I haven’t posted anything personal or anything about my writing status in a LONG while, so…
The answer to this question could be a book itself, so I’ll give you the novella version instead.
As some of you know, I’ve been working on CDR2 since the summer of 2015. No, 2015 is not a typo. I outlined it back then, but didn’t start writing it until the fall when my boys went back to school. Things started out okay, but to be honest, I wasn’t feeling as excited about this one as I did when I wrote my first two books, so progress was slow. To make matters worse, I took a break from the manuscript to work on a different novel during NaNoWriMo 2015. (That novel was SPIN, a YA suspense, which is now sitting, unfinished. Just waiting for me to get back to it…) When NaNoWriMo 2015 ended, I went back to CDR2, hoping to finish it by late spring, which turned into late summer, which turned into fall. Then I took another break from it to work on something else during NaNoWriMo 2016. (No, it wasn’t SPIN. It was something completely new called By the Time We’re Forty, a women’s fiction novel, which is now sitting, unfinished. Just waiting for me to get back to it… See a pattern?) So now, with only three weeks left in 2016, I’m still not done with CDR2. *sigh*
Am I sad? A little. Am I frustrated? Yes. Do I feel antsy to get it done? Yes! But you know what? I refuse to put out something that I forced myself to finish or something that I’m not 100% proud of. So I’ve only been working on it when I feel inspired to work on it, and I have no idea when it will be ready for publication. And I’m okay with that.
On the bright side, I’ve learned some important things from my experience with CDR2. One, never publicly commit to writing something unless I’ve started it and feel passion for it in my bones. Two, don’t make promises (even to myself) about when a project will be finished until the first draft is complete. Three, I need to STOP comparing my writing pace and output with the pace and output of others.
What else have I been up to besides working on three different WIPs?
Focusing on my kids – My boys are in 6th and 3rd grade and participate in several extracurricular activities including year-round soccer, gymnastics and piano. My 4-year-old daughter was supposed to go to preschool two days a week this year, but I had a change of heart at the last minute and decided to keep her home. She’s my last child and the only one I’ve had to opportunity to stay home with, so I wanted to make the most of it. We do ‘school’ for about an hour most mornings, go to the YMCA three days a week, and she participates in tap dance/gymnastics and swimming. I’ve tried to get at least an hour of writing in every afternoon, but that often doesn’t happen, so I have to wait until the kids are in bed (and I’m ready to pass out).
Reading – I started out with a goal of 60 books for my 2016 Goodreads reading challenge, but I ended up reducing it to 40. Thirty-eight down, two to go! Some of my favorite reads this year include Emancipation by Jo Michaels, The Divided by Bria Starr, A Woman Named Sellers by Sarah L. King, An Unforgivable Love Story by B.L. Berry, Bright Side and Gus by Kim Holden, Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon, and Brother by Ania Ahlborn.
Wasting time on social media – As an author, maintaining a presence on social media is necessary for various reasons. However, sometimes it’s a struggle to get in and get out. I really need to get better at minimizing the amount of time I spend on all platforms!
Book signings – I attended four as a signing author. Those were in Cedar Falls, Iowa, North Lake, Iowa, Madison, Wisconsin, and Phoenix, Arizona. I also attended the Scripted Social in Des Moines, Iowa, as a volunteer.
Vacation – My family spent Thanksgiving in Hawaii this year. Best vacation of my life! Not gonna lie…I wanted to stay there forever. I do believe I was either a hula dancer or a beach bum in a past life. 😉