Realistic Expectations and The Proper Tools

“Staring at the screen and talking to my dogs isn’t writing books,” I say to myself with my head in my hands.

“No it isn’t, but enjoying life is important too,” I say back to myself.

Now that my kids are in school full time, I’m starting to take on more and more projects…and my mind was been wondering extra. For so long, my primary time to work has been at night after the kids go down. More time to dedicate towards work has been what I’ve been waiting for, what my career has been waiting for, for a few years now. I can finally carry on regular working hours. Or, that has been at least what I have been romanizing. It has not been quite like that, so far, at all. Juggling work-life balance consistently continues, even while the kids are in school. There is still a house, three dogs, and my mind that need dealing with. There isn’t a magic window of time where there are no distractions.

I came to an epiphany, yesterday, and it is this: to be aware of where I am in the process is essential. Sure, this may sound easier than it is. But, so far today and yesterday, it’s working.
I currently have a novel that is set to release at the end of October. I’m fleshing out scenes and tightening up the outline of the second in that series (The Ruby Dawson Saga). Also, I have officially started to break ground on the new project, a Young Adult book that’s separate from the series I mentioned above. Juggling at the different stages can be disorienting I’m finding. It’s key that I stay aware of where I in each process. (This can probably be translated to a good life rule of thumb, but that’s a different post.)

For the new project, I’m in the early stages, so a lot of time is spent building ideas and concepts. Word count isn’t a priory for this project. With the second in the urban fantasy series, word count is something I need to pay attention to—there my focus is growing the story. It is very easy to get frustrated and feel like all my effort has amounted to anything. Every part of the process matters. The stark difference of the phases of book creation can be shocking, that’s why it is so important to be aware of where I am in the process of each project. Realistic expectations and positivity are things that also go a long way. Writing for a living can be an isolating existence if I let it, so taking breaks, allowing ideas to ruminate is a big part of getting things done. I love to write, and I always have. Writing for a living has been my dream since I was in third grade. I wanted to make people feel how Katherine Paterson made me feel when I read Bridge to Terabithia. Since I am exactly where I want to be, I’ll choose to appreciate it.

The first step: allow the ideas to flow, edit them later.

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