It’s almost the end of January and I’ve been thinking about my New Year’s Resolution. Calling it a resolution and telling everyone about it, was my way of kicking myself in the rear end to get a move on and fulfill this dream that has lingered around me for almost a decade. Do it. Write it. Get to a stage where you can tell everyone you have a finished manuscript rather than the cute, normal line of I have two half written novels. Aren’t I adorable? Who hasn’t heard that one before? I think we all have a couple of half written novels somewhere, either sitting in a drawer (under the bed in my case), flung onto a hard drive that may or may not work these days or floating above the clouds in your head. I’ve longed to have my novel written and this is the year I’ve told myself I’m going to do. Nuff said! It’s happening! Boom! Make it so! Where does it sit now, you may ask. Has my word count doubled? Have my characters become my best friends or my worst nightmares? Have I done anything?
Well… yes and no.
Procrastination is my super duper best friend right now and while I have the best and most honest of intentions, I’m afraid to say my novel hasn’t progressed very far. An entire month has skipped past me and I’m no futher along on my dream.
When I took note of the date on the calendar this week, it sort of hit me. And hit me hard, like a thump in the chest from a basketball. Its the end of January, and I’ve written squat. And I said this novel would be finished by April. Sheesh, get a move on! What’s the point in having a dream if you’re not going to realise it. At least visualise it and you may be one step closer to reality.
I’m full of excuses. Although, it can’t really be an excuse when it’s true and relevant, right? Right? My list of reasons as to why my novel hasn’t budged anywhere further than it was before the fireworks went off on New Years Eve include:
I’m 22 weeks pregnant. Well d’uh. Excuse accepted! This one’s probably the most reasonable excuse as to why I’ve let January disappear. I have shitty iron levels which are making me more and more tired. I’ve finally managed to kick the morning sickness to the curb but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days still. I’m growing a human being for Pete’s sake.
I have a job. Jeez! I work a four day week with a long commute. On top of my insides being squished and my organs being used as a wrecking ball, this is making me even more exhausted to the point of crashing once A is fast asleep in bed.
I’m still blogging. Not as prolifically as I once was, but that’s more to do with the fact that I’ve restructured the blog to suit my schedule… oh yes, that new schedule that was supposed to incorporate novel writing time! I’m aiming for two to three blog posts a week now and so far so good, I’ve kept that up. This was supposed to give me more time to write but have I mentioned how tired I am in the evenings… I do believe I have!
I’ve been planning the baby’s room. Anyone who knows me, will tell you that this means frequent evenings spent on the ikea website, trawling through Pinterest and annoying the hell out of B as I shift furniture from one room to another (and sometimes back again). I’m way too organised but if I didn’t get the baby’s room organised now I’d be at panic stations just as I’m about to pop. No one wants to see a stressed out, irrational, full term pregnant woman choosing wallpaper and furnishings.
And finally, the best excuse of all, I have a toddler to run around after which brings its own laughs and drama. A is an absolute riot. She’s so caring and loving. She tickles her little baby sister and gets the foot stool for me if I ask. But she also loves to dance, insist we play on the floor with her and plays Scooby Doo which means plenty of running around the house away from ghosts and monsters. Tiredness pushed to its very limits!
I can’t really say that I haven’t written anything or ticked a few things of my novel writing list. Come on Ger, give yourself a bit of credit!
I did print out that half written manuscript and start to make edits… pointless edits because that print out now resides under my bed adn those edits haven’t officially been made. I started editing again using my brand spanking new laptop! About time I bought one, to be fair. I’ve been blogging on my phone and tablet for eight months. Tedious I tell ya. The laptop has encouraged me but not enough I’ll be honest. I’ve opened my manuscript dozens of times, and edited the same few paragraphs over and over again. Why I can’t move on to the next chapter is beyond me, or God forbid write a new chapter.
I need a bigger push. I need Mr Motivator.
I have been a bit cheeky though.
At the beginning of January I decided to take the bull by the horns and sent out query letters to a handful of Literary Agents. A bit of a bold step since most agents want the full manuscript and I specified that I have two half written novels (that phrase has gotten so old, so quick on this journey – I’m embarrassed by it now). And Literary Agents scare me. Probably because I revere them so much. If I want to be a novelist I’ll need a good agent to back me up. I’ll need someone on my side. I’ll need someone other than my mum (sorry mum) to say Hey Ho, this girl can write!
It wasn’t until Wednesday night this week that I got a bit of a push. A sort of whack that jolted me upright and made me say For the love of Pete, what’s the point in a Literary Agent if there’s no novel. I received an email from the office of one of those revered lords of the literature world asking for the first three chapters of my novel. Oh me oh my, someone wants to read it! So, that night, I whipped out my fancy new laptop, activated my one month trial of Office 365 (mental note get Office 365) and edited the Bejaysus out of the first three chapters. Dear lord God in heaven, how many times will I edit the same few chapters over and over.
Anyway, email sent, edited chapters attached, done, dusted. Laptop closed but opportunity realised.
I’m not expecting to hear from any agents about how amazing my work is, and how they are all clamboring over themselves to sign me up. However, it’s a gentle nudge and the push I need. I read my manuscript and I enjoy it. I enjoy reading my own writing. I love writing it. How awesome will it be when it’s finished?
Push, Push, Push – I have to do it. This dance is like childbirth. No one else is going to do this for me, so do it, push it out and wrap that baby up!
I’m happy with moving towards the slow blogging movement and publishing two to three posts a week. It genuinely does give me a bit more time to focus on the novel. As for the tiredness, I have to accept that there will be days when I get nothing done but on the days, like Wednesday night, when I get a push and an urge, I will write, not edit, write.
April may be a bit ambitious, but I can only try. It would be nice to have the manuscript finished by the time A’s little sister enters the world.
So perhaps by the end of February, it’ll be a different story but I’m not going to curse myself if my new best friend, procrastination, has lingered around a little longer.
I’ll get it done, but like this little baby, it’s a work in progress 😉