Of Course

Of course, this is when she sleeps. Now, when we should be out the door within half an hour and it will take at least that long to get her ready. Of course, she sleeps hard. Hard enough that once I put her down, I have time enough to brush my teeth, and pluck my eyebrows (which are remembering the bushy caterpillars of the teenage years), fold laundry, even type this post.

Or start to. It is still uncertain at this point whether or not I’ll be able to push the “Publish” button before she fully wakes.

My NaNo attempt has so far resulted in words! Not nearly as many as I’d hoped for – certainly not as many as I would like – but there have been words.

I’ll take what I can get.

And I’m relearning how to cram a word here and there, in between feedings, and cleanings, and my attempts at self-care (which, let’s face it, are primarily the wonderfully prolonged snuggle sessions with the little one). Occasionally, I’m even able to multi-task and write at the same time.

One hope of NaNo was for me to give myself some outer accountability. But I have discovered that all the accountability in the world will not phase a newborn. We operate on her schedule, no exceptions.

You know what? I’m ok with that.

But managing my own expectations of myself is a never ending process.

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#NaNoWriMo17

In a strange turn of events, I’m actually participating in NaNo this year. For the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as November, when people sacrifice their lives to crank out 50,000 words of novel. In 30 days.

I’m doing a modified challenge and talk about the details over at Anxiety Ink.

The last time I participated, years and years ago, I realized NaNo wasn’t for me. Writing for speed made me break my stories in horrible, often irreparable ways. (At least, they weren’t worth the cost to fix.)

But the writing process, for most of us, is a thing constantly in flux. What we need can change from year to year, project to project, or day to day. I don’t know if that word count demand would still leave me with broken stories.

I won’t find out this year. My fundamental goal in participating this year is to figure out how to write productively with an infant. Right now, she’s asleep on my chest as I type around her, and she doesn’t seem to mind. I’d put her down and save myself the discomfort, but then she’d be awake within five minutes and demanding food within ten.

She has no appreciated today’s attempts to put her down, rather than letting her sleep in my arms. And quite honestly, I don’t want to put her down; she’s growing so quickly and I don’t want to miss a single snuggly baby moment.

November has not helped me out, so far. Then again, November usually ends up being a weird, chaotic, overfull sort of month. Today was the first I could even attempt to experiment with setting her down more frequently.

I’d intended daily prompts. How many have I done? Exactly none. (Though blog posts like this count towards the word count I’m tracking on the NaNo site, and I’ve made a fair dent this evening in getting details out of the way so I’ll be able to sit down and work on some prompts.)

Some novel work might make its way in, but I wanted to allow myself to focus on figuring out the routine – my new process, now that I have a tiny human depending on me for everything.

The first week of November is nearly gone. I have written more today in two hours than the last four days combined, and I’m not done yet.

It’s a good feeling, to combat the creeping sense of failure that has been growing.

Wish me luck!

Shake It Up!

So it was past time for a little spring summer cleaning of the blog, most of it cosmetic, but you may notice an extra widget in the sidebar. (I might be in avoidance mode, but there is no part of this national healthcare farce I am ok with. Because I can’t be ok with the message, “Just f*ck off and die.”)

That’s right, folks: I have Instagram.

I upgraded my phone in May from a Windows phone with few apps and poor connectivity in areas where I actually want the connection to a shiny new iPhone 7. Social media suddenly became easier! Before, it felt like a chore and offered one more thing to overwhelm me.

One huge bonus? I’m able to check in sporadically to social media and email without getting sucked into bunny trail distractions. This means that when I come home, I don’t feel so tied to the computer.

Go me! More time and opportunity to write! To be creatively productive!

. . . Ok, I feel your skepticism. But the opportunity is there! I just lack in follow-through. (At least I know I’m in good company?)

I created an Instagram account not knowing if I would actually use it, but it was a goal I’d set for myself at the beginning of the year. And guess what?

I use it. Probably more than Facebook and Twitter combined.

And I love my username: @writinginterrupted. It’s just so perfect, in so many ways.

Update (The Highlights)

Life since my last update:

  • My youngest sister had her baby!
  • She then got married
  • Which happened just a few days after my uncle’s funeral
  • And while I was besieged by The Plague, requiring that I communicate via whiteboard.
  • I have not been writing much (which has a lot to do with the lack of blogging)
  • But I took a Zentangle class at the library, so I’ve had something creative to do while my words are on holiday.
  • I taught a scriptwriting class at the local regional high school drama festival
  • Then chaperoned the trip to the state drama festival.
  • I’m taking an awesome Diversity and Narrative writing workshop with Mary Robinette Kowal and K Tempest Bradford (so my words are starting to come back!)
  • And now I’m freaking out because I’m visiting NYC in a couple weeks and didn’t plan out the logistics months ago. I’m a control freak like that.

How have you been?

Sordid Truth

My days-I-have-not-written now number two.

Sunday night, I found out a series I’d been wanting to read had all the ebooks on sale. So I bought them.  Six books. Read them in three days. You know, with sleeping, eating, and working. Maybe I only got four hours of sleep last night, but I finished! Now I’m back.

Who needs drugs when you have books?