A Writer’s Gotta Write

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(Credit: Borya Galperin, Winston Link via Shutterstock/Salon)

As of, oh, now…I’m a scant 9330 words into Flight Risk, the next novel in my Assignment: Romance series. Not too shabby considering I am only able to squeeze writing in between caring for my boys, getting myself 5k ready and working full-time.

But when I consider that I need to have the entire manuscript written by midnight on November 30th, I don’t feel nearly as accomplished.

I definitely need to crank my output up a notch or seven.

So, you ask, what am I doing here, blogging instead of adding to my manuscript’s word count?

Writing here, for you, is an entirely different exercise. And I miss it.

You can call me a lot of things – busy, snarky, uppity, and lots of other words that end with “y,” but I am above all else deadline driven-y. Like a horse to a carrot, a baby to a bottle, or a working mother to a large bar of imported chocolate (preferably dark, with caramel and sea salt), I am drawn to deadlines. They make me go.

Case in point, I’m currently facing several hard deadlines: Make myself 5k ready by 11/22; Finish said manuscript by 11/30 (midnight, as previously noted); Obtain fixings for Thanksgiving feast and prepare house for Thanksgiving guests by 11/26.

You get the point.

What happens when these deadlines come and go? Oh, don’t worry. More will spring up in their place like missing socks under my youngest’s bed (does Christmas ring a jingle bell?).

And so it goes. Stressful? Indeed. And the only way I know to relieve that stress and still feel productive is to write. And run. And stay on top of my deadlines. It’s a vicious circle really. But, as long as I’m doing what I love…which I do…I suppose I can’t complain.

What I can do is express my gratitude for my husband for freeing up time in my busy schedule so I can get to the things I need to, my kids for allowing me the flexibility to burn the candle at both ends to achieve my dreams, the inventor of the crock pot  and hot showers (God bless you both). When I’m feeling spread too thin, these things all help me feel whole again. Well, that and a little chocolate. Preferably dark. With caramel and sea salt.

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5 thoughts on “A Writer’s Gotta Write

  1. Well Barbara, be thankful you don’t have triplets born on October 19th (years ago but still they expect birthday celebrations) to add to the fall stress! But as all working or “non” working moms know, there are never enough hours in a day or energy in a mom. But along with the time change, U sincerely think some of our real hours are taken away from us as well!

    Good luck with the Turkey Trot or whatever they are calling the 5K this year. It will all be over before you know it!~

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      1. Oh my! I may not have triplets, Barb, but I do have two boys born a week apart in October, so I feel your pain (sort of)! And no worries on the typo. My fingers seem to grow exponentially larger as the day wears on. Thanks for writing and for the kind words!

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  2. Hi Barbara,
    I, too, am trying to finish my first book, have 4 daughters at home (OK, three are in college, 1 middle school), but they are home. They commute to the university I work at and work part time so I’m very much still involved with minimal time to myself. How do you plot your story? I have two going at the same time (number 1 mistake there), but yet, I’m having a hard time finishing. I feel I had a good idea and start, but don’t really know where I want the ending to go. Any advice (I know you don’t have time) is appreciated. Sincerely, Catherine

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    1. Hi Catherine! I’m so sorry for not responding sooner. Before I start a new book, I take a lot of notes before I start writing. So much so, that I create a chapter map that lists the plot points that have to happen in that chapter to move the story along at the pace I need it to. I know this sounds very clinical but, rest assured, there have been many times in which my story has taken on a life of its own and I need to tweak my map. Whatever works for you, don’t give up – no matter what! Also, I highly recommend getting a critique partner, or just another writer pal to bounce ideas off of (read: you can reach me at spinninginburbs@gmail.com, if you like). Thanks so much for writing!

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