Under Control

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There’s this part of my day that begins before I start writing but after I’ve eaten breakfast.

I’ve usually started making coffee or my wife has and I’m thinking about the day ahead. I may have taken my son to school(he has two periods where he’s in school)or may not have.

This period is my contemplation.

I’m considering where the story is going. Thinking about the beats to get to the end and all that I still have to write, at least right now. Some days, towards the end of a project this moments are near fleeting and I’m just rocked to get into the story.

But lately, as I work my way through the current project of which is a novel right now, but I’ll be writing a short story the next few days for an anthology to be submitted before the end of the month.

I did that a few weeks ago and it was tough to work on two projects at once. There’s a shift in my brain when I’m writing two stories at once. It’s somewhat exhausting, but as the world is what it is, I have to write in the hope to make money.

If I don’t make the money, at least I have the stories. Every story is an opportunity to get better at the craft and that’s what we’re all after, isn’t it?

So, during this morning period and the thinking about what I have to do, I’ll space off, my wife will leave the room and I’ll focus on what I need to do.

Then as I set up my laptop, login, get the music ready, I check on my family. I make sure everyone is good before I start. This has become a habit as my kids are home most of the time and my wife and are sharing a work space. Well, we’re in the same room anyway.

As I’m writing, I try to become aware of where it’s going. What is the story doing? What is happening to the characters?

By the time I’m done it’s 11:30 or noon and I’m starting helping my kids with their studies.

This is how I control things. These moments in the morning and during the afternoon where I’m hopefully present enough to help with things, which as I haven’t been working events, has become my every day.

I write, help my kids, clean the house, and make dinner. It’s been this way for the last couple of months and at first I wanted to punk out on it, but kept going. Now I look forward to it.

When I’m making dinner or cleaning those are mine for thinking through what I’d written that morning.

I never looked at it that way, but now that it’s an everyday thing, I enjoy those moments of contemplation..

See you on Monday.

Writing the each and every

Books Stacked to the ceiling in New Orleans book shop.

Books Stacked to the ceiling in New Orleans book shop.

The window is cracked,  there’s a soft breeze across the desert and the blue skies stand out against a cloudless sky.

I watch my kids run through the room,  their clothes catching the breeze, my daughter’s cape flapping,  my son’s mask pressed tightly to his face.

My superheroes tear up the house as they chase each other.

Watching I’m reminded of the things I focus on too much, and the things I must focus on more.

We happen to think about our writing, at least as early writers, as horrible.

The reason we think this way is mostly because it is, at least for most of us, I mean we’re not all genius level writers, we have to learn to write well.

The thing about watching my kids play on a daily basis, they do their playing oblivious to the world around them.

This is what new writers usually don’t do.

They don’t write and ignore the world, they may get their writing time in, but they don’t lock themselves away like the more experienced writers.

The wind begins to die down, my kids are preparing for lunch, or dinner, I’m not sure as the day has moved by faster than normal, and in between the hours of my writing schedule; I see their asking for daddy to play.

I skirt away from the desk to play with them, as they beg me to get away from my writing.

I stop them, “I have a few hundred words to go. After I’m done, I promise.” I tell them.

After the hundred words, I set aside the laptop, rush downstairs as they sit on the couch, eager for a trip to the park.

Another sunset comes, we head back to the house, my wife is getting started on dinner, I pitch in, cutting the chicken, as I learned in a meat store in my late teens, and sit down as the I put music on the radio.

It’s one of my favorite days, but it’s still a writing day.

They’re finally asleep, my wife is doing the dishes, I have my laptop out again to get my notes from the day added to my laptop.

I finish and sit with my wife for an hour watching Supernatural.