Another thing we might talk about this week are writing bugaboos. I've got one of those. I even have photographic evidence, which you can click on for a larger image:
Here are some of the things I've read writer mamas can do to handle their adorable writing bugaboos. Accompanying them will be evidence of my other writing bugaboo, severe excuse-itis:
1) Get up earlier.
I already get up early. I actually tried getting up earlier for a time, but as soon as I get up, the baby sensed it and woke up as well. Then we were both up early, cranky as hell, and fought with each other the whole day. More than usual, I should add.
2) Stay up later.
I already stay up late. Here's a shock: so does the baby. By the time I get that Engergizer bunny to sleep, I am ready to pass out myself. I swear this kid needs less sleep than I do.
3) Get a sitter.
Money is an issue, so paying a sitter on a regular basis isn't an option. Playschool isn't an option at this time either, for various reasons that begin with money and end with the child's screaming, sobbing rage fits the times I tried. Trading babysitting with a friend also isn't an option because I have no friends of appropriate pliability. I do get family members to babysit on occasion, but those occasions are inevitably for doctor's appointments, errands I hate to do with kids, and so on.
4) Put the child in front of the television.
She loves Dora. She doesn't love Dora enough to watch it when I'm trying to write, though. She likes to watch Dora while sitting in my lap and alternately pointing at the TV and slapping the computer keyboard. Good times, good times.
5) Quit doing as much cooking or cleaning and use that time to write.
If you saw my house....
6) Write in quick spurts when your child is preoccupied.
Unfortunately, she is most often preoccupied with how to cling to me like a monkey, force-feed the cats all the stuff I haven't vacuumed off the carpet (see #5), or climb Mount NeverRest and careen wildly from side to side in a dangerous manner. If I happen to get lost in the La-la land of writing at the wrong time, I'm one ER visit away from a lifelong guilt trip. (Don't make me tell you about kid #1 and the chandelier! Then you'll really think I'm a terrible parent.)
I know that my bugaboo is only this buggy once. I know there are other sacrifices I could make, like giving up family time in the evenings with the older child, baby and hubby. I should also be stricter with myself when the child goes down for one of her sketchy naps and work on my WIP instead of, oh, blog entries or emails, even when they're career-oriented.
Sometimes I do. Inevitably, she wakes up sooner when I'm doing something constructive. I could probably watch two consecutive Lifetime TV movies without waking her from a nap (no comment on whether or not I have proof of this), but the more I want her to stay asleep because I'm actually writing, woo-hoo!, the less likely she is to do it. And no, I don't loudly exclaim woo-hoo! when I'm writing.
My little bugaboo just knows.
What's your writing bugaboo? Excuse-itis? Saggy middles? Grammar? Fear of submission? 3-chapter-blockage? I'm sort of scared what writing bugaboos I'll discover once my current bugaboo is less buggy, but I've always got the makings of "what-the-hell-happens-at-the-end-of-the-book-good-lord-I'm-on-chapter-20-and-I-still-don't-know" disease to fall back on.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH (a book written prior to my bugaboo!)
January 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/