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Well, I think Spring is here.  I hear the sounds of birds outside my window in the morning, the sun is shining longer, and I am getting restless.   I am itching to be outside, getting some fresh air, and feeling the sun on my face.  Ahh, I can almost feel the sunburn now.  But I have a lot of work to do first.

The term “Spring cleaning” usually refers to the massive overhaul of household and garage, discarding the unwanted and unused.  However, I need it to go a little deeper than that.  Okay, fine.  A hell of a lot deeper.   My physical surroundings definitely need the cleaning, don’t get me wrong.  We have a storage area under the stairs as well as an unfinished room in our basement designated for kids.  It looks like Target, Toys R Us and Hobby Lobby all exploded in a 20 x 20 area.  It isn’t pretty.  Cupboards need to be reorganized, pantry is in shambles, carpets need to be cleaned, yada, yada, yada.

But I have a bigger task than that.  Since I have started writing a manuscript, hoping one day be published, I feel like I am a multiple personality, bipolar, dementia patient waiting to happen.  One minute I am Mom, the next I am reading one of the six novels I have on my nightstand (or under my bed, in my gym bag, stashed in my car console), then writing on my manuscript, all the while completely neglecting my email and updating the family activity calendar.  Did I mention that I have three kids?  Oh, yeah.  Pretty sure I am neglecting them as well.  The list goes on.  I might do a load of laundry, fix a meal, then back to reading a book about writing.  Then I’ll jot story notes down in a journal, redo my pathetic outline (which is why I really don’t do outlines-I am changing it every two minutes), then hop up to take a shower.  In between this are trips to the grocery store, gym, school, kids’ practices/games, swimming lessons, and God knows what else. 

I feel like I am drowning.  Hmmm…wonder why?

Big news flash to self!

I have no schedule.  I head to the gym sometime in the morning.  I eat when I can.  I shower when I can.  I clean, barely.  I read at night before bed, staying up until ridiculous hours or while waiting  for kids in the car line, or even doing cardio at the gym.   I write in snippets.  Half an hour here and half an hour there.  Sometimes I write after the kids go to bed but then I am neglecting my “just us” time with my husband.

Sounds like I should be accomplishing a lot since I am doing a lot but the only thing I seem to achieve is the elevated stress levels that only a current Toyota CEO could understand.  Enough stress that I am grinding my teeth at night; grinding so hard that my fillings are breaking off and I have horrible headaches in the morning.  It all sounds so stupid because I am a stay home mom, for God’s sakes.   I KNOW my husband thinks I have the life of Riley (not sure who Riley is but must have had it good for the phrase to stick around for so long) and for the most part I do.  I have brought all of this stress on myself because of the chaos I have created.  If I am going to survive writing a book that actually makes sense and won’t burst into flames at first review, I need to get my stuff together. 

What I have gathered from successful writing mothers, is that  relentless organization, meticulous time management, and strong self-discipline are where it is at if you are going to really make it to a great final manuscript.  That is where I need to  be.  However, it seems like that is as within reach as world peace at the moment.  But I am determined to make a go of it.  If not, you might see me on the national news as the next “mom gone crazy” (think shaved head Britney Spears kind of crazy).

I hope Spring also gives you a renewed spirit as well as a swift kick in the butt.  Think of it as God’s way of saying “Get off your ass!” in the nicest way possible.

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