This has been a weird week, a hard week for many reasons. I’ve got a lot of changes going on in my life and I’ve always been one to embrace change, but I usually have to freak out to myself a little bit to push on through. Now I have a blog, so I guess you all get to freak out with me. 🙂
Last week my husband quit his job so that he could stay home and write. He more than had my blessing to do this. His job was horrible, he hated it and he brought all of his anxiety and frustration with his job home every day. It was getting to the point where neither one of us knew why he was going to a job to make money to pay for a life that was, in fact, pretty freaking miserable.
So, he’s home now. With me. All the time. This first week we had some stumbling, some realizations that day-to-day life wasn’t going to work the way it did when he was only home late in the evenings and on the weekends.
We each get a two-hour block in the day to write while the other tends to the kids. That is working out okay, but we’re still trying to wean the kids from asking me for everything. I drop the boy off at school and he picks up. I get the trash ready and he wheels the bins out to the curb. You get it.
It’s nice to have help and it’s…hard for me to have help.
We went to the grocery store. You guys know how I like the grocery store and I use it for thinking time, plotting time? I like to go down all the aisles because I rarely make a grocery list and I depend on seeing things to remember that we need them. My husband is an efficient person. He goes to the grocery store for what’s on the list and then he leaves.
I’m standing over by the eggs and he takes the cart with the kids in it and goes down the soda aisle to get his Dr. Pepper. And I just…
That’s not the way I do things. So, I marched down the aisle, huffily put the eggs and the milk in the cart, grabbed it by the handle and said, “I’ve got a system!”
He let me push the cart until it was time to go out to the parking lot and load the car.
We’ve been together for twelve years, so I’m thinking he has a system too. A system for dealing with me and all my systems. 🙂
Then, the next day I got word that my cousin had passed away unexpectedly. We hadn’t seen each other in decades, but he’d joined Facebook a few months ago and we’d chatted a couple of times – about sports, about kids, about our parents and our granny. Say what you will about Facebook being a time-suck, but it did give me some “time” to spend with him that I will always be grateful for.
Naturally this made me depressed and being depressed is something that I always feel like I need to drive myself to get over as soon as possible. Because I have children and responsibilities, I can’t become a useless person who sleeps all day, even if that’s what I want to do.
I always try to picture myself on the other side of it. My system for that is a lot of driving and crying and listening to loud music. A lot of standing outside and staring at the sky. It only kind of worked this time around. So, without becoming useless, I’m trying to just hang out with the feeling and let it be.
I’d been on a roll with Glow, writing over 1K a day (which is good for me), but I struggled with writing yesterday and only got 880 words out. When I reached the end of my alloted writing time, I realized that I knew what came next but I just didn’t feel like writing it. And then I thought some more and realized that not only did I know what came next in the chapter I was working on, but I knew what came next for the rest of the book.
That’s never happened to me before.
Should I make an outline? Was I going to forget what I knew?
It seemed dumb to go with my regular system of jotting bits and pieces down on Post-it notes when I knew it all. That’s an assload of Post-its. Like, a whole pack.
I noodled on the idea of writing an outline for a day. Got my courage up from talking to some ROW80 peeps and reading and commenting on a blog post by Kristie Cook. So, when it was my writing time today, instead of writing I outlined the remaining chapters in Glow – chapters 8-21. And they just poured out of my head. It took me twenty minutes.
Okay, I didn’t so much make a formal outline as I wrote a summary of what happened in each chapter, including snippets of dialogue and gave each chapter an overall theme. Still, it’s all there. I felt like I’d finished writing the book.
It was weird, but I felt…better. Lighter. Cool with things.
I’ve said before that I’m the most human-y human that ever lived (or something like that) and like all humans, I’ve got control issues.
But I can adapt. I can change. I can trade out one system for another or, hell, completely get rid of a system that doesn’t do me good anymore.
And if I can do it, so can you.
Sometimes you just have to hand over the shopping cart.