Parenthood, Writing

Hibernation

Since having kids I feel at times as though my brain has gone into hibernation. It’s resting up for when more than just the routine motions of feeding/comforting/playing/and putting to sleep are required.

me-and-roCase-in-point, I’ve been desperate to write a book for years. I’ve started on numerous projects, only to have them fizzle away. It’s not because the story simply isn’t there. It’s because I don’t have the brain capacity to pull anything from my head except for a beginning. But let me tell you, those beginnings are all really great, because I’ve edited them until they’re practically unrecognizable.

My process is this: I start to write, or draw, because lately I’ve been on a children’s book kick. But I feel like I have the attention span of a toddler. Literally something can pop in the house and suddenly I’m reminded that I need to go fold the clothes I left in a pile on the couch. Actually, to be honest I’m suddenly reminded that I need a spoon of peanut butter, and on my way to the pantry I catch site of the book I randomly put down on the kitchen counter three days ago, so I read standing up for awhile before the need for coffee kicks in.

The point is, I feel like no real work can be done, because my brain simply shuts down after a few minutes of work.

I thought this “mommy fog” was only supposed to happen when you had a newborn. Or am I doomed to a life of haphazard wandering around my house?

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Writing

NaNoWriMo! I Hope

ReadingThis time next week (at midnight, to be precise) NaNoWriMo officially begins. In case you aren’t familiar with it, this stands for National Novel Writing Month. Hundreds of thousands of people have already signed up for the challenge this year! It’s an amazing way to band together as a group of writers and accomplish something practically impossible – writing an entire book in one month.

Not just any month, either. November is full of holidays, family coming in from out of town, and in my family’s case, Griffin’s one year birthday. That’s alot to cram into one month, let alone adding school work and the possibility of writing an entire book from scratch.

But I’ve told my professor about it, so we are going to combine this with some of the assignments she gives me. I will be working towards the NaNoWriMo goal, while also getting graded for it – sounds like a decent plan to me!

I have some ideas floating around in my head, taking up space in the far back corners – the spaces not crammed with household chores and progressing my child in all the right ways. I’ve created a Pinboard on Pinterest dedicated to some of the images that come to mind when I think of this writing project. Take a look if you’d like; it’s what my daydreams are made of.

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Writing

On Writing

Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing were constructed when he was working on what would become one of his greatest novels – Tropics of Cancer. This list is certainly something every writer should take into account when going about the day-in, day-out mechanics of the process.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. ConcentrateNarrow downExclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.