Life is busy, and everywhere I look, it is getting busier. Today is Mother’s Day here in Canada (and the US), and most people are out celebrating their families and their mom’s contribution to their lives. People have managed to carve out that little bit of time to celebrate who they are and where they come from, the roots and wings of their lives.
Sometimes, though, carving out those same pieces of time for writing is just ‘too’ hard. We carve time out for the important things–like Mother’s day, or Christmas–but do we honour our own need to give voice to all those words that float in our souls? How do we carve out time to honour ourselves, and that gift of words we carry? (Yes, it is a gift, even when you feel a little schizophrenic because the words and pictures that float through your brain simply do not turn off when you want them to stop and let you sleep.).
I’ve been struggling to carve out those minutes or hours to write for the last few weeks. I have still been writing, but writing feels like slow molasses in January up the long hill. My muse wants to edit all of it as it comes onto the page, to make it be perfect first. I never noticed how much that happens until I started to have to write for only fifteen or twenty minutes at a time each morning. I have to convince her that writing it down first will still give me time to edit afterwards. So the writing has been continuing in fits and starts in the mornings, fifteen minutes at a time.
The editing of the first book is at a bit of a standstill. The plan to seriously edit it this summer took a left turn signal to the face, so a back up plan may need to be put in place. An opportunity dropped into our lives, and we will be buying our very first house this summer, twenty five years into marriage. I actually never thought this day would come; now that it has arrived, it is a little terrifying. It means packing the house and moving, and somehow doing it without giving up writing. I gave up writing once before. I am not ever going to do it again.
I am working on finishing my first draft of Super School, and it is actually moving along well. Another eight thousand words, bringing it up to about 64 thousand, and I can see how some of the pieces will fit together. I have a huge plot jump where I don’t know what happens between A and B, but I know what happens from B to the end of the story (in theory, at least–my muse likes to throw in those twists I never expect when I finally sit down and write). I love the story in Super School, and how Marietta is so convinced she is normal, but she is so obviously not as normal as she thinks. I love the way she becomes part of the community, and how her existence creates the determination to maintain community in spite of all the situations that arise. She is the character who continually asks–why do you think that child will turn out exactly like his father? Why should it be that way? If I do nothing else this year, finishing Super School and the Duodeca Project both will be a huge accomplishment.
I’m also continuing to do some research for the Finder which is slowing the project down a lot. And I am looking at writing a series of linked short stories for another series, because it is a good way to trial balloon how to write a series, and to get some experience with publishing. There are enough stories floating around in my head; I don’t know if I have the focus to accomplish all the things I want to accomplish, and still have enough brain cells to teach full time. And then there is the whole other side of writing, the marketing piece, and developing a coordinated plan for the marketing part of the writing business. All authors (who become successful authors, with a career at least) need to do marketing, a part of the business I know next to nothing about. I have been poking around, and am learning lots just listening to the experts. There are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do. All of it takes time.
Still, it is definitely time to honour that gift of words I was given. And give myself the gift of time and put my bum in the seat and write.