Stagnation has to be one of the most frustrating things a human endures. Doubly so when you know how you want to move forward but finding the when becomes a trial. It’s all about lining up those priorities again. And again. And relining. Again.
I am a Mom Who Writes. Mom comes first in that statement. For me, at this stage in my life and my children’s lives, “momming” is my top priority. I feel tremendously lucky to have the family I do, but it also makes chasing my own pursuits a challenge. Right now, my kids are in crisis. I’m an all-hands-on-deck mom at the moment. I also happen to have an amazing (series) book that I’m working on, that calls to me like sirens on the rocks. How do I answer the call, and not crash my ship?
I don’t always have the time, or mental fortitude, to sit and do massive rewrites on Grasslands right now. So I have those magic notebooks that writers are famous for. I jot all my ideas (often out of order) for where I want Grasslands to go in my notebook. That alone can feel discouraging to a lot of people, be them parents or writers with a “day job”. I say, take heart! It’s a step. You’re still focusing when you can on what you love, outside of the things that have to be done.
This last weekend was pure chaos for me. I’m getting over six weeks of a sinus infection and bronchitis. My kids are struggling, and my husband is sick as well. So when the stars aligned, and I had some time to write, I barely knew what to do with myself! After getting over the shock, I grabbed my notebook and laptop and went to work.
I have done rewrites on chapters one and two in Grasslands. I’m dipping my toes in to chapter three, and getting ready to move everything over from Word to Scrivener to help with the edit and rewrite process. Let me say that again: I have done rewrites on chapters one and two in Grasslands. I am so proud of myself! I should be. You should be too, for any work you manage. Writing the book(s) came shockingly easy to me. Polishing them is HARD. I’ll tell you now, if you wrote 1500 words on your WIP yesterday, congratulations! If you wrote 150 words on your WIP yesterday, congratulations! Celebrate these victories!
We have stories to tell, my friends. You have a story that can only be told by you. If it takes you five years to get it out, it’s worth every minute. Don’t feel guilty for stealing a moment for your WIP. Don’t feel guilty letting your WIP sit tight while tending to life. It will all happen when it’s time.
Editing fiction is like using your fingers to untangle the hair of someone you love. – Stephanie Roberts