The Latest Push
I just scanned through my last real post to this blog and can't belief that so much time has past. The girls were six weeks old and I was trying to keep the book going by writing during my planning period. It was a good idea, worth a try at least. At least I was trying to intend to do something. Of course, that didn't work. I heard of a writer once who had his first book under contract, he only needed to make some changes for it to be published, and one baby derailed him completely - and he was almost there! I have two babies, a full-time job and I'm a graduate student. Anyone could safely assume, and be totally right, that next to nothing has happened in my book for the past six months. Yep, Rosie and Jules are six months old in just a few days, growing so fast you can sit there and just about watch, starting to eat solid foods and working real hard on crawling. It's a blast around here. But I have to write. It nags at me if I don't.
So I have a new plan and I've even waited a few weeks to write about it here so that I know it's working a little bit and worth reporting. Writing during my planning period is a no go. There's too many ways to get distracted by all the work around me that needs doing and kids coming in to see me and appointments and classes that need covering and who knows what else. Even on days where I could block it all out, by the time I really got going, the bell would ring. I realized that larger blocks of time were needed, even if they were fewer, but they had to be on a regular basis, an even schedule because writing has to be part of the routine. A book won't get written in the scraps of time in a busy schedule. So my plan is this: every Sunday morning I will get up at the time when I would normally go to work, head out to a coffee shop and write for a good three hours before I go home and help with the babies and we head off to church. So far, I've done this twice. Additionally, on Saturdays where I don't have classes (like today) or days off (like Monday) I will do the same. Thus, my sleep schedule remains the same (wholly inadequate) and I carve out of my hectic schedule at least three solid, continuous hours of writing a week and sometimes much more.
So far, it's working. I'm doing a reboot on draft 3. I was only what, six? eight? chapter in and I really was having difficulty starting in the middle, where I left off. So far I've gone through chapters 1 and 2, which were pretty easy, and now I'm looking at 3 and maybe 4 at the same time, because the major events of each chapter might be switching places. It looks to be some work but I'm hoping that I can finish both of them up by Late Jan, early Feb. I've always tried to be ambitious with my goal setting, to push myself, but the fact is, trying to write a book with all this other stuff going on is ambitious enough. I'd like to be about halfway through the novel by the time school ends. I will be taking a graduate class this summer, but if I can carry this morning writing through June and July, everyday, I should be able to finally have draft 3 complete by the time next school year starts and the girls are one year old. That only puts me a year behind schedule. Whatever that means.
Until next time, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished novelist.