Journal

July 2018 Wrap-Up

Writing:

I’m stuck deep in the “I’m never going to finish” feeling. And it is SO tempting to chuck the whole novel before I fix it, because honestly it feels like there’s so much broken. But this is both a truth and a lie. The more you learn, the easier it gets to spot your mistakes. This time I’m spotting so many more ways each scene is broken, why the characters are broken, why the motivations fail… And that’s why this revision feels so daunting. But, being able to see it also means that I can fix it. Hopefully. Maybe. Still, I’m going to take a minute and cry about how much work there is left. I just need a sec.

Living:

So it goes: you can have it all, but not at the same time. That feels like the mantra of my life right now. Life’s busy between the day job and family. Some days I’m too tired to get any writing done. Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed at parenting, because I’ve got no emotional energy left after a tough day in the office. Some days I feel like super mom, because naps happen, the child is sweet, and meals get eaten. Some days I feel like I’m crawling in my skin because I’m trapped in the office. Some days the office feels like my only refuge. Some days I despair that I can’t get enough writing done. Movies, TV, showers without interruption, meals you can take your time at – what are those? I haven’t done book reviews for a while, because I have no mental bandwidth for them lately.

July involved a personal health issue that derailed part of the month, and it was hard to feel enthusiastic about anything at all. Then travel happened. This trip to France was our first real vacation together in more than 4 years. It was good to get away, but then there’s always your life to come back to and work to pick up and brush off and start over on. Momentum is fleeting.

How does anyone pursue writing + day job + kids + a life? The only answer I can think of is, failing all over the place, and sacrificing one thing for the other, on one day or another. Most days I’m just too busy to think about it much. You just survive, and keep on going the best you can.

P.S. Scenic highlights of our trip to France on  Insta.

Reading:

  • The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson (YA)
  • The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson (YA)
  • Jade City by Fonda Lee
  • Maplecroft by Cherie Priest
  • Call on Me by Roni Loren
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
  • A Lady at Midnight by Tessa Dare
  • Bring me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf (YA)

7 Comments

  1. Sounds like you’ve certainly got your plate full! Feelin’ ya on the revisions. I’ve got some rewrites I need to do–but I guess it’s just one scene, in particular, that I’m dreading because I’m not sure I can do it justice (and I thought I was past this point with this story). Sometimes, you just want to be done, but what does “done” look like? I’m not sure, but I get the feeling it’s something you just arbitrarily decide one day… Like you said, though, identifying/knowing what the problems are seems like half the battle, so at least there’s that to celebrate!

    Hearing more and more people talk about The Poppy War lately. Got it in my sights, though I’m hoping it’s not to YA for me in the “overly transparent language” kind of way. We’ll see. I’ll have to check out the sample chapter one of these days.

    Also, anyone who is a parent and actually gives a hoot about their children is amazing in my books. I can’t even contemplate adding that to my life. Nope. Does not compute.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      I enjoyed the Poppy War! It’s definitely not YA, despite the age of the protagonist at the start. Hmm, have you read Iron Cast by Destiny Soria? I just read it and was thinking it might be up your alley.

  2. Oh man, I feel everything about this post so hard.

    “The more you learn, the easier it gets to spot your mistakes.”

    “How does anyone pursue writing + day job + kids + a life? The only answer I can think of is, failing all over the place, and sacrificing one thing for the other, on one day or another.”

  3. “The more you learn, the easier it gets to spot your mistakes.”

    But not always easier to figure out how to fix them. So, progress, definitely, but no magic wands or finger snaps (or nose twitches) to get things right.

    What stumps me sometimes is getting bogged down and trying to figure out why. Stories going wrong, endings that get written at the beginning but the story doesn’t go there — I can handle those. But last year I wrote one story, and it was a slog. A major health issue was a problem, but I figured out this year that the other problem was writing in an increasingly complex universe that required a lot of explaining to potentially new readers before the actual story could get going. I guess this is why Tolkien never wrote short stories. Once I solved that, things are chugging along on a new story that might even end up being a novel…

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      “But not always easier to figure out how to fix them.” That is the truth. I’m wrestling with a few things I have no idea how to solve at the moment.

      And maybe that last thing is not a bad thing at all? 🙂

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