Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Doubt Devil

"What was I thinking Why did this seem so interesting? I can't believe I was all manic over this. Maybe CONFLUENCE is crap too."

My writing pace has slowed on LEGACY and I think I have some inkling why...

My Childings and Grouchy Significant Other

He hates it when I call him that--his tolerance for political correctness is low. It's one of the many things we disagree on. I happen to think it's nobody's business that we're married, really. Nobody's business what his gender is. And if I want to pretend to be a man dressed as a woman, that's nobody's business either. Private life and public life... ne'er the two shall meet... well, other than the fact that I blog about it and occasionally grumble about men, but I never claimed consistency was my strong suit. In THEORY it shouldn't matter.

Except it does.

Were I single (and still middle aged and able to support myself with no roommate, or at least only a courteous, non-dependent roommate that liked me for the most part... Okay, no, strike that... I've had roommates and somehow they negate my ability to do anything in my downtime besides have fun... back to living alone...) There would be no sporting events to watch... now this is a seasonal distraction--December will be sport-free, as might March and April. But then December I will be Christmas shopping. My S.O. is the shopper, cook, and primary nurturer at our house (see, no gender stereotypes!), but there are tasks and times of year when he is every bit oblivious male. Christmas is one of them. He thinks it's stupid I bother to bake, doesn't grasp that a stocking is for the 'little things' and has no clue about the appeal of variability in gifts (possibly because he never likes anything--I kid you not. In 21 years the only gift he's ever liked is the recliner he got for father's day four years ago--hard to get Scrooge to understand Christmas without killing him first).

So since school started the after school/evening parenting responsibilities have been mounting. Curriculum nights, sporting events, homework help, projects. Last week about wiped me out... that is when the writing slowed down. Don't get me wrong, I am still managing 1000-1500 words a day (except Friday--concert day), but the madness of a chapter a day may be gone for good. Last night I had to stop and think 'where next' three or four times, and it was only when the chapter was almost at an end that my path really became clear--thinking at the moment I will just have to keep going on THAT, as I also typed last night, more in one sitting than I had in ages (I do my writing long-hand in the tub), and I am now thinking I should grasp onto any substance I can get my hands on! [admittedly, I am typing filler--in my initial madness I jumped a few chapters in and then had to go back and fill in later... might have filled in wrong... might need to just dump the idea of filler and start with the good stuff]. Hmmm... not sure if that realization made me feel better or not. I suppose it is all process...

The Day Job

Then on top of my home responsibilities, [note: I keep leaving one of the 'i's out of responsibilities... wonder if 'i' doesn't like them. *snort*] there is my day job. I spent 10 hours yesterday, sadly Facebook free, Twitter free (not that I get Twitter, but I AM following JK Rowling now! jk_rowling---really her! *fangirl squeal*), blog free *sniff* (other than reading about the fall of the United States of America anyway--that I couldn't have missed.) I hate grants. They are the bane of my existence. I like most things about my job (other than the management things--those I could do without)--I am a statistical nerd and love analysis. I like scientific writing, but the minutia of grants SUCKS! Back to it today, though hopefully not for as long, as we'd THOUGHT we had to be done by 1:00 today, when in reality, it can be Thursday if necessary, but we worked our butts off yesterday thinking we were to the wire.

Speaking of butts... (do I have to?)

Yes. It's time I admitted it... This upcoming acupressure, eating transformation can come none-too-soon. The size of my back side seems to be expanding exponentially. Why not start NOW you say? I've never had any luck with that sudden thing... need to get my mind in the proper place. But I know for a FACT, my last round of doing well was undermined with grant writing and work conferences and all of that madness sits still in front of me at the moment. I have October deadlines--once they are mostly in hand, I will be in a better place to think about taking care of myself. In the meantime, if anyone sees a tent sale, give me a shout.

yES... I have seen the face of doubt and it looks like responsibility.


Cruella Collett said...

I didn't know it was politically correct to call your significant other grouchy..? (Sorry - I'm just in one of those moods....)

You know, as sorry as I am on behalf of your mojo and writing muse, and as much as I wish the grant hell would forever cease to haunt you, I do think that it isn't such a bad thing that your pace is slowing down. Even for the manic "writing-in-trance" authors I believe there comes a point where it is healthy both for them and for the book to slow down, take a step back and look at it without your hand going spasmic in attempt of forming more sentences and brilliant plots. So even though what is slowing you down is responsiibility (hm... Looks like I put an extra i in there... Wonder what that means..? Even I know there is no i in happiii or friidom...), rather than creative control, it might have the same effect.

And if this feels like small relief, try to think ahead - grant hell will be done, writing mojo (though possibly not 375 chapters a day speed) will be back and in two weeks from now we will be sipping margaritas and digressing like giraffes (or whatever one does in Michigan on a Tuesday morning in October).

Watery Tart said...

Mari-your extra i and my missing i means you are forever more responsible for me.

*sigh* and yes, I suppose the slow down lets me 1) take a look at life a little (the one GROUCHY (PC be damned) S.O. says I am neglecting), and also take a more objective look at the book. I've sworn not to edit though, until the trilogy is done.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

My husband has basically told me he'd like to spend more computer-free time with me in the evenings. Sigh. The things we do for love.

Your writing goal was amazing and it worked for you, but why not make the goal more manageable and then--if you have extra time--go way over your goal and feel proud of yourself? I was always a page a day until recently...and I don't have a day job.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

I will get back to reasonable, though 1000 words a day IS pretty reasonable to me. I think my problem is when I skip even one day I feel like I have to go back and reread everything to continue to make sense (memory retention issues). When I was doing CONFLUENCE I wrote at that pace, but had some fan fiction still mixed in (which has almost dropped off the radar, except for a rare occasion).

So Elizabeth, how long does it take you to write a book a page at a time?! Is it a contract that has changed your habit?

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Tamster, when did I last tell you that I love you? Because I do. And not only because you put into words the thoughts I wish I could.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Reading this made me tired - and oh! how I understand your dilemma. Sometimes it seems there are not enough hours in the day. I spend a good few minutes every night lying in the dark with a list of things I haven't accomplished running unceasingly through my head.

I also try to write 1,000 words a day, but I have learned not to beat myself up if it doesn't happen. Kids need help with homework. Grocery shopping and meal preparation. Endless (and I do mean endless) laundry. Celebrate what did get done. I think you're winning.