Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 ways motherhood has changed my writing

Happy February everyone!

The last month has been a whirlwind of writing, something that hasn't happened in a very long time. It feels great being in the zone and making progress. In the last 30 days, I've revised and finished first round of edits on Urban Goddess Mama-to-Be (coming out spring 2015), revised 40/180 pages and added 3K new words to Temple of the Moon (coming out summer 2015, stay tuned more to come).

Okay, so maybe that doesn't sound like a lot, but it is for me. And here's why. Motherhood is a time suck. It takes up every ounce of energy that I have, leaving very little to nothing for anything else. I've already blogged about my struggles since becoming a mom here. On top of that I work 40 hours a week at a very mentally demanding job. But since last August, I have been slowly getting my mojo back and it feels great, but my writing process has changed a lot since I started this blog years ago.

1. My Speed. Before Baby (BB), I used to be able to crank out 3-5K works a day, sometimes in one evening. Now if I get 300-500 words done in one day, I consider it a very successful day. I spent the last two years berating myself for this, but over the last few months, I've realized that my slower speed is perfectly okay. At least I'm making progress. Sure, it might take me months to complete a short novel, but I'm okay with that.

2. Writing Time. BB, I used to write in the evening. As soon as the sun went down, all the muses came out to play. Now when it gets dark outside, I'm counting down the minutes when I get to go to bed. I don't have a specific writing time anymore. I have to do it when I have a free moment and that can happen at all hours of the day or night. Most of the time I get any writing done is during the day on the weekend when my husband is home to watch the Boo Creature.

3. Writing Environment. BB, I did most of my writing at home, or on my hour-long public transportation commute each way from work. Now, I do most of my writing at Panera Bread or anywhere outside my home because when I'm home there are way too many distractions. Suddenly the pile of laundry looks more appealing than hashing out a plot and the desire to clean the toilet (my least favorite chore) grows greater than writing the next chapter. Besides my blogging and nonfiction work, everything else takes place outside my home. No complaints here, since I work from home for day job, it's nice to get out and see what the outside world looks like.

4. Motivation. BB, when I'd reach a wall in a WIP, I'd stop and go write something else and when I'd try to edit/revise a completed manuscript, I'd get about 20-50 pages in and stop because I thought the story was crap. Much of that hasn't changed, but now I have this weird motivation I didn't have before. While my gut reaction is to stop and write something else, I wait a couple of hours or days and pick up where I left off. There is a new determination I've never had before to get my fiction out there. One look at my daughter and I know I must do the icky work of editing and revising to get my novel publishing ready.

5. Pantster to Plotster. BB, pantster all the way. Then came prego-brain followed by postpartum brain and I couldn't remember shit. Now I do a little plotting. Not too much, because then I'll loose interest in the story, but enough so I know where I'm going. Michael Hauge's 5 Turning Points has been most helpful.

I'm getting there, folk, I'm getting here. Thanks for stopping by and more to come on Temple of the Moon


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