The Ups and Downs of Life and Writing

Last night I was up until 1 am with a wide awake baby. She wasn't really crying or fussing, she just wasn't tired. She wasn't tired at 9 pm when I wanted to go to bed. She wasn't tired at 10:30 pm when I put her on a blanket to play with some toys. She wasn't tired at midnight when I paced the house trying desperately to encourage her eyes to close while keeping my own open. No, it wasn't until a little after 1 am, that she finally fell asleep while nursing and I was able to shut my own eyes. 

She woke up twice more to nurse during the night.

And woke up for the day at 7 am.

I am tired.

Those of you who know me personally, probably know that I don't do very well on too little sleep. Sure, I'm used to being tired now as a parent, but I still need at least four or five uninterrupted hours of sleep to function properly. Without that, I'm cranky and short-tempered, easily frustrated and forgetful (which adds to my frustration).

Today, I will do my best to take a nap. I will also drink coffee. It will help, but it won't fix everything. 

I tell you this not to complain -- I love my life and am lucky to be able to stay home with my daughters and still pursue a career in writing -- but to highlight a fact of this writing/parenting life. 

Sometimes, things don't go to plan, and the only thing you can do is plod forward, one step at a time.

It's the same with writing. I am currently wading through the vast middle of Sanyare Book 2. I'll be honest, I don't know where the characters are going right now. I have a few goal posts in mind, some idea of how the book will end, but I have no idea how they're getting from one point to another.

The middle is hard. It was the same with Sanyare: The Last Descendant. I start out with every intention of following a rough outline, but somewhere around page 100, the train runs off the track. Usually, this happens because I get a new, better, more exciting idea that changes every aspect of the book. This means that I will probably be deleting, or at a minimum drastically re-writing the first third of the story. 

Oh well, I've been there before.

But there are also days, like today, where the writing feels like a slog through a tar pit. I just can't get excited about the story. I've lost all sense of the characters, the setting doesn't feel real, and the dialogue makes no sense.

It doesn't help that I received my first truly mediocre review (haha, the writers out there are laughing, because I really shouldn't complain about having one mediocre wasn't even bad, just not good) and have been turned down by several other reviewers in my quest to get a bit more visibility for Sanyare: The Last Descendant. 

All of this makes me question my basic competency as a writer. 

It's a down day.

But it won't last forever. There will come a time when the words flow through my fingers like water, and the end of the first draft will be in sight. I'll get a great review from a book blogger, and feel on top of the world. Those days happen. They do.

I just have to keep moving forward, doing the best that I can.

And take a nap.