So that’ll have to do.
When I first planned to start this blog, I thought I’d start it in January. But I didn’t. The reason is small, cute and sitting next to me: my 7 month old daughter, Emily.
I have two daughters. Lucy is three, and full of the joys of being three (random weird requests, tantrums and odd questions as standard), but at least she sleeps. My youngest daughter, however, has never slept a full night. We’re talking 7 and a half months (more, if you count those last few ‘I am the size of a whale’ weeks of pregnancy, especially when you’re two weeks overdue) of broken nights. And it’s taking its toll.
But this isn’t a blog about how tired I am. It isn’t a blog about how I could quite possibly stomp on baby rabbits if it meant I got a full night’s sleep. It isn’t even a blog about how hard it is to write when you’re this tired. It’s a short (for me) blog about how to keep your perspective when life gives you lemons.
Obviously, Emily isn’t a lemon, but she is a voracious sleep-vampire, and one of the things I am painfully aware of is how little progress I am making in terms of re-writing my novel. I’d planned to get the whole thing done during my maternity leave, y’see. But Emily has other thoughts. (As it is, both my kids are sitting next to me as I type this. Lucy is pretending to read The Hunger Games, and Emily is trying to bash the keyboard as I type. This kind of sums them both up in a nutshell, really!). And, until recently, I was feeling quite down in the dumps about it all.
Then a wise lady said to me: ‘Look at what you have achieved – not what you have yet to do’ (or words to that effect). And, you know what? She’s right. Okay, so I haven’t achieved my ultimate goal of finishing this re-write – but given the circumstances, it’s a bloody miracle I’ve achieved anything at all!
So, here’s the message: When life gives you lemons, don’t beat yourself up about what you haven’t done. Just look at what you have done, and pat yourself on the back that even though times are hard, you’ve managed something – even if it is just scribbling down an idea you had whilst washing up, or a plot breakthrough you had whilst browsing the aisles of your local supermarket. You don’t have to write reams and reams of words to be working on your draft – just allowing yourself daydreaming time to think through issues with your plot / characters / specific chapter can count. Only this morning, whilst making porridge for my girls, did I come up with a solution to a small plot-problem that had been niggling away at the back of my mind. Tick! It was only 8am, and I’ve already achieved something, just by stirring porridge.