Sunday, August 07, 2005

When Real Life Intrudes



I had a goal - when I finalled in the Great Beginnings contest with the first five pages of Camilla, I decided that I would finish my first draft by the time the winners were announced - not unreasonable, really. It would require about 900 words a day production.

I went gangbusters for the first few weeks - went from a starting word count of just under 10,000 and was up to 30,000 words in about 2 1/2 weeks!! Yahoo!!

Then real life intruded.

I sliced open my finger and had major trouble typing.

I homeschool my daughter, and had to work on creating, locating and purchasing her curriculum for this year.

My husbands new job has different hours, and he now gets up early - used to be that I would get up at 5 a.m. and have two solid hours to myself for writing and catching up on posts for my online writing groups. Now he's up at 5:45 and, though he doesn't expect me to make breakfast or even make him coffee, he's loud and a huge distraction. No more quiet in the a.m. unless I start getting up at 4:00 - something I am considering since I'm a definite morning person.

I also decided that I needed to clean the house at least occasionally, and - oddly enough - my husband wanted dinner now and then! As a SAHM those things are my job - as much as any of you who work outside the home.

Since we're currently in the middle of the two months of summer that we get here in the Northeast, I like to garden and sometimes even do something wild and crazy like take a walk with the dog and my daughter. Call me crazy.

THEN... I realized that I needed a bigger conflict for my story. This requires going back to the beginning and making some changes. So, although I am writing, I'm not exactly increasing my word count.

So... I have a week to write 20,000 words. And I'm starting school with my daughter on Monday, a second grade curriculum that will take up about 2-3 solid hours daily, not to mention the time I need for preparation and getting the literature she needs either from the library or purchasing it when I can't find it there.

Still, I tell myself that I am writing, even if I'm not reaching the goal I set for myself. At least my momentum is forward - at a snails pace instead of a greyhounds, but forward is good.

Forward is good.

2 comments:

darcy said...

First, Congrats on the final! Yay you!

Second, I hear you. I wrote summerstorm in just over two months -- two years ago. I did a quick second draft, then took a break from it while I wrote a second novel. Soon after that I started sending it out to agents. It didn't take all that long to sense a pattern in their feedback. I've been revising ever since.

Some months I work at a snail's pace. some months I'm a greyhound. I wish I could work like a dog more often, but hey, butt in chair, fingers on keys -- I'm doing the best I can.

You'll do the best you can too -- while being a mom and a wife and a gardener. I suspect you're like me, there's none of it you're willing to give up ... except maybe that extra hour of sleep in the morning?

hugs,
darcy

Marianne Arkins said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Darcy. Same goes for Summerstorm - I'm dying to buy my copy!