The Big Picture

It's 3 am and I can't sleep, a ridiculous scenario that's becoming more frequent as my pregnancy progresses. While I watch the Iron Chefs duke it out with some ingredient I've never heard of, only one pervasive thought is on my mind: I should be working on my novel.

I'm a seriously deranged person.

But it's something I've started worrying about a lot. My goal as a writer is to become an established children's/YA author. To do this, one must write books. But as I move toward the birth of my first child in May, I am soooo easily distracted. I can't sit down anymore and write an entire scene or chapter; I'm lucky if I can pay attention to anything for more than an hour. And when I do sit down to write, other things take up that time: researching or drafting the next post for this blog; doing a critique; writing a drama for church. When the baby's born, I'll have less time to write (and sleep), so how on earth will I be able to finish that novel, revise it, and ship it off to the agents and editors who are eagerly awaiting its arrival?

And then I realize: I've lost sight of The Big Picture. To achieve my goal, yes, I'll need to write consistently. But does every second of my writing time have to be spent on that WIP? Not necessarily. There are many things I can do to develop my craft. Critiquing has value because it helps me to analyze a sample of writing, an invaluable skill for a writer. My hope for this blog is that it will help others but also that it will become a marketing tool for my career; as such, my contribution to it is important. As for writing dramas or anything else—well, duh. That's writing.

So achieving my dream to become a mother doesn't negate my other dream of becoming a successful children's author. The second may take a little longer, but it'll happen as long as I keep moving forward, whether that means working bit-by-bit on my novel, red-lining Angela's latest literary brainchild, or coming up with new ways to show my character's anger (shameless plug: see Emotion Thesaurus in the sidebar). The important thing is that I'm writing.

Now, if I could just get some sleep.

Thought for the day: "Baby steps to the door...Baby steps to the elevator..." (What About Bob)

10 comments:

Angela said...

Becca, I noticed a typo--I think the sentence was supposed to read, '...red-lining Angela's latest and amazingly brilliant literary brainchild.'

Lol, JK. Great post! Remember, Don't worry, be happy!

Becca said...

Well, isn't that understood? I was Resisting-the-Urge-to-tell there. ;)

Angela said...

LOL!

courtney said...

I'm glad you were able to get sight of The Big Picture Again. But! I've just got to say--you know you have successfully 'trained' yourself as a writer, though, when you get that nagging, I should be working on my novel voice in the back of your head during Iron Chef. Think of all those just starting out who can't hear it yet.... :)

Becca said...

Rofl! Good point.

Auntie to Baby said...

There is too much pressure on what to write when I'm writing to a writer...so I'm just saying hi and I'll visit your blog again soon.

Susan Sandmore said...

I know you'll be quite busy with the baby, especially at first, but I just wanted to say that I started to write when I started having children, because I needed to do something that was really for me. I find the more I've got on my plate, the more I want to make time for writing. (And if I have a whole day to myself, I find I can only work for about four hours straight, anyway).

The time you find might be naptime for baby (wasn't that how Harry Potter came to be?). You'll find it. Not at first, maybe. At first, you'll want to spend your "free" time catching up on sleep. But you will, eventually, find it. I have two kids, one autistic, and I teach and grade papers (and read email and blog and check Verla's) and I still write. Granted, I don't really watch TV much. Something has to give. But you can make it work and work well.

Becca said...

Thanks so much, Susan. It's always good to hear from writing mothers that writing + motherhood is possible.

Susan Sandmore said...

By the way, I love What About Bob?

"All I want is some peace and quiet!"
"I'll be quiet."
"I'll be peace."

I walk around often, thinking "DOCTOR LEO MARRRRRVIN!!" Does that make me crazy?

Becca said...

I'm SAILING!

Bill Murray is a genius, imho ;).

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