So much for regularly scheduled anything…

You may have noticed that, in spite of the promises I made in my last blog post, there was no update this past Saturday. That’s because, as per usual, my carefully laid-out plans have gone completely awry. (sidenote: this is probably at least partially the reason I’m a pantser. Why bother outlining when it will never go that way anyhow?) Anyway, a number of things came up that veered me right off course. First, I had my writing group meeting on Monday. I was on vacation and missed the meeting before that due to packing, so I’d been away for about a month. Apparently in that time they had decided that the reading night we’d talked about doing would be at the end of this month. Then it was decided that rather than having these readings just amongst ourselves in our cozy little meeting room, we’d do it somewhere public. On the plus side, it might be at a bar. On the down side, that gives me far less time than I’m comfortable with to prepare something. This is not going to be quite as public as the reading I did in December. It’s just going to be us and anyone who happens to be in the bar/cafe/wherever it is, provided they decide to stick around. But it’s still a public place. As nerve-wracking as I find this, I really should try to get the practice, so I don’t want to bow out. So that means that I have to have something prepared.

Which brings me to the next thing that has messed up my schedule. My short story has now come back from all readers with WILDLY differing suggestions (though overall positive feedback which is nice). This means that I have to go through everything, decide what I’m taking and what I’m not. I’m getting through it at about a page an hour and they are exhausting hours. My deadline on this is mid-April (thank god), so I’m concentrating fully on this one and on a friend’s novel edit. Once those are off the table, I can go back to the other things where the deadlines are more of the made-up variety.

And the last two things to throw me off – March Break last week which mean Kid A was at home and that meant babynaps were usually spent playing with him. And, on top of it all, I caught Baby D’s terrible cold on Friday so I have not been able to focus quite as much as I’d like.

So there are all of my excuses. I do plan to get back on schedule, just as soon as the short story is sent off, this reading night is done and my friend’s novel is edited. But being able to breathe would definitely be a good first step to getting back on track.

Now back to my regularly-scheduled blogging. I hope.

Geez, you walk away from your blog for upwards of two months and apparently someone thinks it’s okay to go in and completely change the updating format. Some nerve. I’ll try to adapt. 😉

So, yes, once again I find myself apologizing for a hiatus. I’m sorry. I really am. Maybe in a few years, when both of the kids are in school, I’ll be able to update more regularly. My hope is that the new schedule I’ve set for myself will lead to my wandering onto this site a little more often (I hope). More on that later.

Actually, more on that now. (See? I’m such a pantser I don’t even plan out my blog posts :P) . Part of the reason I’ve been away from the blog for so long is just how many projects I have on the go at the moment. I’m nearly done the long edits on the novel. I’m rewriting a chapter in that novel from another POV. I’ve started the sequel. I’m working on a query and a synopsis. I’m polishing up a short story for submissions. Plus I’m editing, not only my own work, but a novel for a friend and occasional projects for people in my writing group. And on top of all of that, I’ve been very strict with myself about working out, trying to keep the house in some semblance of order (hahaha) and, you know, not ignoring my kids. Up until a  couple of weeks ago, my method had been chip away at everything a little bit every day. A chapter on the novel. 10 pages of editing for my friend. A page of a short story. Etc. Etc. While I thought this meant that everything would get done at roughly the same time, what it actually meant was that I was forcing myself to switch creative gears rather often during my “writing time” segments during the day. And since those segments are only during Baby D’s nap and sometimes an hour or two in the evening, I barely let myself breathe between those switch-overs. And if there happened to be anything that I was less interested in working on – query letters, say – it was very easy to just work a little bit longer on everything else until the baby woke up. Oh darn, guess I’ll have to work on it tomorrow.

This all became very apparent to me while I was on vacation. I managed to escape the Canadian winter for two weeks this February and I had big plans of all of the writing and editing I was going to do while away. And you know what? I didn’t do much of it. A little bit, yes. But not anywhere near as much as I had “scheduled”. And, at a time when I was supposed to be relaxing, I found myself stressing out about everything I wasn’t doing, everything I had to do when I got home. Especially when my husband pointed out that it was probably really time to get started on that damn query letter.

And once I got home, things didn’t get better in that regard. I continued on my every-project-every-day schedule until I realized that all I was left with at the end of the day was a feeling that I’d accomplished pretty much nothing, nothing was completed and I was still completely stressed out. And that was worrisome. I actually have the opportunity to be pursuing my passion and, while I understand that everything is stressful some of the time, it wasn’t a good sign that the thing I most love to do was stressing me out all of the time.

And so I reset my plans. 6 projects, 6 days, one day off. On Monday I work on the novel edits. Tuesday, short stories. Wednesday, query and synopsis (read: housecleaning). Thursday, editing my friend’s MS and any other editing-for-others on my plate. Friday, since it is #writeclub on Twitter, I’ve slotted in chapter rewrite and sequel work. Saturday is social media and blogging, since I’ve also been remiss at actually following the blogs I follow. I’m also using Saturdays to catch up anything I’m feeling especially behind on. And Sunday is my day off. It might not always work out that way, but that is the standard schedule and I’m giving myself permission to mess with it as necessary. Just last week I had to switch two of the days because I was waiting for an edit to come in. And so far the new process is working well.

And how are those many many projects working out, you ask? Pretty well, I’d say. On the novel – and yes, there is a tentative title, but it’s still pretty tentative – I’m nearly done my “long edits”, then I have to comb through for consistency errors. I’m rewriting one chapter from a different POV (on the advice of a CP) to see which I like better. And yes, I actually have started the query letter writing process, as daunting as it seems.

Short story work is going well too, I think. It’s done, the first round of comments are back and it has been sent off to a few other people. Once I hear back from them, I’ll start polishing it up.

I guess the only other real writing-related “news” is that I’m taking my writing class again next semester! We managed to squeeze it into the budget and I am so excited to get back to it! The only drawback is that a lot of the ‘regulars’ aren’t taking it, but one of my closest friends is for the first time. And I’m definitely looking forward to meeting a bunch of new writers too. 🙂

So hey, I managed a blog post (and yes, Baby D is up. Sigh.) With any luck, I’ll have some time to comment on some others and then I’ll see you all again next Saturday. 😉

Oh, but before I go – proof of Reading Night. 🙂