As you may have noticed, I took a "little" break. Ok, 3.5 months to be exact. I've been doing a lot of busy work - school, football season, Halloween - I've put my novel on the back-burner. But now I'm BACK and ready to rock - er, work harder and be consistent. For a while at least.....
I admit it. I suck at stress-management. When I took the bar exam a few years ago, I stressed so much that my hair fell out, my TMJ flared-up to the extent that I experienced horrible sporadic facial pain (I'm talking, drop-what-you're-doing-because-you-just-got-bashed-in-the-face-with-an-iron-skillet type of pain) and I may or may not have morphed into a fire-breathing dragon. Ridiculous, isn't it? Yesterday I took my daughter to the dentist because I had noticed a spot on the back of her front tooth. To my dismay, the dentist confirmed a cavity but because of her age she'd have to go to a specialist. So this morning, the hubby took her in. She'll have to be put under anesthesia so the tooth can be fixed and right now she's still too small - they want her to be 25 lbs. She has to go back for monthly flouride treatments to keep the cavity from spreading until she can handle the anesthetic. Naturally, my mommy-guilt has taken over and I feel completely responsible despite the fact that I brush her teeth diligently and sweets are explicitly forbidden. I understand that far-worse things could be happening right now and I should be grateful it's just a little cavity. Maybe this is why I am so stuck on my WIP - I worry too much about perfection and trying to avoid what could go wrong that nothing ever gets done. *sigh* I think it's time for a massage!
My husband has taken it upon himself to help expand our daughter's vocabulary. He has successfully taught her to say please, outside and daddy. It's amazing to me how many words a 17 month-old child can say and even more so, how many she understands! (I take full responsibility for her shoe fetish.) Lately he's been asking her "what's up homie?" so it should have come as no surprise when Wednesday her response was "homieeeee." That's right, my pretty little princess walks around calling people "homie" and giving knuckle-bumps.
My childcare provider is on vacation. How dare she take a week with her family instead of watching my child for 11 hours every Monday through Friday? :o) Even though she certainly does deserve the break - and let's face it, my kid loves her so much that she can do whatever she wants as long as I can keep her - it does throw a wrench in my schedule. My husband and I both work full-time so we've had to finagle alternative arrangements this week. The hubby stayed home Monday and Tuesday this week with the monkey. It was great for me - he did laundry and made dinner both nights. At the end of day 2, as he's reclining on the couch trying to stifle a yawn, he looks at me and says "Man, being a Mom is hard. All I've been doing all day is housework and taking care of the baby. It's so much easier to go to work..."
Being a Mommy is my greatest joy and no matter how "hard" it is, I wouldn't trade it for the world. In many ways, the same goes for writing. It's elating and heartbreaking and time consuming; it's bittersweet to watch as your baby grows and changes and becomes more than you thought possible. I agree. It is easier to go to work. But really, who wants easy?
So I've been MIA for a couple of weeks. I know, I know, all 6 of you were on the verge of deep depression for having missed my charming and witty posts. It happens. :o) It's been a bit crazy at my casa. My husband has taken on a new business venture - never mind that he already owns one restaurant and also has a day job. It's funny how the hubby's new ventures always end up a family affair. :o) I'm ready for a trip to the mountains to relax with myself and build my WIP.
I'm tired. And edgy. And a little frustrated. I think it's from a lack of exercise - both literary and muscular. By all accounts, I had a nice weekend. I got a massage, a facial (my very first and now my favorite thing EVER!) and a haircut. (though I did spend a giant portion of the time feeling guilty for abandoning the little one) I did a little shopping - bought a couple of new books and a new bathing suit for the monkey - so adorable!
Even so, I'm cranky. I've been a little sleep deprived lately so writing something other than complete gibberish has been difficult. Even reading takes two tons of effort. I woke up this morning at 5am ready to hit the gym - yay me! 30 seconds after I opened my eyes the kid did too. No yay, baby :o( Suffice it to say I did NOT go to the gym, nor did I participate in any of my billion at-home-workout videos. *sigh*
I've noticed my muse is more inspiring (and I am a MUCH nicer person) when I can find the time to work-out. She's more beat than I am. The Lady and I definitely need some quality time together.
So I've been reading a lot about story construction. It appears to me that either you plot out your novel, or you don't. Some authors just start writing and see where the story takes them and others tightly structure every major twist and turn. So now I ask you: What works best for you? Do you plot, or not? Do you keep tabs on your story in your head or do you draft an outline?
Have you ever had so much to write that nothing comes out? You know what I'm talking about. Your mind is cranking at a bazillion miles an hour, you're uber-excited about all of the new developments in your story and as sooon as you sit down to let the magic flow, THUD.
Not a sentence. Not a word. Not even a friggin' syllable.
What do you do when you hit the wall? How do you manage to push past the THUD so that the fantastic story living in your head actually materializes?
I'm a starter. I start work-out programs and craft projects and books that are quasi-interesting. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I don't qualify as a finisher - as evidenced by the semi-finished bar-b-q grill cover sitting on my back patio, the P-90X workout program that never progressed past four weeks and the stack of half-read novels by my bed (although, I did finish my daughter's Halloween costume last year so I'm not a complete slacker). So you'll understand why, when I declared I was going to write a novel, the world raised a skeptical brow. However, this is more than just a fleeting obsession. This is me.
Thank you for joining me as I embark on this fantastically terrifying journey. Please feel free to comment and share your tips for maintaining some level of sanity throughout the writing process. I'm going to need every ounce of it!