But I do have too many balls in the air (Ok, that's just going to make me giggle for awhile). Probably you do too. It sucks. Back in June I had a long summer break before me. I planned on spending mornings working on a new Encyclopedia project my historian friend Rosanne Welch (you should check out her new book on the MONKEES!) and I took on, and then the afternoons working on my third novel. Oh, so bucolic . . . . And then life happened.
Now don't get me wrong. I have been writing, but maybe I'm not as far as I wanted to be. Fist, I lost about a week to a damn fire. Lytle Creekers were evacuated for 6 days for the extra scary Blue Cut Fire. My super-hero daughter managed to evacuate all the creatures by herself because I was on the wrong side of the road block when it went up, but Emma did not pack my lap top. To be fair, I did't tell her too, being far too concerned with the 6 dogs, 2 cats, 8 toroises and 2 canaries. Also, fearing for your home and community is not conducive to writing so I probably woulnd't have gotten much work done anyway.
THEN, Leo and I had to take Emma to Montana, to college. I'm just going to say that taking your kid to another state and LEAVING HER is not one of life's funnest things. It's not the worst thing, but it sucks pretty hard. More NOT writing.
THEN, I got back and went at the third novel pretty hard, but other projects kept interfering. I had to edit a bunch of new entries for a science and technology encyclopedia, do page proofs for the women's history encyclopedia (see Amazon for that Bad Girl!). And one of my two jubs started, so I have college stuff and teaching stuff.
I know this sounds like a list of bullshit excuese for why I haven't been writing. But I have been writing. I've been doing pretty well, except for that 2.5 week break for Fire and dumping the kid. BUT, I wanted to be done with novel #3 before Cal Poly started back and I'm not going to make it.
So what's the lesson here? Work harder? Maybe. But, like a lot of writers, I work pretty hard already. I bet some of you work pretty darn hard. If you don't, then the lesson is GET TO WORK! But, maybe what I (and maybe you) need to do is re-evaluate my goals. My original 5-year plan (more about that later) had me writing one novel last summer, another this summer. So I'm really 2/3 of a novel ahead of my original schedule. It's just that I revised the original schedule and now I'm behind. But am I? Behind what? My own bull shit schedule? So?
Lazy writers have no balls in the air. They watch TV, or they talk about writing and don't do it, or they play video games, or whatever, but they don't have any writing balls in the air. The cool thing about that is you can't drop what's not in the air.
But if you have a lot of writing balls in the air you're gonna drop some. Maybe what I should do is juggle fewer balls. Yea, like that's going to happen. So, maybe what I ought to do is not beat myself up for dropping a ball occasionally. Crap. This metaphor is confusing. What I'm trying to say is if you're working hard and not getting as far, as fast as you'd like, .revise your writing (and life) goals. Make your goals realistic. Be nicer to yourself.
Now, I've got to write my protagonist out of a spot of bother, finish the last two files of revised page proofs and drive into Walnut to teach a history class, all the while congratulating myself for what I do manage to get done before I collapse in a puddle of dropped balls.