Now that I’ve given myself permission not to write when I’m overwhelmed by other things, I can get down to the real business of getting my writing life back in order.
I spent most of Wednesday’s productive hours trying to write despite being submerged in the chaotic disaster that accompanies my two youngest sons. They’re 2 and 5 . . . writing is completely nonsensical to both of them. They enjoy books, they enjoy having someone read to them, and they understand in limited ways that letters mean something, but the process of writing is beyond them. Mostly, it looks like Mommy is goofing off on the internet, which they think that THEY should be doing, instead, preferably with Dora the Explorer and/or Angry Birds.
I usually end up begging their oldest sister to take them outside to play, or to make them some lunch, or to, maybe, lock them out of my room long enough for me to finish a scene. Then I feel guilty for ignoring them, since they will only be small and cute for a limited amount of time before they turn tall and stinky. Then I look at my manuscript and weep for the decade that I wasted playing role playing games instead of writing. Usually, at about that time, one of them somehow manages to get back in through the doors that were supposedly locked, and we’re right back at square one with me shrieking for Elsa and offering her large amounts of money (that I don’t have) to take the boys out to play.
I did finish re-writes on my new short story. I know that it’s a pretty linear story and not anything Byzantine and nuanced– it’s a story about loss and love, although there is a mild element of mystery in it. I am hoping that my telling of the story is good enough that people will start reading it and then keep on reading until the end. It would be very nice to be able to sell a couple of short stories to pro markets. Having those kinds of credits is (theoretically) good for the aspiring novelist. But let’s be honest here, I just want to be a real professional writer, and they sell real professional stories.
So, the story’s been printed out and plopped into an envelope, but I probably won’t get it in the mail until next week’s errand day. Which is okay– I’m still yanking out individual pages and replacing them with re-written ones, being very careful that I don’t change anything so drastically that it throws the page count off. I have random fears pop up– did I explain something well enough? Did I forget to explain the big big things in a way that makes it clear WHY my characters are freaking out? Wait, I didn’t??? AGH!!! Find a place to cut some dross and replace it! Now!!!!
I still need to do that in the second scene, since I realized that I hadn’t explained the Big Major Plot Point that made these people act so crazy. Duh. So, at some point today, I need to yank out that page and replace it with another. No biggie, just a matter of polishing it and making sure it’s REALLY ready to go. I’m glad that I’ve given myself this time to polish, instead of just running to the post office and throwing it in. It WILL be a better story this way.
Fridays are always kind of junk days in terms of writing, since we spend most of the day cleaning the house up for the weekend. I don’t expect to get much done, either today or over the weekend. Lots of stuff going on, etc. But, I can’t beat myself up about it. It’s the weekend, everyone’s going to be home, and there’s a zillion things that need to be done in addition to making sure everyone makes it to church. I don’t think even Stephen King could write for a couple uninterrupted hours in that mess, even if he locked himself in a room.