Mostly it makes me feel that I’m not quite organized enough, not quite disciplined enough, and definitely not In Control the way my creative writing flows and ebbs and flows again according to some pattern I never quite recognize. That’s the kicker, really. The not recognizing. I feel like if I only paid more attention I would at last learn the rhythm of it and stop worrying when I avoid my desk for an entire month because I would know it doesn’t mean I’m never going to write again or I need to get a different career or everything-is-bad.
I have learned some things, though:
I work really well in the autumn and winter months.
I tend to send out a lot of query letters in May.
I never get anything done in July.
These are the sign posts I’ve started to notice anyway. I’m sure there are more of them, and I wonder sometimes why it seems to be so impossible to challenge or change them. What is it about July that makes it such a terrible month for work? Psychologically, it makes sense with the whole summer vibe and lounging by the pool, etc. But the reality is that I went to the pool about 3 times last summer, and I’m not 10 anymore, so it’s not like I run around barefoot in the woods all summer, you know? Psychology trumps reality again, I guess.
All that to say: it’s November, and I’m writing again.
I’ve never participated in National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo if you’re into that sort of thing), but it always seems to be true that I start hitting my stride about the same time the rest of the world decides it’s really not that difficult to write a novel. Only I never work as hard. Writing 50,000 words in a month sounds miserable to me—I’m aiming for about 25,000. A solid first third of a mystery novel, and more than enough to tell me how well it’s going and how much I like it.
Even with a break at Christmas, I think I might just be able to finish the first draft by February. One of the many things I’d like to have finished before the baby’s born and all hell breaks loose. First the house, then the book, then the baby. It works on paper, so it must work in life, right?
It helps—though I don’t appreciate it much—that Carl is starting his month of insanely long hours. The hap-happiest season of all is always proceeded by the worst-the-very-worst season of all in this house. Carl has additional shoots 3 out of 4 evenings this week, which makes for a lot of extra hours to write. Or clean. Or design room layouts. Or bake things. Or watch Kardashian dramas unfold.
Yesterday I killed an extra hour by making butternut squash soup (with apple cider—YUM).
And I even got an extra couple hundred words down.
Feels good to be working again.