Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Now is not a "Good" Time

I had a different topic planned for the blog today, but as you'll see in a bit, today didn't exactly go as planned. This turned out a bit whinier than I'd like, but I figure it's probably best to show off what I don't know about writing right alongside what I do. I'll let you decide which posts are which.

CONFESSION: This is not a good time for me to begin a writing career.

No, really, it's not. I have small children. I spend my days changing diapers, making bottles, trying to sneak redeeming nutritional content into boxed macaroni and cheese because that is all my toddler will eat for dinner this week, and singing about the itsy-bitsy spider over and over and over...

Also, my husband's career is taking off and taking us right with it, meaning half our apartment is in boxes and soon we'll be living in a completely different part of the country. In the next week, everything must be packed and prepped (or pitched). And then there will be several days in the car with the kids and the cats. And then there will be unpacking and settling in and teaching the girls about the wonders and glories (and shoveling) of snow.

(As an aside, I'm a little concerned about the dangers of moving to Chicagoland. Wizards and vampires and all manner of other supernatural things have chosen to come out of hiding and live openly there. Is it something in the pizza, do you think?)

My days are long and exhausting and there is never really time for me to write. There are a million other tasks on my to do list and most nights I get into bed so tired I'm sure I could sleep solid for a year and still not feel rested.

Stress and fatigue are tough enemies to fight. So is doubt, by the way. And fear. And let's face it, doubt and fear are usually lurking somewhere behind the myth of "now's just not a good time". And it's not a battle you fight once. Fear and doubt and stress and fatigue never really go away. They hide themselves away in the small shadows at the back of the subconscious, patiently waiting to slip out and ruin your thoughts again another day.

I've been at this aspiring novelist thing for three months now this time around. I've successfully converted my thinking to accept 4AM as a normal wake up time. I've gone public with my family and friends and, well, all you lovely people. I've settled on a routine I like and trained Long-Suffering Husband into working around it. Even the cats have adjusted and no longer pitch fits when I'm in the "wrong" part of the house before sunrise.

I don't know what your cats are like. My eldest feline basically runs our house like a furry little cross between a drill sergeant and a very stern librarian, with a little Catholic school teacher/nun thrown in for good measure.

And in spite of all this, I still this very morning had a meltdown. I deleted everything I wrote (bad writer!) and spent an hour ranting to my husband about how my main character is a selfish whiny idiot and no one will ever want to read about her and maybe I should just scrap the whole story and start over. Or better yet, maybe I should just scrap the whole writing thing altogether and go back to being a person who's highest ambition is getting a decent amount of sleep at night, because clearly sleep is all my feeble little mind is capable of.

Oh, I was growly and snippy and I'm sure quite the joy to wake up to this bright sunny morning. I feel so bad for that poor man sometimes.

But I won't scrap the whole writing thing or even the story. I'll get up ridiculously early again tomorrow morning and shamble out to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and a few bites of toast. And then I'll plop myself down in front of the keyboard and grab my selfish, whiny, stupid main character by the hair. I'll shake some sense into her and do my best to send her on her way. I'll apologize to my husband (um... sorry honey!) and try to remember that I can do this and I want to do this and I'm here not because someone forced me but because I wouldn't let anything stop me.

Because that's what you do. That's the way it works. There's never a "good" time. There's just now. Or never.