A post in 2 parts

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!

7 Responses to “A post in 2 parts”

  1. June 5, 2009 at 8:50 am

    I can’t offer advice — no kids myself — but congrats on starting the process!! I’m told that the tiredness doesn’t last, usually, past the first trimester. Let’s hope that’s the case for you.

  2. 2 Tim Pratt
    June 5, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Congratulations! Your life will change in very interesting ways!

    I had to write a book right after my kid was born, and also finish some of the end-of-editing stuff on the previous one. I read page proofs aloud to my son while holding him in my arms when he was a newborn!

    I wrote an essay about writing with a newborn, actually, and what little advice I have on the subject is there:


    Granted, I was the dad, which when you have a nursing newborn is an easier gig than being a mom, but maybe it’ll be somewhat helpful.

  3. 3 Terri-Lynne
    June 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

    First, congratulations! Long after these books are out of your everyday, finished and sitting on shelves all over the world, you will still have this child who will need you for the rest of his/her life. Get ready for a wild ride, honey!

    Second–get everything done now, while you can. Don’t exhaust yourself, but push just a little bit. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you deserve to be there. I wouldn’t want to give it up either. But then that baby is born…

    I’m assuming you don’t have children yet; under that assumption, I’ll tell you that love takes on a whole new meaning. Things that are so important now have a way of becoming not quite so important after you give birth. On the other hand, they could remain as important, and resentment can rear up its nasty-tricksy head. Thus my advice to you–get as much done as you can now. Once the baby is born, you have about 3 months of him/her sleeping a good portion of the day that you’ll still be able to get stuff done. Get and accept as much help as you can.

    Third–things settle down again. Whether you use day care or stay at home, things do settle into routine. It does take time. What you mustn’t ever do is give up your dreams and ambitions, for the greatest reason of all–you’d never want your child to do the same. Kids learn by example. If your child sees you fulfilling your dreams, he/she will be more likely to do the same.

    So says the bogwitch (my alter ego :-P)

  4. 4 rachelaaron
    June 5, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Wow, thanks Tim! Ask and ye shall receive. I do hope the tiredness goes down. There aren’t enough hours in the day as it is without me sleeping through 3 extra ones every day :P.

  5. June 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Congrats! A hint for the fatigue: This only works if you have an office (or private quiet place), but when I was pregnant I used to bring a small pillow to work and put my head down after lunch for a 30 minute power nap. It made a HUGE difference in my energy levels for the next several hours. Also, just accept that you’re going to fade a lot faster in the evening for the next 6-8 weeks. If you try and fight through it you’ll end up miserable. But, your energy DOES return in the second trimester!

  6. 6 rachelaaron
    June 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    That’s a good tip, Diana. Fortunately I have a really laid back office, so I can come into work late and work late and it’s ok. I generally write in the morning, then nap, then work.

    And yeah, Terri, this is child #1. I’m really excited about starting a family! I can’t wait!

  7. June 16, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Zero advice to give, but Congrats!

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