I’ve been writing like a possessed woman this summer, nearing 190,000 words in a little over 2 months. Part of that is because I’ve had this story in my head for nearly two years and it was well fleshed out. Another part was that I discovered with Camp NaNoWriMo how much visuals helped motivate me to meet my goal. The other part is summer.
I’m lucky enough to have summers off, and I’ve always attempted to write during the summertime. This is the first year I’ve actually accomplished that though. As I see the summer coming to a close, I’m starting to freak out a little, especially when I woke up last weekend and it actually felt and smelled like autumn outside. It’s like some primitive part of my brain was awoken, and I felt like I needed to pack my backpack full of school supplies and lace up my new tennis shoes.
Writing while working is hard. My mind gets stuck on helping clients even when I’m not on the clock. In the afternoons, I have to help my daughter with her homework, and by the time she’s in bed at night, I’m exhausted. Writing just doesn’t happen. I’ve carved out time in the early afternoon to write, but if I’ve learned anything about my writing habits over the years it is this: I write well first thing in the morning while drinking my two cups of coffee. I write well late at night, usually from eleven to about two in the morning. There’s a dead zone in-between.
That’s why I’m pushing myself so hard. I’m afraid I’ll not find those quiet moments when my brain is working at full capacity, or at least full capacity for writing. Editing is another story entirely. I can easily edit when busy with the rest of my life. I’ll have three books to edit and get ready to submit. I’ll also have edits on my book that is to be released in October/November.
I’m not sure many of the people around me understand this about me. Luckily the most important, my husband, does. It helps that he’s a creative type that gets how driven I can get, because he gets that way too. We once spent an entire weekend recording and mixing a song he wrote while taking his shower early one Saturday morning. I’m grateful to have such support.
Yet, I wonder how other writers manage this. What do you do?