The theme of this past week was disruption. Disruption due to school vacation. Disruption due to another cold passing through the fam (Thankfully, I didn’t get this one too bad, which I am SUPER grateful for after the last two awful head colds I’ve had, and everybody seems to be healing up well now.) Despite all that unusual schedule chaos, I actually managed to get through the retype pass of my latest story!
Phew! That took so much longer than it seems like it should have, but it *is* a long story. But I got the retype with all the tweaks fitted in there, and now it’s time for the word-cull draft (which sounds rather ruthless. Maybe I should call it something nicer, like “the sculpting pass”—that’s kind of what it feels like: take out everything that isn’t the story).
I’ve also started getting some pressure-buildup ideas for the two novels I’m toying with at the moment, which is exciting! Once this story is wrapped up and submitted, it’s novel-writing time! Wee!
This week, because everyone’s been sick, it’s been a major “just hang around the house and be boring” kind of time, as is needed. I’ve been trying to fit in more reading time, which has been surprisingly hard, but probably accounts for some of my lack of creative energy. Need to refill the well with brain food. Still chunking away at Dread Nation and Do Nothing. Both are great, but my focus endurance is looooow.
I’ve started getting out and about in the garden, getting things filled up with soil and watering a few things that seem to need a bit more rain than we’ve been getting. We’re going full cottage garden here this year, trying a lot of everything, and doing minimal planning—just stick a plant you like somewhere and see if it thrives. It’s the first year I’ve done roses and vegetables in I don’t even know how long, so we’ll see what survives!
Had a great time yesterday digging up one of the bare patches in our yard and plucking almost-fat-enough-for-Bear-Grylls-to-eat grubs out of the soil and gently tucking the earthworms back in. Fed the grubs to the birds—at least someone was happy to see them! Went for a nice hike today in the amazing upper 60’s weather, and let the boys get out the hose for a major mud-puddle party, which was hilarious.
Andy and I have been working our way through INVENTING ANNA on Netflix, which has been delightful. I was fascinated by the story when it first came out a few years ago—(if you need more con artist in your life after the docudrama, check out the excellent nonfiction book: The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova).
This coming week, we’re getting back into the regular schedule (hopefully), which means trying to get back into the good habits that got dropped this past week (and let’s be honest, probably most of April…and a good chunk of March…). Honestly, my writing habit has taken a major hit of late. It’s like I hit this massive wall in March that just stopped me dead in my tracks. I’m clawing those habits back, but it’s been HARD. And the fact that it’s been so hard has made me look at the past couple of months and what’s changed:
1) I decided to start pursuing a slightly different direction in fiction, which is both scary and exhilarating, and I’m probably now out of my “honeymoon” phase with it, and just need to get to work.
2) Things have started opening up, COVID-wise. One could argue whether or not that’s a *good* thing, but it does mean I’ve been trying to get out with Thing 2 a bit more, go to parks, go to the store, walk through PetSmart and stare at crazy fish. But that’s also meant my daily schedule has shifted a lot. Since I used to get my writing done in the morning, my mornings are often now busy with going to baby swim classes or baby nature groups. This has been GREAT for me feeling like a good mom, but SHITTAH for me feeling like a good writer. Gotta love that life-balance, ammiright?
3) Things are opening up, and therefore there are now social obligations that didn’t exist before. Friends want to meet up for lunch. Family have get togethers and celebrations that have been postponed for sometimes over two years, and I can’t lie and say I’m not excited to see people. I actually am, which is strange, given how gathering averse I usually am (even pre-COVID).
4) The naps are a thing of the past. It’s official, I’ve got to let it go, but I’m still hooked on trying: Thing 2 is no longer napping regularly, and I have not yet figured out how to cope with that, time-wise. Because his not napping has two effects: 1. I don’t get quiet time during the day to do any kind of focused work or simply recharge my own batteries, and 2. Without a break during the day, by the time I get him and Thing 1 down to bed, I am FREAKING EXHAUSTED, and my brain doesn’t want to work at all.
5) I haven’t been reading before bed. See above for why.
So what do all these things mean? I need to make some concrete plans to overcome some of these snags.
– I need to get to bed a little earlier so I can read for at least a half-hour before falling asleep.
– I need to start listening to audiobooks during my quick morning walk/run.
– I need to guard my tiny bit of writing time—even just five minutes—in the morning before we go out or do anything else, and I need to start inching that time back up to my original 25 minutes.
That would at least start refilling the well and getting my feet back under me again. My numbers last month were awful, so hoping to improve on that in May… Despite travel, and classes… Ugh. Overwhelmed much?
Small steps, right?