I typed the END on my twenty-eighth book yesterday. And yeah, that’s an empty wine glass in the picture.
It’s a short novella coming out for the Christmas holiday. This was a tough writing year. I wrote two big books back to back, finished a novella to wrap up the Searching for series, and then figured out I had to write this holiday story in two weeks. As usual, I overshot, thinking I could get more done than I should because I believe I have special super powers no one else has.
Umm, yeah. I don’t. In fact, I’m as far from a superhero as Lex Luther. I like to fiddle a lot, and watch too much BRAVO television, and like naps, especially when I get stressed. Of course, I show up to my office every day, which is my job, but sometimes the writing doesn’t go the way I imagined it should. Sometimes, I just puke words out in massive quantities in a panic, and found myself trapped in my pajamas for three days straight and no idea what’s happening around me when I finally emerge from the cave.
I live a weird life.
Anyhoo, as I typed The End and cried – because somehow, some way, this story actually came out really good, I thought about how nice it was going to be to take a break. I gave myself one in July which lasted 2-3 weeks. It was heaven, but I figured with all that free time off, I’d return to my office dying to write. I figured my MUSE would be itching to get back to work and produce a story of mastery because I’d given her so much free time to refill the well.
It kind of backfired on me.
I remember when my oldest son went to school for the first time. I was devastated. I collapsed in the driveway, sobbing, when he pulled away on the school bus.
I guess I was being a tad overdramatic because the driver stopped and asked if I needed an ambulance.
When I returned to the house, I was broken hearted. I missed him. I wandered the empty rooms, picking up his stuffed animals, crying like he’d left for college, and eventually found my way back to my office. I still had my little one at home, and when I put him down for a nap, I figured I’d do a bit of work.
Hours later, I was pissed I had to go pick my oldest son up. Taking care of one child was so much easier than two! Add in pre-k and I had all this extra time I never imagined. Even better, they were both going back TOMORROW! Hell, what had I been upset for? This was the best damn invention in the world of motherhood – SCHOOL!
I experienced the same type of issue after giving my Muse time off. She had gone on vacation and when I knocked politely, telling her we needed to write this Christmas story now, she raised her martini and said something really rude. She wasn’t ready to go back. She’d gotten a taste of the good life, and damned if she was getting locked back up in the servants quarters.
Let’s just say she never really came back voluntarily. Like the bitch of a boss I am, I finally tossed out her cocktail and shoved her ass in the chair. Then we wrote the damn thing.
Today, we looked at the calendar, planning another mini vacation of cocktails and fun and discovered…
My next book is due on Halloween. And I have to start it ASAP. I have the weekend off, which of course, will be filled with blog writing, and email catch up, and some promo, and copyedits. I scheduled an in-depth writing retreat with one of my besties next week so I could knock out some serious word count.
But here I am, back in the fire of deadlines. And here I am, promising myself next year will be different. I’ll give myself more breathing room and space and be more relaxed with my writing schedule.
My Muse knows I’m a big fat liar. She’s gone away and is in serious sulk mode. It’s gonna get ugly next week when I tell her I plan to write 7K per day and won’t accept anything less, especially since I’m removing all of my usual distractions.
Have I used my sacred blog space to whine about my life to you, my dear readers?
No. I just want to make a simple point.
It’s not supposed to be easy. No one promised us easy. It doesn’t matter what passion or job you are pursuing, from college to day jobs, our lives nowadays are spinning out of control with more and more responsibilities tacked on. We need to do more with less. We have little down time, and when we do grab it, most of us feel guilty.
My only advice is for all of us to grab the moments. It’s what’s happening now—and when a good moment comes, just steep yourself in it. Be happy. When you take a break, push away the guilt, because I’ve also learned when the truck hits you, I doubt I’ll regret I didn’t write one more book in my life.
I bet I’d regret I didn’t enjoy myself more, or watch my boys grow up, or grab five minutes to watch the sunset. You don’t need endless hours to find breathing space—all you need is a moment when you are completely present.
I’m going out to dinner tonight to celebrate me writing The End. I’m going to spend some time with my boys this weekend.
And then I’ll be back to work on Tuesday, doing a job I love more than anything.
Have a great weekend my peeps!