Ever have something that just plain makes you happy but you put it off because there are things you HAVE to do that somehow are always prioritized as more important? Like cooking and washing bottles and laundry and all the things that come as part of the life happening around you? And days pass by and one day you wake up and lament that those days have turned into weeks and weeks into months since you've taken time to do what you love to do for the mere joy of doing it? That's me and my writing.
With a newborn and a second grader there's literally a never-ending pile of laundry on top of every-three-hour feedings and homework and teaching big sister how to pick up after herself because Mom can't do it all anymore. (Why I didn't see THAT issue BEFORE there was another child taking up most of my time I'll never know!) When there are a few minutes of down time between parental responsibilities, there's usually a movie to be watched while snuggling on the couch with my hubby or a book that must be read before the book club deadline with another waiting in the wings waiting to be read just because I want to. I did SO good in November and even parts of December when I had a goal and a deadline and a well-advertised and supported commitment to writing (and life's balance had not been upset by the addition of a new baby). But January and February saw my poor novel put on the back burner and not touched for many long weeks.
That all changed this morning.
I brewed a pot of coffee after the morning routine with baby, and instead of showering sat down at my laptop and reaquainted myself with my poor neglected characters who have patiently been waiting for me to return and finish their story. I left several of them hanging after they took matters into their own hands and introduced brand new elements to the story I hadn't seen coming and didn't know how to resolve with the loose plot in my head. I have promised not to let it come between us and they seem to have bought it and started whispering sweet nothings into my subconscious once again.
Is it silly to have a picture in my minds eye of myself as a novelist banging away at a keyboard with a kitschy coffee mug hoping I might be pounding away at the next big novel? Something reminiscent of a photo from a jacket cover of my favorite novelist, Stephen King? If it is, that's me - silly - because that's exactly what I'm doing. Here I sit, sipping blueberry cobbler flavored coffee from the mug with the skeleton of a fish on it collected from some random camping trip while my soul sings with joy that I'm finally actually DOING what I've been saying I wanted to do "someday" since that day back in 9th grade in my english class talking to that sophisticated boy who's name I don't recall who loved Agatha Christie and inspired me to believe I could write something people might actually read... And even if it doesn't happen to be the next big novel, it is MY first novel which makes it worthwhile regardless!
I quietly hit a new milestone this morning... 61,000 total words / 166 pages in MS Word.
And now I need a shower....