I’ve found myself humming this song over the past couple of weeks. Between my extremely restrictive diet and my commitment to write two thousand words every day, March hasn’t been much fun.
When I think about things I want to do, like eat a piece of cheese, read Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Princess, or get a pedicure, I say to myself, “I can do that in April when I’m human again.”
When my friends ask how long I’ll be doing this ludicrous diet, I answer, “I’ll be human again in April.”
When my husband asks if we could have a conversation about something other than airships and clockwork people, I tell him, “When I get this book done, I’ll be human again.”
When Monkey asked me why I had so much gray hair, well, I couldn't say “I’ll have dark hair in April when I’m human again.” Monkey is a literal child and comes up with enough reasons to panic on his own. When he asked, “Is it because we’re driving you nuts?” I told him that was just something moms say. Then I promised to get my hair colored in April.
It may seem like I’ve become some unkempt, starving, cranky writer. It seems that way to me some days. But in fact, this month taught me some really valuable lessons.
- I CAN write fast if I need to.
- I CAN stick to a schedule and prioritize tasks.
- I CAN encourage my boys to take more responsibility for their own needs.
For most of my writing journey, when outside pressures pulled at me, I’d tell myself, “You need to put ______ first. After all, you don’t have a contract, so you’re not a real writer.”
Yeah, it was a stupid, unprofessional message to give myself, but I don’t have to explain Mom Guilt to you. Some mornings it beats you to the coffee pot.
But having this goal to finish my novel before the conference I’m attending next month legitimized the decision to put my writing first. It forced me to do laundry and meal planning on the weekend. Ok, so the meal planning involved dumping ingredients together and freezing them and having convenience foods on hand for the kids. But for me that's huge. My kids are going to look back on my deadlines with fondness, remembering those weeks as the only times Mom let them have Hot Pockets.
And by getting my word count done during the day, I had more focus for mom stuff in the evenings.
You might not think it to look at me with my grays showing and my house in disarray, but my month as a full-on crazy writer has done me and my family good.
But don’t get me wrong. I’m ready to be human again.