As we begin 2014, I am taking stock of the state of my writing life. And it’s really, right now, a publishing life. I have a hundred deadlines, or more, for tiny pieces of the publishing process, and three books on the docket. It’s hard to prioritize my work over someone else’s needs, whether that’s one of my authors or one of my children.
But I’ve done it before. When I had my crazy community journalism schedule, full of grueling up-past-midnight deadlines, city council and school board meetings, and always something on the next day’s schedule, I still found time to write. Two novels while working in two different newsrooms. I found strength in my schedule, my discipline. To sit down and write. Because that’s how novels happen.
My own business feels different, but really it isn’t any different. I have less time, because I’m a full-time mom, and the moment a kid wakes up early from a nap, or wakes up at midnight crying because she has a cold, my time disappears, and so much of the time I do have must be allocated for small press projects and deadlines.
That being said, I have to squeeze writing in. That’s what I do. That’s who I am. I don’t sleep and get irritable when I’m not writing.
Moreover, in February, I am teaching a class called “Finding Your Stride,” about–you guessed it–creative momentum. My co-teachers, Christi Krug and Sage Cohen, are whizzes at teaching, sharing inspiration, and setting people on the most positive creative paths possible. I’m honored to be teaching with them. We had such fun speaking together at Wordstock in October, and this project came out of that natural synergy we had, and the appreciation and respect we have for each other’s work.
So now, with deadlines for our March novel and an anthology whirring in my brain, making that thrilling mix of deadline-joy and terror that I’ve overcommitted, I have to find my way back to the page. To get working on a new novel. Because that’s what I do, that’s who I am, and channeling all the time and discipline into the press leaves my own creative well dry.
What are your 2014 goals? How do you stay motivated to achieve them?