TWO CHAPTERS LEFT. I can’t believe I’m this far. Seriously, just totally shocked. I started this whole thing seriously underestimating myself, I think. Now, I don’t claim that the book is amazing or that I’m going to love the “final” product of my first draft… I haven’t read it yet so it might be a total let down when it comes to it (insert cry-laughing emoji here), I’ve just underestimated my ability to GET. SHTUFF. DONE.
I had a wisp of an idea last summer, June or July. I decided that yes, I was going to write a book. Not that I would try, but that I would do. I decided it was high time that I read Harry Potter for the first time ever in my 29 years since J.K. Rowling has literally made over a billion dollars from writing a dang kids’ story. I read all seven books in about a month and a half and thought, alright, it’s time to go, girl (please somebody chime in with more Titus Andromedon inspiration).
I didn’t truly start writing until February, after completing my research, outline, and brainstorming. So, within 6 months I have written 30 chapters, over 92,000 words. For everyone wondering, “How many is that in Word pages?” 182. Single spaced. Size 11. Arial. With two more chapters to go.
And truthfully? I’ve loved every minute I’ve sat down to write. Not every minute has been easy; definitely not. But when I’ve sat down to work on the draft, it’s felt natural, even when it didn’t, because I believed in the overall project and that I could do it if I just. kept. going.
But writing has come with its personal challenges. Turns out it’s hard to write when a three-year-old and a one-year-old are just as interested in what’s happening on your computer screen as you are! A lot of my writing, especially near the end, has had to happen in fragmented chunks of time, and it’s REALLY frustrating. A big part of writing good fiction, for me at least, has been to have enough time to fully immerse myself in the character’s brain, and it’s really hard to snap from mommy brain to evil mastermind and back again. Though some days they are one in the same…
Finding the uninterrupted time has been difficult, but I’ve sort of devoted most of their nap times to writing. Which leads to another issue called My House is a Disaster. I’ve learned that when I have actually decided on a goal, I AM the type of person who can complete it (something I never gave myself credit for in the past). The problem is, until now, my goals have been things like, “Reorganize the laundry room” or, “Clean the fridge” or, “Get rid of clothes you don’t wear anymore.” All of them being one-day projects where it’s okay if the kids are following me around for most of the time. So when I set this goal for myself to WRITE A WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK, I told myself I needed to get it done in a year and a half (or, by my birthday, December 28, of this year) because that should be plenty of time. But then, like with all my other goal-driven projects, I acquired tunnel vision and I HATED having this goal just floating around out there, so I’ve basically just made it my priority to get it done at every opportunity. Which means the dishes can wait until after dinner. And dinner can be pancakes. Again.
But I’m okay with it all, because I’ve come to fully embrace one word: SEASON. Living in Minnesota my whole life has given me some ingrained wisdom, I think. Yeah, mid-winter sucks when it’s less than 0, no snow, and it’s dark at 5:00 PM. But guess what? It’ll end. It always does. And there’s always some good within each season, too. The mid-winter cold means movies by the fireplace. The early dark means my children don’t know I’m putting them to bed at 6:30.
So it is with life. My husband and I have been through some tough seasons. Post-partum being two of the hardest. He and I are both people who tend to expect too much of ourselves, and for a long time I would beat myself up for not doing ALL THE THINGS, ALL the time. But lately (and I think mothering two bebes will do this to you), I’ve realized this will never be attainable, so you choose your priorities, and call it a season. We’ve “seasoned” new jobs, student debt, cutting out treats, and pregnancy together, and right now our season is: Haddi’s gonna try this writing thing.
Soon I’ll take a little break, see where this takes us, and focus back on some of my other loves like cleaning the house (hahahahahahahahaha… yeah… we’ll see about that one…), cooking new recipes that require more than 10 minutes of prep (only because I actually DO enjoy cooking), and getting back on the play date scheduling train!
In some ways, I’ve been grateful that my friends all seem to be as busy as I have been lately, because then I don’t feel as guilty for not initiating as many play dates as I used to. I guess to be fair, play dates dropped off A LOT as soon as my second baby was born, because having a toddler and an infant at the same time sucks all the life out of you, no matter how good those children are. Now that they’re getting older and the book is almost done, we’ll try to get a little more social, but I can say one thing for sure: I’ve gained a whole new level of appreciation for the working mama. There will likely be another post on that in the future, but for now, just know that I still love all of you, my mommy friends, and soon, when life slows down (lol…) we’ll finally get that zoo date we’ve been trying to plan for the past year.
All this to say… I’m super excited. Like SO excited. My last two chapters will probably be some of the hardest I’ve written, but once they’re done, THEY’RE DONE. Sorta. We’ll see what the beta readers have to say 😉. I wanted to give an update on where I’m at, and to also just shed a little of my hyper brain activity that won’t let me sleep because I’m SO. DANG. EXCITED. Soon I’m gonna be soliciting for beta readers, so get ready folks, the fun’s just getting started!