Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Monday, October 22, 2007

Obsess much?

I have been a bad girl.

Wait a minute. Let me rephrase that: I have been a bad writer. Bad! Bad! Bad!

So what happened?

Simple: I spent the weekend IGNORING my "to do" list. Yup, I didn't send off my manuscript. I didn't write the essays I was SUPPOSED to write (just the one essay I wanted to write). I didn't work on manuscript edits or query an agent. (WHOA. Looking over that now, I'm actually not surprised I didn't do it. That's a bit much!)

But the reason why I didn't do those things is NOT because of laziness or lack of inspiration. Truth of the matter is, I needed a break. A BIG BREAK! I wanted to spend the weekend with my family, and not so much my writing. I've got SIX FREE HOURS to write Monday-Friday. (Well, 5 hours on Wednesdays.) So, while my daughter and husband were around ALL DAY on the weekends, I wanted to spend time with them. ALL of my time. (Well, except for that...15 minutes I spent writing my essay after we ate breakfast.)

See, they're not around that much during the week. Hubby works ALL DAY Monday-Friday. And Jen goes to school. When she gets home from school, that's when I get away from the computer and spend time with HER. But lately, I've snuck away from being with her, mumbling "Mommy needs to write something real quick" or "Mommy has a lot of work to do today."

At least, that's the way things are now. They'll change when my sister comes to stay with us for a few weeks AND when the baby is born. (I'm planning to cut down on my workload the first few months post-baby.) So when I DO have the time to be with them, I want to take that time and USE it!

Plus, I was getting a little worried. I was starting to...obsess over my writing. Seriously, I was just SOOOO caught up with it, juggling book projects and writing up my Shadowlands article. It scared me. The thing about me is that I tend to obsess over my work. I just lose myself in it. I mean, is it any wonder I once suffered a bout of malnourishment because I RARELY ate when working on a manuscript??

I need someone to catch me in this whirlwind of writing and pull me away from it all in the name of taking a break. Because I'm pretty much alone a lot during the day, except for when my daughter is home, and I don't have that kind of arrangement. So I think the rule of just STOPPING when daughter is home is something I REALLY need to stick to from now on.

Besides, SOMEBODY has got to feed the dog every once in a while....


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too tired to write?

All this week, I have been writing, writing, writing. I'm also doing interviews, of course, but it sure has been a productive week as far as writing is concerned.

And that has been a good thing, too. Sometimes, though, after all the OTHER stuff I gotta get done each day, coupled with not getting enough sleep at night, I've been sooo tired. One mantra I keep saying this week is "can't sleep, muse will bug me." This is true. As tired as I have been this week, I have STILL gotten the writing done. That desire to write a certain something was just too strong to quench.

Also, I knew if I didn't get a certain piece written up today, I'll have to do it tomorrow. The longer I put it off, the greater the chance it WON'T get written. And because I've been spacing out all of my writing tasks for this week, assigning two tasks to each day, I knew I'd have just MORE stuff to work on tomorrow if I didn't write it today.

That's pretty much the thing right there which prompted me to write DESPITE being so tired. I'd tell myself, 'Well, I'll make it short.' Or, 'Just one page.' Or something like that. You know? But the surprising thing was that, even as I started to work with these gentle nudges, I was soon on a roll!

I. Couldn't. Stop. Writing!

It's like after I started writing what I had to get written, my muse was on fire. I wasn't so tired anymore. My brain magically woke up. And all of a sudden, the words just wouldn't stop coming.

This was really a big surprise for me. I mean, a BIG surprise! I'm used to writing even despite writer's cramp, but in the past, fatigue had beaten me to the desk. There were just times I'd think 'I'm too dang tired to write right now. I'll do it after I get some sleep. I'll be able to concentrate better, anyway.' But apparently, not even fatigue could cripple my muse. Not even fatigue could stand in my way of writing something that I REALLY wanted to write!

This discovery has me feeling both elated and relieved. I guess we never really learn something about ourselves until we are forced to put something to the test. And I'm sure glad I put this to the test. Now I know that I CAN write even if I think I am "too tired" to write. From now on, I won't be "too tired" to write anymore.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Pressed for time

On another blog post, I talked about a certain editing task I was tackling in fixing up one of my novel manuscripts. I outlined how I was editing it step by step, detailing the process as I have been going through it. One of my sisters commented that it sounded like a lot of work -- and that it was a good thing I was doing this BEFORE the baby is born.

That right there is why I have constantly been feeling "pressed for time" with my writing work. I know that after the baby is born next month, I will need a little downtime. And I'll especially want to spend as much time with him as possible! Meanwhile, I've got a big chunk of writing work on my hands: A poetry manuscript to find a publisher for (or to prep for self-publishing), a novel manuscript to fix just ONE MORE THING per an editor's request, another novel manuscript I need to finish editing AND find an agent for, and a nonfiction book I need to finish writing.

Of course, I have to be realistic. I only have one month left. Just one! And I know I can't expect to finish ALL of that by then. I know the two novel manuscripts WILL be finished by then, but I don't know about the nonfiction book. I mean, I'm working my butt off on finishing it. I'm applying myself to it EVERY DAY. There's the chance that I WON'T finish it, and I must accept this possibility.

All the same, I'm DEFINITELY setting these goals up as things I must accomplish by the end of the YEAR, and not just the end of the month. I want to get back to working on other projects in the new year: Writing ANOTHER novel I started, shopping my book on deaf parenting around and working on the revisions book. I'm just trying to get as much done as I can for the time being.

This is why I have been pretty much "absent" from other online stuff I normally do. Message boards, MySpace bulletins, deviantART journals/postings and answering emails. (My friends understand why I take so long to get back to them -- I am SO GRATEFUL to have such understanding friends!!) This blogging stuff might end up taking a backseat, too. I already RARELY go out for social visits anymore. I've already changed my sleeping habits to sleep less so I have more time to write. I already make it a point to find SOME WAY to work on my projects EVERY DAY. And I already opt for simpler things and simpler jobs so I can get them done faster and with less stress. This just might be another thing I'll have to temporarily cut until I finish the tasks I have set about to do.

So if you don't hear from me, and if there aren't any recent blog posts from me, this is why! ;)