After an incredibly difficult six months I am pleased to announce things are finally looking up. Aside from a few minor exceptions, my health has been fairly good, and most importantly, the crippling mental fog has lifted.
It’s a miracle.
Speaking of miracles, I officially started working on my novel again. Like for real. I’ve been writing every night, five nights a week, for the past six weeks in a row, averaging around 40-50 hours per week.
I almost forgot how intoxicating and infuriating the creative process can be.
I’ve been working on this novel for longer then I’d like to admit. It’s almost embarrassing.
I’ve stopped and started more times than I can remember. Some of my reasons for taking extended breaks were justified, and other times, not so much. But I’ve already talked about that writing process, twice.
In short, I am just thrilled to be able to write again.
Lately, things have been slightly more infuriating than intoxicating. But that’s just because I am in the process of filling in the blanks. Translation: I am adding brand new chapters and creating brand new material from thin air. Never an easy task.
First you have to write the shitty draft. Then you have to go back and edit. And then you have to rewrite everything. And then you have to edit some more. Write and rewrite. Proofread and rewrite. Then review and rewrite some more.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was signing up for when I first came up with this idea, a million years ago.
I used to feel badly about not being educated enough – or smart enough – to even consider writing a book. And that used to hold me back from reaching my potential.
I also used to compare myself to other writers and bloggers. And while I am very happy for their success, sometimes I’m amazed, even shocked, when they appear to be capable of producing books almost effortlessly. It makes me wonder how that’s even possible, because it’s far from effortless for me. I find the whole process incredibly laborious.
But then one day – I read about Carole DiFalco Radziwill, from The Real Housewives of New York City. And even with all of her education, and all of her degrees in journalism, and all of her celebrity connections, it still took six years to write her first novel.
And that makes me feel a whole lot better about my own progress.
In the words of Richard Bach, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
And this girl has never been a quitter.
And I’m not about to quit now.
Over the years, I’ve come to learn that I do my best work when I have the least amount of distractions. Therefore I spend my time writing from 10pm until 6am, Sunday through Thursday, which means I don’t go to sleep until about 8am and I wake up around 2pm. But it’s peaceful in the middle of the night and there are no interruptions. Facebook and Twitter are fairly quiet. And I am able to get deep into the writerly zone.
Fridays I like to give myself a break by getting out of the house and having fun. There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending the afternoon sipping on martinis and eating appetizers after busting my ass all week long.
Saturdays are reserved for doing absolutely nothing – except watching movies in bed and catching up on sleep.
Sundays are spent cleaning the house and doing the laundry, so everything is fresh and new, before starting the process that night all over again.
Thankfully, this little system has been working pretty well for me.
Unfortunately, there is one downside to my new schedule.
I don’t have enough time to prowl the Internet as much as I used to. I’ve been terrible when it comes to replying to emails and I’ve been terrible when it comes to keeping up with your blogs.
And that’s a shame, really.
I’ve been blogging for seven years and most of my readers have become my real life friends. And I really want to read your stories because I genuinely care about what’s happening in your life. Besides, you guys make me laugh uncontrollably. You’ve taught me so much about myself and you’ve taught me so much about writing. You’ve held my hand during my darkest hours. And you’ve supported my hopes and dreams. Quite frankly, there’s nothing more special than feeling like I truly belong to a group of like-minded, smart, and talented people.
Also, blogging is not so much a distraction from my other writing as it is a much-needed break. My book is written in a very different voice than my blog. In fact, it’s rather dark and dirty as opposed to the light and funny I try to keep things around here.
And I believe taking some time away from my novel is refreshing – probably even necessary.
That being said, I am going to try and commit one day per week to catching up with all of your blogs. And I will do my very best to continue posting here when I have the time. This way, I will be able to manage my time and still keep up with all of you.
Speaking of keeping up with your blogs…
I’m looking for an easy and effective suggestion to follow your blogs, because clicking on 78 different links in the “Blogs I Read Daily” section of my blogroll and waiting for them to load, even if they haven’t even updated, really isn’t utilizing my time very well.
What programs or apps do YOU use to follow other blogs / receive notifications they’ve updated?
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