So I totally missed last weeks post – I had every intention of doing one, even made comments to several people over the week that it would be coming. Yeah, nah. It didn’t eventuate. You see, I went away for the weekend sans children with some other mums and it was lovely. We talked and played games, walked on the beach, ate excellent food (in peace!), did what we wanted when we wanted to, spent many hours sea-gazing. It was lovely, and I wasn’t really ready to snap back into work mode afterwards. So I didn’t.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious to me how important down time is. I know that might sound a bit silly – I have spent a lot of time recently downsizing responsibilities and streamlining my work flow – but I am almost never ‘off duty’. I always have several things on the go. I always know what is next in my queue, and I hardly ever give myself time off everything. On Sunday morning I stayed in bed and read a book from start to finish. I don’t remember the last time I did that. In fact, I barely have time to read lately.
So, while I have already made changes, I know now that I have to make more. I need to sort out my priorities and cull the things that are no longer working for me. And I’m good with that.
What else has been going on? I’ve started working on my next proofing job (which is going to take me a gazillion years! Who writes books this long, Anthony?!), and I have been wrangling with a short story that I want to submit to an anthology call. This story has been playing havoc with me for weeks. I first got the inklings of it on the 3rd of May. I know this because we were driving to Auckland and I was tired and dozing in and out while we traveled through the Gorge. The landscape is amazing and really influenced my thoughts. I made a lot of notes. A. Lot.
I’ve continued to make a lot of notes. I’ve started the piece four times now. I’ve tried it in different tenses and points of view. I’ve tweaked and twisted it, but it’s never felt quite right. It’s incredibly frustrating and because it IS so challenging, I have to finish it. It’s a puzzle. The weekend I was away I realized it was actually two puzzles, and I was trying to form one cohesive puzzle with all the pieces, so I removed some until I thought I just had one puzzle. Yesterday I realized it’s one puzzle but I have some extra pieces in there and so now I think I have excised all the extras, the bits that aren’t this story, and fingers crossed I can get the draft knocked out and to my crit group for the weekend.
Aside from this, my youngest turned five last Monday. FIVE?!?! How did that happen? I can’t quite believe it. She’s such a bright wee soul, and amazes me all the time. All she wanted was to go up the mountain to the snow, but the weather wasn’t good for it, so she went swimming in the morning with friends, and then on to Chipmunks, and then shopping for a present with her Nana! Busy day, happy girl 🙂
So, that’s me. I’ve still got a lot to do, but am going to work on simplifying things some more and working towards even better life/work balance. It’s hard, as a writer, there are stories everywhere and I can’t stop them from playing in my head – what I can do, is find ways to give myself more dream time, more reading time, more down time between launching into something new. I’m even thinking of giving myself a day off every week. WHAT????? Crazy talk.