Deadly Lines

Quarantine is a double-edged blade, it seems.

When I was stuck home, off-work and ordered to “avoid human contact,” my writing was on fire. I knocked out three novellas and a full novel in those five weeks, plus started another novel. Now that I’ve been back to work a couple of months, though…

…I’m still on that second novel, with a little under 10k words left to my 50k draft goal. *Sigh*

Muses can be damned inconvenient. I’ve reset my self-imposed deadline twice now, and each time it ticks closer, rather than pushing to meet, it I freeze and shove it in the corner of my mind. Not productive, that’s for sure.

Part of it is the fact that I am, indeed, back to almost full-time day job work, so that’s 30+ hours less of productive time during the week. When I was stuck at home, I used my ~8 hours of “work” time on weekdays to write. I’ve got a time keeper app that I used to “clock in” and “clock out” every time I started or stopped working on writing. I limited myself to eight hours a day max because my husband was upset that I was spending so much time writing, so out of respect for his concerns I cut reigned it in and did other things when he was off the clock. (My husband works from home, so there was no way to write only when he wasn’t around, except for my usual few stolen hours in the early morning while he sleeps.)

Part of it is just plain writer’s block. It’s like the floodgates were open so long that I drained the levy, and now I’ve gotta wait for a few good monsoon rains to refill it before I siphon off again. Which sucks, but I’ve tried damn near every method that’s been thrown at me to break through, and still I feel like I’m having to physically wrestle this damn draft out of my mind.

I’ve got a three-day weekend this weekend–taking an extra day today in honor of my upcoming birthday–but I’ll be visiting with friends for much of it, so there goes that time. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be glad to see them and hang out. I just know it’s that much less time that I can spend on this draft.

Despite all this block, I’m still determined to draft, edit, revise, and publish all three novels in this trilogy before the end of the year. Things are looking hairy for the 3rd installment, given that I’ve only gotten 541 tentative words written on that one, but I don’t want to give up. I want to get this writing going, get productive, to push myself and achieve all that I’ve set out to do in the coming years.

Deadlines suck. They’re stressful and maddening, yet I have to set myself some structure if I’m going to do this author thing on a more regular basis.

Will I ever be able to be a full-time author? At this rate, no…but if I can find the magic formula for maintaining focus while working full-time and having a marriage and socially-responsible social life, then maybe, just maybe, I can have the career I want, not just the one I fell into.