I am writing a novel. I have been writing said novel for a while, which is all well and good and part of the process and writing takes time etc etc. I’ve also found myself pulled in twenty hundred directions lately (get new/old house organized! Help out parents! Convince a near-2-year-old that he DOES want to hold my hand and walk nicely down the sidewalk so we can get some damn errands done without the stroller he refuses to sit in! Seize the day because my child will never be this young or cute again! et al).
The fact is, parenthood adds exactly fourteen (yes, fourteen) extra layers of complication to your life. I did not get this before I had a kid. (READ: DID NOT). If you have more kids than me, then you get it even more, and if you have fewer kids and are contemplating some number of kids more than zero, then maybe stop reading right now.
Anyway. It has dawned on me lately that chores and childcare are taking up EVERY AVAILABLE second of time I have. And that’s partly because chores are evil and designed to oppress us. But it is also because I let them. It is much easier to tell yourself that the MOUNTAIN of dishes in the sink or the unpaid bills or the random spoonful of peanut butter crystallizing on the floor are more important RIGHT NOW than writing 500 more words. But the thing is, they aren’t. I need to write every day and I need and want to hold myself accountable. (For the record, childcare, or taking care of my child, is one of life’s great delights 87 percent of the time. My child may not want to hold my hand on the sidewalk, but he says “bwidgch.” I mean, cute dujour.)
Several blogger friends I really really admire have been waking up at ungodly hours (like 4:30am when you actually don’t know where or who you are and you’re in the middle of that dream about getting drunk at the Bronx Zoo with Zack Galifianakis. What?). Aidan and Jamie have inspired me via their daily Instagram posts, and though I can’t wake up at 4:30am for a variety of reasons I will have to ramble about in another post, I CAN still write every day during daylight hours, when I’m sane and not-yet-exhausted. (Writing on this or any other blog doesn’t count. It has to be novel-writing).
So. I will be posting here daily about my daily writing, because it’s that important and I need-want to make sure there is a consequence of me NOT writing, which there will be because any one of you might call me if I don’t post and tell me I’m a bad person. I was going to call these posts “The Writing Diet,” since I plan FOR THE NEXT SIXTY DAYS to track my progress here, and diets are often set up in similarly annoying check-in-y ways. Instead, I am paying homage to one of the best websites ever created, haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com. If you have some OTHER goal (or the same one!) that you want to track for the next 60 days, feel free to play along. PLAY ALONG OR I WON’T BE YOUR FRIEND! Only not, I love you.
Have I written that novel yet? Nope. But I’m working on it.