Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy anniversary... me!

One year ago today I started this blog.

I was having trouble staying motivated to finish my novel and hoped documenting my progress on line would help.

It sure did! :o)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pointed Squiggle

What does it mean--Pointed Squiggle? I finally know. It's the surface on which I'm trying to balance--wiggly and jagged; unstable and sharp.

Not surprisingly, I've been floundering. The post-Surrey low has hit full-force.

Part of it is I had an extremely busy week following the conference--filled with meetings, school projects, and birthday planning. (Kyle turned five last week! How is that possible?) Throughout it all, I woke up early to write, but most of the week was jam packed with an overwhelming heap of other responsibilities.

And part of my problem is I decided to switch gears and [shudder] outline my novel.

I'm not an outliner. Many writers use them, but I never have. As I explained in earlier blog entries, I enjoy the process of discovery that occurs during the writing process. I love to experience the story as I'm writing it and I don't think I could plan it all out before I start, because I need the act of writing in order to create.

But now I'm trying to make sure the story is tightly written and includes nothing boring or unnecessary. I expected the extraneous parts to jump out at me as I read the manuscript, but I kept getting distracted by the language and found it hard to focus on the big picture. I'm hoping an outline will help me see where the story (as opposed to the writing) needs work. Also one of the agents I met at the conference asked me to send him a detailed outline, so it's something I need to do anyway. If it can help me through this stage of the process, all the better.

Still it's a task that I wasn't expecting and I can't help but feel like my progress has ground to a halt. I'm not editing, I'm outlining. My rational mind knows it's necessary, but my illogical side believes I'm slacking off somehow.

Then there are all those typical pulls and emotions, which seem to be par for the course for moms who are also writers. My family needs me--and it doesn't matter whether I had a good morning with my novel, or a bad one--they need me regardless. No matter how frustrated and discouraged I get over my creative life, I still need to be available, both physically and emotionally, to my husband and children. Often it's hard to change hats from writer to mom and I feel like I'm letting everyone down--my family for being distracted by my writing, and myself for not pouring myself into the writing as completely as I think I should.

It's all so spiky and slippery.

Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through this and wish I could be satisfied solely with my role as a wife and mother. But I need to write--it gives more than it takes.

So I'm stuck with trying to balance on a pointed squiggle.

It's not easy, but I can't imagine living any other way.