As of yesterday I laid a new plan of attack, and I'm speaking it *aloud* here to make it real. (If you don't blog about it, did it really happen?) It is my resolution to write to an ending of a draft of the current novel by the end of March. Yikes.
This will involve using every trick in my writerly tool box, as well as gritting my teeth plenty to endure the suck. It's not my usual M.O., and I've written before how the enforced fast draft doesn't work for me, worse, how it killed my book (a different book, the one I wrote before this one, which has never been read by a living soul, including myself, and which is festering away in a top-secret file). But. This book isn't that book, and I am hereby promulgating a new theory, which I dub:
THE BABY FOOD THEORY OF PROCESS
Having recently started feeding Clementine solids, I have learned that one is advised to try a baby on a particular food multiple times before deciding that they don't like it, because their taste buds change. Well, that's what I'm saying about process too. Maybe process taste buds change! Just because the fast draft of that last book murdered it, doesn't mean the same thing will happen for this book. I'm way too invested in this book for that to happen. (A few people have asked what I'm working on, and I'll just say for now that it is YA, in the vein of Lips Touch, but unrelated, and a long novel, not stories.) But I need major momentum now, helter-skelter dangerous momentum, like pushing a boulder down a hill and then standing back and watching Bambis and bunnies scatter and flee.
Once I read that a writer (I think it might have been Cynthia Leitich Smith, but I could be totally wrong about that) would write a fast first draft and then delete it. GASP! HORROR! And I didn't get that AT ALL. But I can see it now. Because when I write a fast draft of a chapter, I often don't even read it, I just take what I learned in the writing of it, the way the story went, and use that to write a nicer draft, with more attention to craft and pacing. So that's kind of what I'm thinking now for my March mission, only instead of chapter by chapter, I'll barrel through the whole thing, and I will not actually delete the resulting mess (I never ever delete anything, ever), but I may not force myself to reread it.
I am going to get a draft written, by hook or by crook, by the end of the month. I AM. (Asks, in a small voice, "Does anyone want to join me?" Tiny secret March NaNo club?)
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Meanwhile, Jes asked in comments to the last post how I am getting writing done with a widget in my life. Good question! Ever since my pregnancy I've been meaning to do a series of interviews of working-mama-authors and ask them the same thing. I'll start with my own answer, which is: it's largely luck, that Jim and I both work at home and we're able to construct a schedule whereby we each have work time when we're at our best creatively. My best time is the morning (which is why I'm blogging now, snort snort), so I work from around 8:30/9 am to around 1, and then again after Clementine goes to bed (NOT my more productive time, but I'm working on it, because boo hoo hoo for me, you've got to use the time you have!); I have Clementine in the afternoon, from lunchtime to dinner, while Jim works. So that's how we do it.
And can I say how glad I am we can arrange things this way? Neither of us is on baby-duty for so many hours in a row that we get frazzled. It's more like when our turn comes around, we're delighted to see the little bunny and we're totally ready for a work break to take a walk or a nap or play. It's pretty awesome. Of course, we waited until we were old to have a baby, so it's not totally luck. We built our life to be like this, and worked on our careers first so we would be working at home full time.
One of the writers in that Guardian list had as a rule for writers: Don't have children. Well, I don't think one must go that far, but children do make it trickier to work out a writing schedule, that's for sure. They also make life deeply, deeply rich, add whole dimensions to it and to you, and any level of trickiness is worth it. But if you're a young aspiring writer, I would suggest that getting your first few books written (and if possible, published) before starting your family is not a bad idea -- but your life is your life, and you build it yourself day by day, and there are plenty of writers out there who didn't start writing/publishing until after they had children. Do whatever works for you! Find a way.
MAKE a way!
Have a great day!