I am writing to you today from a state of frazzled. I know, I know … you can quit staring at me. I’m ALWAYS frazzled. I have six kids. We homeschool. I have this weird thing where I prepare meals from scratch, bake bread, and supply the family with made-to-order omelets or steaming stacks of homemade pancakes or French toast for breakfast. I’m just ASKING for frazzled, right?
Well, this past week totally kicked it up a notch.
It started–and I thought might end–with my Noble Authors Blog Tour novella. It’s not yet due, but I’m trying to aspire past the point of chasing midnight on deadline day, only to send my manuscript off at 2:59 a.m. East coast time with the excuse that it’s still “yesterday” on the Pacific. I just wanted to be early for once, you know? Just one time. So I set a deadline for myself and even said it out loud. I actually finished my draft before my self-imposed deadline, but then when I went to edit it was one (other) thing after another.
So I put my foot down … right in front of the door. Blocked it. Unless you’re dying, leave me alone. Delegated dishes, laundry, general cleaning–all of this went to the kids. (And they did a decent job, but it’s just not quite the same as when I do it.) Cooking? Not much of a problem, as it turns out the kids had VBS that week and the church fed them dinner. (I saved about $150 on groceries that week). Whatever didn’t get done, my husband took care of. He’s told me since I started writing he’d do anything it took for me to have the time I need, and he proved it time and time again, especially this past week. (Seriously, who takes six kids to the grocery store when they don’t have to do it? LOVE HIM.)
After a madcap week of hibernating, kicking through toys on my way to the bathroom, and staring at my computer until I could stare no more, I finished. I sent the story in after midnight. (I know, I know, but it was still ahead of their deadline). Then I closed my netbook and stretched out in bed, feeling all kinds of accomplished.
The next morning (or should I say later that morning? LOL) I checked my email. Guess what waited for me? A yes vote for my proposed followup novel to the novella, and edits on my upcoming novel UNFORGIVEN. Yep, I unloaded a novella and two novels landed in my lap. And my sigh of relief? I choked on it. And I blockaded the door.
Now, I tell you that to tell you this: I used to dream of having deadlines. Now I laugh at how I used to dream of having deadlines. It may be true the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, but when I look down on my frazzled, harried, ain’t-no-lounging-by-the-pool-with-a-laptop side of authoring things, I realize something pretty dang cool: deadlines and edits mean someone wants to see my work. There’s grass here, too.
And it’s gorgeous.
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