My family and I have settled in (somewhat) here in Hawaii! We celebrated our son turning ONE yesterday and I have reached the last trimester for our daughter, who is set to arrive in April. My husband began his new job this morning and I am settling into life as a resident of Hawaii. It’s surreal and overwhelming at the same time.
After what has felt like the most chaotic month of my life, we have arrived and have started to get into a routine. For me, that includes reading and writing again. I picked up the novel I am determined to finish before this month ends (in order to stay in line with my New Year’s resolutions) and actually felt great about it. I was engaged and excited and anxiously gobbling up the story and making notes for my review, which I will post as soon as I finish.
Writing today was more of a struggle. My son awoke from his nap when I was getting in a groove, so I’ll have to return after my husband gets off work tonight. I have a strict deadline with myself to have a draft before my daughter makes her debut in ELEVEN weeks if all goes well. Eleven weeks to finish a novel? No pressure. In the last few months of writing, I have realized the following:
- I need to get out of my own way. Sure, I can make excuses and say that my son’s unpredictable napping schedule makes writing more difficult, but it’s up to me to commit myself to writing either before he wakes up or after he goes to sleep. It’s the same as working out. If it’s important to you, you make time for it. Writing has to be a commitment, just like health and wellness have to be.
- The commitment has to be there. EVERY DAY. Inspiration can’t come to you if you don’t show up. It’s true. If you show up, it’ll come. I don’t feel like it came today. But I did make some progress. As long as I show up, inspiration will meet me.
- I can only read so much. After being away from the world of fiction for so long, I felt inept coming back to it as a writer. So I began reading again. And the more I read, the more I feel that I needed to read. And it caused a serious roadblock in my head. When would I be ready? After 5 books? 10 books? 5 fictional stories and 5 books on writing? Enough was enough. I have to write with the purpose I have envisioned and edit with the knowledge I acquire along the way. The answers to your story are not in someone else’s book.
- Deadlines work. Whether internal or external, they motivate you. I have a serious reading deadline and a writing deadline each month. Schedule it in daily, map out what you need to get done in those sessions, and get it done.