Part 1: Having it All
So I’m going to get a little personal here, which is something I try not to do because hey, my life is actually kind of dull unless you’re living it. However, recently events have conspired to turn my life completely upside down. In short: I’m pregnant.
Now, this is a cause for much rejoicing. Hooray for the continuation of the species! My husband and I are very excited. But, (and of course there’s a but, what life event doesn’t have a but?) part of me is petrified. Somehow, in the next 2 years, I will need to somehow produce 2 books and 1 baby, all while keeping my day job. Needless to say, it feels a bit overwhelming. I am absolutely determined to keep my deadlines, however. I worked too god damn hard to get where I am and nothing, not a baby, not the apocalypse, will keep me from finishing these books.
But I’m also about 6 weeks into my first trimester, and no one told me how TIRED I’d get. I mean, seriously, it feels like I have the flu all the time. I know it will get better, I’m just worried it won’t get better fast enough, and I’ve got a book to finish, and edit, and cry about, and edit some more, and force others to read, all post haste.
I know many of you are parents. So fill me in, share your wisdom! This does get better, right?
Part 2: Having too Much
One good thing to come out of this whole pregnancy thing was I’ve been having crazy lucid dreams about my book. I don’t know what this says about my brain, but yesterday, while napping I literally dreamed a scene that perfectly fixes several problems I’d flagged at the beginning of my current book. It was like watching a movie, seriously awesome.
However, here’s the rub. I already have scenes that do a lot of what this new scene would do, and I can’t necessarily switch them out one for one. Any way I do it, it’ll add more words to the book, which is already running long. Plus, it’s an entire new scene to be written, edited, rewritten, in a part of the book that was pretty much done. ARGH. Why can’t I have crazy lucid dreams about the problems I haven’t fixed yet?!
So it boils down to a mater of priorities, do I take the risk, go back and fix what isn’t broken in the hopes of taking what is merely adequate to seriously awesome? Or do I save the scene for another book and focus on what does need work, rather than fussing with what actually works. I’ve flip flopped on this for a day and a half now, but this morning I finally decided to stop worrying about it and just take the plunge.
What made up my mind was thinking like a reader, and not a writer. As a writer, I want to finish things on time. I want to solve problems efficiently and then move on, not solve them four times over. But as a reader, I want awesome. I want the best experience possible. I want to be surprised, rewarded for my time. I don’t want efficiency, I don’t want “adequate.” I want amazing.
Since the whole reason I write is to create the stories I want to read, reader brain always wins in the end, and this is how it should be, even though writer brain is appalled at the idea of having to go back to a chapter that was already checked off. I just hope I can pull it off enough to make the detour worth it!