I'm one of those people who always has to be working on something. Right now, I'm waiting on first pass edits for my paranormal DESTINED, so I've been working on the first draft of another 'issue' book that I'm calling MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE. I started it at the end of September and was really cranking along - by mid November I was just shy of 20k words. And then everything stopped.
It started with a phone call - my good friend's son was in the hospital, diagnosed with acute, agressive lymphoma. Out of nowhere, this perfectly healthy 13 year old ended up on life support. For the next several weeks, we rallied around this single parent 24 hours a day as she gave birth to her new daughter and worked to keep her son alive. I'm happy to report that everyone is doing much better and the future looks bright, but those intense weeks took a toll on everyone. As this was happening, we moved for the first time in 12 years and worked to get our old house prepped and painted for our new tenants. And then there were the holidays. For two months, I didn't write a word.
All the while, I told myself that I'd get back to it as soon as the craziness was over. That the slightly guilty gnawing at my stomach would go away as soon as I found the perfect time to open up the Word file and start again. And that's what I waited for - the perfect time. A time when blog posts were up to date, the to-do list was crossed off, all of the boxes were unpacked and the laundry pile was less than the height of my oldest son. A time when it was quiet in the house, when the kids were back in school and the hubs was elsewhere, when I had that perfect cup of coffee and Madeline at my side and I felt inspired.
I thought back to when I was writing the first draft of DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. Most of that book was written in three hour chunks as I sat in a loud, drafty gym waiting for my son's gymnastic class to end. Other parts of it were written late at night when I finally got a minute to myself after everyone had gone to bed. Some was written in the car outside of guitar lessons. None of these were the perfect time, but somehow I managed to squeak out an entire novel that way. And I'm going to have to pull myself up and do it again.
This morning, I finally realized that this 'perfect time' that we all look for doesn't exist. There will probably never be a time when all the stars align, everything is quiet and the most perfect words flow from your fingers to the keyboard. Perfect writing times are made not born and if you insist on waiting for one...well, good luck finishing that book. Right after I walked the big hairy dog, I sat down at my laptop and answered my email. I popped onto Twitter and perused Facebook for a little bit. And then finally, I opened the story file for the first time in way too many weeks. As I read over the first chapter, I realized that it doesn't stink at all. In fact, parts of it I may even keep. I finally felt accomplished, switching a word here and a word there as I read over what I already had in preparation for the next chapter. I was grooving into the perfect writing time at last.
And then the phone rang. It was my son's elementary school - he had a headache and needed to come home, so I abandoned the laptop and headed to the school. Now I've got the TV going in the living room with a sick kid sprawled on the couch, empty pans calling me to make dinner from the kitchen and a charming husband working upstairs who keeps interrupting me to ask questions about plans for the coming week. But I still have the file open, and I'm making this the perfect writing time, promising myself I'll get back to my 1k per day goal.
Just as soon as I finish this blog post.