THOUGHTS, RAMBLINGS, WHATEVS
Believe it or not, I’m still recuperating from my move. Mostly because I honestly haven’t had much time to rest. It’s crazy how being a full-time mama really permeates every single aspect of your life. You’re never really off duty; you’re always cooking, cleaning, changing, nursing, soothing, playing, and just generally trying to manage your kid’s crazy while also trying to fulfill necessary obligations for both your lives. Grocery shopping. Running errands. Touring day cares. HYGIENE. Lol. Parenting’s assault on your life is merciless… unless you have lots of help, that is.
But I’m not complaining, really. I enjoy my boo. Also, I think I’m finally understanding how to just let things flow. Pretty sure I said that a couple weeks ago too, but it bears repeating. I look around my apartment, and it’s a disaster zone of unfinished things: clothes vomited out of suitcases, more luggage standing sentinel in the corner waiting to be unpacked, shoes piled in a box, old clothes waiting for the Goodwill, dishes interrupted.
There are so many things I still need to do! Shop for furniture, hang pictures, decorate, get my thrift and arts n’ crafts on. And actually get the money to do all of these things. Instead, though, I’m sitting on my living room floor (no couch y’all, lol), writing this while also praying that my daughter stays asleep long enough so that I can get even a draft of this done. But, strangely, while I’m desperate for a vacuum cleaner and some actual time to vacuum, I don’t feel stressed. I feel pretty fortunate, actually.
This cray, disarray, and money fears will only last about two months of the entire 3+ years (or more) that I’ll be here. Like all things, this psycho stage too shall pass. I think a year or even six months ago I would’ve been really stressed and pissed that I wasn’t able to make my apartment the perfect cozy haven I desired. I would have been stressed about money and everything else. But recently, when a problem crops up, I literally think to myself, “Hm. That’s an issue. I know there’s a solution somewhere. Aha! There it is / could be. Now let’s make it happen. I’m going to take these steps, and in the meanwhile, I’m just gonna be zen. This solution won’t be a perfect or totally clean solution, but it will solve most of the problem, if not all of it. Moving on?”
This simple mindset change has really lifted a world of burden off my shoulders. I know that no matter what happens, things will be fine. I might take some temporary lumps, but I’ll be just dandy in the end.
This is my new normal, and I LOVE it.
Actually, that’s sort of a good point: I think a huge part of living your life and starting anew is not just settling, exploring your city, and breaking in your new home. It really also means finding a new normal. After all the moving-crazy died down, that’s what this entire last two weeks has really been about: where do I buy groceries, and how far do I have to walk? How do I register to vote and where? What’s driving around town going to feel like? (Answer: AMAZING.) Where is my job and the daycare, and what are the best routes to get there? How do I manage public transportation? What is our daily morning and night routine? What are my days off vs. my psycho days on? How can I structure my day and the kid’s day so that we get the most out of it and have the most fun in this new uncharted territory? WHERE is the mommy-baby yoga?
And so on and so forth.
That sort of stuff. When your changing habits and habitats, getting a “new normal” down is paramount. But it’s also going to take time. Again, I’m just trying to let it flow right now, as I discover all the fun, resources, support, and adventures that Tucson has to offer. I really do like this city a LOT.
So yeah, like I said: GRATITUDE.
The only semi-frustrating thing is that I still have to fight (right now) to get words on the page. As Toni Morrison advises, “I write at the edges of the day.” Between my fatigue, my full-time job as a mother, and trying to settle in (including applying for summer side gigs), it’s just super difficult to get into a mind space. So every attempt to write feels desperate.
Like horror movie desperate.
You know, when the last of the survivors has found a way out of their post-apocalyptic hell, but the heroine’s gotta bypass the super max security system to the escape route before the monsters break in and kill her along with everyone else… and she’s only got 3 minutes and 37 seconds to do it? Yeah, son. That kind of desperate. The hyperventilating, heart-pounding, type-as-fast-as-you-fucking-can-and-get-the-words-out-on-the-fucking-page-or-die kind of desperate. I mean, it gets words written, sure, but in exchange I give up some significant pieces of my soul.
Which, to me, defeats the purpose of writing.
Yes, I’m trying to make a career. Absolutely, I want to release these five next books of The Books of Ezekiel THIS year and I WILL. Definitely, I want to be insanely prolific, and I want to write, edit, and professionally publish at least 8 books per year, every year. YES, I have over 60 unique intellectual properties and projects on my development slate that I want to complete over the course of my career and counting, and YES, I DO want to build my multimedia f’empire to be the greatest and most kick ass female-identified media conglo to ever exist on the fucking planet. I want to be a creative badass, because I love it, and I know I’m good at it, and I’ll be successful at it, and I don’t want to languish and assume that I’ll be around for the next 50 years to do it. I want to make it happen NOW.
But for real? I started this journey because I. LOVE. WRITING. And creating.
