So, this summer I’ve somehow managed, amidst the chaos of having five kids around, to do quite a bit of writing.
It’s a Summer Vacation Miracle!*
I was thinking about patterns the other day, of how I work on stuff. Like, say this summer I’ve been a writing maniac, four pages a day on average, etc., and I tell myself I can keep this up indefinitely. I can write as much as Nora Roberts or Anthony Trollope or some other truly prolific penners.
Then I have to scale back my little fantasy. Why? Because I don’t write this much on a steady basis. I think I’d pump my reservoir dry. I’m pretty sure I would, actually.
Instead, my little pattern has been a lot like hair washing–you know, the directions on the side? Lather, rinse, repeat. Instead it’s read, write, repeat.
I’ll go on a writing kick like this summer. Then, I’ll get a cramped hand (er, brain) and feel like there’s nothing left to say. (Hahaha. Kind of seems impossible, actually. I’ve frighteningly always got more to say.) Which sends me to the library or to my Kindle or down to the thrift store which sometimes sells paperback novels for 5-cents, and I go on a reading binge. It’s not all challenging or even edifying stuff. I do like to read vapid stories along with something a little more pithy–but that’s slow going, and when I’m on a binge, I just want all the junk food reading I can get. And I love it. And when I’m done, I’m full again and I can get back to tapping out my own stories.
At the beginning of June my kid schedule was a little crazy. There was no time to write. I got so little done I started to feel frantic. Is that how other writers feel? Like if they don’t write something they’ll explode? Well, during that time I might not have had the luxury of thinking a single thought of my own due to family needs, but I did get to soak down into a few books. (I keep a running list of them in the back of my journal. What I’ve read. If I really, really like it I put a star by it.)
Then, the last week in June, ta-da! I had a kid-free 24 hours. The pump had been primed with all the reading (plus pent up craziness from not being able to write) and the words came pretty easily. I got stuff done I’d been sitting on for a long time. Hip hooray!
The writing tapered off a little after the kid free day, of course, but I’ve been able to keep a fraction of the writing momentum rolling, and it’s been so much fun. All morning the kids and I do stuff, and then when I’ve run them ragged and they’re just begging to watch TV in the afternoon, ha HA! I say, “Okay, I guess. But just for a while.” And then I literally run to my writing place and start cranking out the current story.
It’s sad because I know it can’t last. But this year all my kids will be in school, to a degree. My youngest goes to 1/2 day Kindgergarten this year. And even though it’s only 4 days a week, it’s FOUR DAYS A WEEK for A HALF A DAY that will be (mostly) (at least some days) (because I’m realistic and life happens and people need us women) mine.
Or am I being overly optimistic? Will the time really be mostly mine on some days? Somebody who’s been there, please pop my bubble so I won’t be too disappointed.
Anyway, I’d better get back to writing before the kids get done watching their show. For now, it’s the time I have. And I’m going to take it!