Keeping my head above water: writing when life is crazy

KEEPING MY HEAD ABOVE WATER: WRITING WHEN LIFE IS BUSYI have been watching the approach of November for months now with some trepidation. It’s always the craziest month of the year, as a parent, as a writer, as a partner, as a person.

I was right to be wary.

Now that we’re halfway through, I can confirm that I am keeping my head above water, but I’m getting a lot of those random splashes of salty water over my head.

NaNoWriMo is going about as well as I expected.

I’m at around 18,000 words, which is behind the official graph – but ahead as far as my ‘any word you have by November 30 is a win’ approach is concerned.

The next few weeks will bring two rounds of edits – a structural ‘tweak’ for the first book in my new series, which is due tomorrow (gulp) and the copy edit of book #4 of The Mapmaker Chronicles by the end of the month.

So far, so okay.

In the interim, I am writing a feature, putting together a package of usefulness for my screenwriting project, and preparing for my Make Time To Write course to launch at the end of this month (promise, it’s finally coming). My last author talk for the year takes place in a week or so, my last workshop for the year went off with a bang last weekend.

The kids are churning through end-of-year assessments, playing sport, performing at various things, and getting more and more tired, as they always do as the year winds down.

But we try to find time to snatch time when we can. Last night we went out to the beach to see the super moon. There wasn’t much moon, it has to be said, due to cloud cover, but that quick blast of salty sea air was enough to clear my head and return me to my night-time writing shift in a much better frame of mind.

The only way to write – in fact, to do anything – when life is crazy is to find those moments. Those head-clearing, mind-blasting moments that refresh and rejuvenate.

I always resist them, thinking I’m too busy. But I’m always so glad when I take them.

So,walk the dog. Weed the garden. Have a swim. Breathe the air.

Then set your shoulders and dive back in.

Hope you’re also keeping your head above water!