Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Not Working On That Book

I said I was going to start blogging regularly and then I forgot to do it at all for two whole weeks. 

It’s okay, shh, shh, I’m here now, it’s okay.

I’m sitting in a quiet kitchen with a cold cup of coffee. (I feel like this is a common Mom of Little Kids trope, the never getting to drink hot coffee. In reality, though, coffee gets cold for everybody at the exact same rate. Stop acting like you’re special, Moms of Little Kids.) The kids are both at school and it’s weird. Seems like just last week* Sully was playing nonstop drum fills in the living room and Scarlett was hanging out on the roof of our garage with the neighbour kids.** 

It’s weird, but it’s great. And disorienting. I’ve spent the first few days getting my bearings in this wide, blank expanse of schedule-less time, this absolute arctic tundra of minutes. I could eat lunch at 10 am if I wanted. And the lunch could be an entire box of Gushers if I wanted. I could sit on the roof of the garage MYSELF, if I wanted. 

(I don’t want any of these things.)

Hopefully this week, though, I’ll figure out a rhythm involving things I do want—first and foremost, to get into a satisfying, productive writing groove and FINALLY FINISH THIS BOOK. I took the summer off, almost fully. I decided going in that I was going to try to settle into the idea of taking a break—enjoy the kids, read some books, hang out with friends. It was good for me, I think. Sometimes I felt panicky about it, like if I stepped outside of the writing hustle for two seconds it was going to close up after me, like a wormhole, and I’d never be able to find my way back in. But maybe people need breaks? Maybe constant productivity is bad for long-term productivity? Maybe creativity isn’t a wormhole. 

Also, weirdly, it felt kind of nice to have an easy, solid answer when people asked me what I was working on. “Nothing at all” is so much easier for me to say than, “AH WELL I’M WORKING ON THIS REALLY WEIRD BOOK ABOUT THE END OF THE WORLD KIND OF STUART MCLEAN BUT SCI-FI? I DON’T KNOW IF THAT MAKES SENSE AND UH AND UH AND UH CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT ANYTHING BUT THIS…”


All that to say, the break is over and here I am. Sitting at my computer.

NOT working on that book. 


*It was just last week, actually.

**I didn’t know that Scarlett had been on the roof of the garage until I overheard one of her little friends say to her, “You can’t tell your mom what we did or I’ll never be allowed to play with you EVER AGAIN.” Kids, man. Fast, sneaky, terrifying.  

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