This month, I’m up to elbows in this: (See Picture). Little boys, baseball uniforms, and the sunburns and exhaustion to go with it. I was determined to finish writing my novel this summer, and I can’t find a spare minute between work, supper, and baseball nor a spare ounce of umph after all that is over and the kids have gone to bed.
I follow a lot of writer types on twitter, and I’m always seeing how they are filling their day with huge word-count goals and meetings about the next book and talks with their agent. And the only time I work on my writing is from 2-3 in the morning when I wake up suddenly and can’t think of anything else (not that I actually get up and write) or in the shower (when I can’t write) or during the work day (when I write what they tell me). It’s frustrating.
But I’m finding more this summer than any other time in my life how content I am in living my own story. Just because I didn’t have a novel done years ago when I first conceived the idea doesn’t mean that I won’t finish it ever. On the contrary, I’m more determined than ever and thereby convinced. And that season with older children who rarely bug me about snacks or going potty, when I can’t even get them to sit by me for extended periods, let alone hang on my arms and follow me even to the door of the bathroom to stick their fingers or toes beneath it until I’m through – I know it’s coming. It’s racing toward me with a speed that will probably even surpass that at which the infants became grade-schoolers. I’m sure that season will come with its own time issues, but I’m convinced no season in childhood is quite so all-consuming for the mother as when those below 7 outnumber those above it. (Technically that’s not me anymore, and believe me, I know it. I actually have quite a bit of time to breathe these days).
So, this isn’t the season in which I’ll be the most prolific novelist. It’s the season of pursuit rather than of having already achieved. I’m okay with that. It’s a good season, and it’s mine – which is the most important thing.