My children pity me. Here it is, summer, and their mother is working like a devil.
"Call a friend!" I say, and I offer popcorn and even Nerf dart guns, leave far behind any promises to myself to never let them switch away from PBS. I am on the computer; if they come in to peer over my shoulder, they see PR emails to editors and producers, draft press releases. Ninety percent of the time, however, the second they walk from the room, the screen changes. Hey, they try to do it to me all the time. They believe they are hiding an extra half hour on Runescape or Webkinz as they pretend to email friends. I am hiding my revisions.
They don't think it is "real" work. Even when I am doing paid work, my daughter comes in and tries to chat. As I finish a marketing plan, she starts to update me on which fellow student thespian knows his or her lines, then she launches into the HONK! songbook. I explain that my office is to be respected as much as Daddy's office in the city, that I need her to find something else to do for twenty minutes.
She leaves, humming. I finish the plan in ten minutes; I pull up the story for ten more. If I can get through this chapter today, I think, I will be in good shape. I live fully in the minds of these characters, in that place where it is easy to start writing each chance I get and so, so hard to pull away. I pull it up multiple times a day, for ten minutes, half an hour, two hours. When I am not writing, I am taking notes, or reading. Reading good books as I sit poolside watching the children and their friends makes me want to get back to writing all the more.
I tell myself it is a good thing this mania hit during summer; it would be so easy to let the story slide in the battle for time. The energy to write always ebbs and flows to some degree, but this is full moon high tide. I don't know why, but there is an urgency to this now for me. It is not a need to finish, per se, although that is indeed the goal, a self-imposed timeline in place. I simply have to be writing, getting the story out accurately, refining the details, upping the ante, pushing myself in a way that is infinitely rewarding even though thus far I am the only one to see the results. At the least convenient time of the year, I am obsessed. This is my work, and I need to do it.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007