I can’t keep track. I also was changing my baby’s diaper today and thought, Why are Bert and Ernie on my son’s diapers? What is the marketing strategy here? Ernie waving on a bum=watch more Sesame Street? I also thought, what if my face was on diapers. Or better yet, my book cover. Wouldn’t you love to see a book cover while you were changing a diaper? Or maybe even a synopsis? A blurb or two?
I am tired. And I don’t make much sense. I feel like this a lot these days. Except when I think about “these days” I realize it stretches clear back to years and years and I make excuses for myself all the time. You know, if it’s not “oh, we just moved into a house” it’s “I just had a new baby.”
Actually having kids is an awesome excuse because there’s the thing where you are supposedly absentminded/forgetful/differentpersonality when you’re pregnant. Then when you have the baby you get no sleep, etc. etc. Next thing you know they’re toddlers and you can’t catch your breath because you’re chasing them all day long.
If you’re not careful, you could go years on end never writing a word.
Writing: How I Never Write. I guess that’s what this post is about. Or on being really really tired. The thing is, I don’t want to feel bad about not writing. I want to feel like it’s okay. But then I think, why do I keep telling myself it’s okay. If I really felt fine not writing, I wouldn’t have to justify it to myself over and over, right? Am I making any sense?
I’m not. Here are a few things I’ve discovered help with this problem.
1. Write something every day. I never do this. But when I do do (ha ha ha ha) it, I feel much better. Even if it’s a paragraph. A page is awesome. Five pages? Give yourself a nice soak in the bath. You deserve it (take out all the bath toys first).
2. Have someone make you write every day. I think Carol found out that I was not writing anything. Ever. She told me I had to email her every day when I started writing and then email her again when I finished. She said she’d do the same thing. This is a little extreme and we’re only doing this for specific projects, for a short period of time but the pressure has been magic. Something about having someone a) care and b)hold you accountable is priceless. In one week I wrote more than I had in a month. A less intense version of this is having a writing group that expects a certain amount of pages each month (every other month). Deadlines help too, even if you impose them on yourself.
3. Don’t compare yourself to people who have kids near the same age as yours (hello Shannon Hale, Jessica Day George, Add your name to the list) and produce eighty five thousand awesome books a year. Everyone is special. Isn’t that the most beautiful sentence you have ever read? Don’t you want to go home and cross-stitch it? Chris? I’m looking at you? What I mean is, it really is true we all have our own way of doing things. Our own pace, our own set of problems, our own kids, our own broken ovens, our own parents, our own body fat, our own style. And it’s okay. You do what you can do.
4. Be happy. This is the one. Like maybe one day I will be on diapers and you will all say you knew me when. But right now I’m okay not being on diapers. I think. I mean, right now I’m still figuring out who I want to be as a writer, a mom, a wife, a lady (can I write lady?), a person, an everything and a nothing. I’m looking for peace first. Diapers second. It is really really late.