whaaaa-?!), I hit 2k while trying to write a shorter-ish story. Oops. So it’s now way too long for the anthology call I was considering. But, I love the words, which just makes it a longer story than what I was expecting. It happens. (A reminder that word count alone is a tricky indicator of “productivity”!)

Accomplished This Week:

All told, I wrote 6,600 words this week, a little over 2k on the novel, and the rest on a mix of short fiction. Deciding to split my weeks (work on the novel until I hit 2k, then switch to short fiction) looks like it’s going to work out well. This way, I can keep making steady progress on the book, but not lose practice on writing short fiction (which I love so much!). 

And I did finish that short story (even if it’s way too long), so that’s one new rough draft done! I LIKE the story. It’s kind of what I hoped it would be, despite it’s flaws, so although I probably won’t be able to submit it to where I thought I wanted to, it may make for a nice piece some other time.

I have a bit of catch-up to do on the novel over the next couple weeks, as I cut out a bunch of a second POV I ended up not needing, but I’m confident I’m headed in the right direction at long last. My head is still getting back into gear on short work (for some reason, it’s much, much harder to piecemeal work on short stuff, and much easier to go long), so that’s been a bit frustrating. I’d really like to get some new work out soon, since I’m almost out of pieces to submit! (It’s a good thing.)

Oh! And I got The Power Broker on Audible, so now I can listen to it at night in bed! Finally, a workable way to read it. 

Things Inspiring Me This Week:

This week has been all about collecting new books to read. With figuring out how to progress through The Power Broker, and with Goldbug going to bed fairly well most nights, I feel like I’m taking the e-brake off my reading time. Still not getting in as much as I’d like, but if I can keep up finishing four books a month, I’ll do all right. 

I also started reading Brain Jar Press’ latest chapbook on writing, From Baby Brain to Writer Brain by Tansy Rayner Roberts. It’s fascinating, it’s made me laugh in that “it’s too real!” kind of way, and I’m quite enjoying it. It illuminates the problems all writer-mother/primary-parents have when trying to balance kids and art, and–as a side-benefit–has given my internal tapes a nice workout on not comparing myself to other (vastly more) successful mother-writers. 

I will say—I was talking to my mother about this the other day—I think I’ve come a huge way, emotionally, in the last three years. I feel much more grounded, much more confident, and far less terrified of failure. The toxic perfectionism of my youth has well and properly died, and that has helped my process more than anything this year. I actually feel like a professional, far more than I ever did before, and it’s not a feeling that’s faded away over the past few years. It’s here to stay. And can I say, I’m immensely relieved and so much happier (and more productive) because of it?

Plan for Next Week:

This weekend, I’m going to decide what scenes I’m writing on the book next week. It seems helpful to do that thinking separately—helps me launch into the words on Monday. I’ll also probably be re-reading the short story I’m trying to edit and get back into its mindset, since it’s been a while since I worked on it, and this week’s work on it felt like driving without headlights. So 2k on the book, and 500/day (or equivalent editing time) on the short story. 

Hope your week has been smoother than last week, but if it hasn’t, hang in there! The days are starting to get longer here in New England, and the sun has finally decided to shine on all that blinding snow. I have to say: as much as snow can be a pain in the butt sometimes, I love snowy winters more than rainy ones. Snowy winters have sunny days that radiate light like you’re living in a mirror, and boy, does my mental health need that brightness sometimes!

Hang in, and hang on, folks! 

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