Friday, July 11, 2014

Falling off the wagon

I've fallen off the writing wagon. Not completely, I still attend my weekly Wednesday night writer's group (I love those ladies!) and participate in the occasional write club sprint on Friday, but my productivity has dropped tremendously in the past month or so. Basically I started to fall off the wagon and am currently holding on to the bumper (do wagons even have bumpers?) with one hand, knees scraping the ground, dirt in my face. You get the idea. The problem is [INSERT EXCUSE HERE] that I started working for the first time in nearly a year, the kids finished school and are home full time, and it feels like a million other things landed on my plate, demanding my attention like a colicky baby. Oh, and the World Cup. A girl's gotta have her soccer.

June came and went with not a single writing goal met. Not. One. Single. Goal. Granted I am working on revisions, which makes keeping up with my intended word count a bit difficult, but the other stuff? It just didn't happen. And here we are, nearly halfway through July, and I am still trailing behind the wagon. Thankfully I have people in my life who are helping me get back on. My crit partner (whom I have woefully neglected lately) encourages me with emails and twitter posts. The Wednesday ladies help with story planning and talking me off the ledge when I'm deep in revision. But during all the times in between, my notebook sits on the counter, slowly getting covered in day to day clutter. It makes me sad. Writing takes me to a place in my mind where I can run away from reality, create a world and have complete control. Maybe that's the problem. The story is done, and now it's time to go in with scissors, cutting out the parts that don't flow, stuffing in news ones and hoping they fit. It's hard. Sure, I complained about stuff being hard before, but it feels like each step in steeper, and I know the true mountain is still ahead of me. There is no way I can hold on to the wagon bumper and make it to the top. I need to get back on. I need to climb up onto the hay covered seats, push the driver out of the way and take the reins. Get control. It is the only way to survive the ride.

We are all teamsters on our journey, whether it be writing or some other pursuit. Life tosses boulders into our path and we choose to either fall off or maneuver around them. I haven't quite figured out how to maneuver around my current situation, but I am determined to get a handle on time management and carve out time to sit and write. Like right now; it's Friday night and I am sprinting along with the write clubbers, rocking to dance music in my headphones while hubby watches TV. A large chunk of my book was written this way. Scenes started out slow, then grew as the world opened up in front of me. There is nothing that replaces that feeling.

I've made promises on this blog before, and I'm not foolish enough to believe that I won't fall off again. July goals are still quite far out of reach, and the remaining days of the month do not hold much promise. I'm heading to sleep away camp with my oldest next week, we have a family vacation coming, and I'm required to make up any hours I miss, which translates to a lot of time spent at work. But right now, in this moment, I am making progress. Both hands are gripped tightly on the wagon and I am using all my strength to pull myself up.

Watch out. Crazy writer on the road.