I show up to write because I love sitting at my desk and feeling the reality around me fall away as I build worlds for my characters. I love crafting and following their journeys, making surprise discoveries, falling in love and in hate with them. Being proud of them or disappointed in them. Discovering the magic of their worlds with them. Innovating with them. Storming fortresses with them.
I love creating mythical languages and designing, in full-detail, magic and science systems.
I love building histories and exploring hypothetical social, economic, and political scenarios in magical or scientifically advanced contexts.
I love building forks in the roads of life and crafting plot iterations based off my characters’ development or lack thereof. I love testing social and interpersonal hypothesis through my work, and I love looking at my own society through the lenses of the ecosystems I create.
I love languishing. I love how my characters know their worlds a lot better than I do, how they take on lives of their own, and give me the guided tour.
I love creating; I love writing. It’s fun, therapeutic, and it makes me happy. But the rub here is that all of this anthropological awesomeness I just mentioned? IT TAKES TIME. As with most journeys, it’s hard to really get immersed if you’re just blazing through, much like I do when I’m in a race against toddler time to get words on the page. While being in Cray Cray Creator mode, SURE I get down 500-1000 words at a time, and that’s awesome. But this race to the finish isn’t satisfying for me. And that’s the struggle.
I don’t NEED more time to finish a novel; I simply desire it. Because I want to explore my worlds, and I want to take my time doing so. I want to think. I want to struggle. I want to read and research and make my writing process a growth process as well as a process of learning, discovery, and exploration. I don’t want to take years doing it, but I do want to take a lot more time than I am now.
For other authors, my point of view is undesirable. The “I want to take time to make this great” attitude is often what allows many writers to take literally 10 years to finish their “great American novel”. And I get that. I do think authors should have deadlines and word counts that they aim for. Definitely. And the bottom line is that if I want to publish at least 8 books a year, I need to get at least 3,000 words on the page, every day, for at least 330 days. I can’t afford to just languish all damned day. Period. I get that.
But I also don’t want to be just a word farm. So it’s always a balance. It should be a balance. You should race and rest. You should launch and languish. You should rush and really, truly, simply write. The way my life is set up at the moment, all I do race, launch, and rush right now, lol! And it’s terrible!
But I know I will strike a balance again. I know it. It’s just about being centered and patient and having a long-term view of things, while also avoiding burn out.
Oooh! That’s another good point. Burn out and mindsets. And I have more thoughts on that, but this is getting on a bit. So I’ll stop here and slam down an update on my “wins” for this week and plans for next week. Stay tuned NEXT Monday, though, for my thoughts on burn out and mindsets. I feel a helpful post coming on!
Anyways! This is what happened last week, and what I’ll be doing this week (for the rest of it, in any case):
LAST WEEK’S HAUL
What I wrote: My word count blew chunks this week, yo. A magical 542 words for The Iron Maiden. Let that sink in: 542. SMDH. But strangely enough, I also got some words down for my next novel series, which was pretty nice. I’m writing this post from June 21-24, so yes, I can already tell you that I’ll have a more favorable word count to report in next week’s post.
What I edited: Nothing. My cray cray apartment is getting edited as I’m trying to settle in, maybe?
What I read / watched / listened to: No books this week, but I DID start catching up on Scandal, and I’m sooo glad I did! The seasons after season 3 have started to make a little less sense, but they’re still AMAZINGLY well-written, and I love all the characters. The acting is great. And of course, Olivia Pope’s wardrobe is EVERYTHING.
What I researched / developed: I actually sequenced half of a not-so-secret, secret book that I’m working on, and I also did some plotting and research for it too! Doing this was a lovely change of pace and actually gave me more motivation to work on The Iron Maiden. I also set up some story templates for four other books in this (secret) series, and surprisingly, I was also able to outline a Plotting course that I’m putting together for The Bohemian Badass!
It feels like this week I was slowly stoking my creative fires after my crazy two weeks of moving and settling. But all projects are moving forward; and yes, I still am working on the ASYLUM trilogy, the FORGOTTEN trilogy, and The Iron Maiden, along with the next four books in The Books of Ezekiel series. “Finish what you start, finish what you start…”!
What I learned: No creative uni this week, AGAIN. But I am learning to take it slowly and go with the flow. No worries here.
THIS WEEK’S HUSTLE
What I’m writing: More of The Iron Maiden. (And more of the secret series, so that I can keep my creative fires alive!)
What I’m editing: Nothing. I’m staying as far away from editing as humanly possible, lol!
What I’m reading / watching / listening to: I’d love to finish reading both All Hallows’ Moon and Season 4 of Scandal. I think I can, I think I can!
What I’m learning: I’m finishing up this post today (Friday, June 25), and I honestly don’t see any school happening for this week. But I’m open to surprises!
This was a really REALLY long post. I don’t think there are any thoughts left to think for this week, lol! So if you have any of your OWN thoughts to drop here, I’d love to hear them. Tell your creative story! See you next week!
Writing on, rocking on, and forever journeying towards creative badassery,