Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Novel's Journey: Change of plans

Man proposes; God disposes.

When I teach classes about the writing life, I try to emphasize two points: (1)If you want to succeed as a writer, you have to make time to write, and (2) if you're not depending on this for your income, you need to remember life comes first.

This month, I've been challenged to learn my own lessons.

2010 was an amazing year for writing. The kids were in school, and I had a great schedule that worked. I wrote two books, and will have three published. I also wrote two school planners and three new workshops, as well as a couple of short stories. I was averaging over a thousand words a day just in new writing on a novel or story, and up to 10,000 in other venues. In addition, I got my housekeeping down to a habit, which has done wonders for our home and I'd figured I was finally on my way to a nice, regular, long-term schedule.

Then Liam started having problems at home and school, and moving to Utah has not made it easier as we'd hoped. We're in for a long haul of getting him the help he needs. The schools here have been wonderful--much better than in California--and they're working with us, but right now, he's studying at home and will be for awhile. Even when he returns, there will be a lot we need to work on. Rob has been wonderful in taking time off, coming home early and doing what he can, but he con only do so much before his work suffers--and when you work with nukes, that's a Bad Thing.

I want to write. I need to write. But it doesn't put the food in our mouths. My first job is to nurture my marriage and raise my children to be intelligent, compassionate good citizens.

So, time for a new proposal...

DISCOVERY isn't going as smoothly as I'd hoped. It's serious sci-fi, and with all that's happening, I don't have the leftover mental or spiritual energy to tackle it by year's end as I'd hoped. However, I have a dear friend who has agreed to look over my mess of a manuscript, kick the tires, poke the holes, and give me some suggestions. It's off to him. I'm not giving up, but it's back in the percolating stage to be dinked with as I get inspired.

In the meantime, I will concentrate first on marketing the books I have coming out, and selling my short stories, which I concentrated on this week. Then, I'm going to write something else that I've been wanting to do, but which is light, easy and makes me laugh--maybe Gapman or Redcap. I'm not sure yet which. I'll only work on them in spare time, however; this is now at a thousand words a week kind of goal, and a loose one at that. I may even cut down to "one sentence before bed" if necessary. The key, as I've told my workshop students, is to have a consistent writing practice, even if it's a tiny goal.


Walt said...

As somebody or other once commented, "One word is still more than none."

Anonymous said...

Though I don't agree with everything he said in What's Wrong with the World, this quote from Chesterton always sticks in my mind:

"One’s own children, one’s own altar, ought to be a matter of principle-–or if you like, a matter of prejudice."

I applaud your attempts at a principle-driven lifestyle.