So Tired, I Can’t Even Think Of A Title

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.

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8 thoughts on “So Tired, I Can’t Even Think Of A Title

  1. John Taylor says:

    With that attitude, you will get your re-writing done, Claire, because it isn’t a separate task any more: it’s a part of the life of an author. I’ve had one day of concentrated writing this week, but the biggest achievement I made on my next book came on a day when I wrote nothing. Something clicked when I was walking the dog. Tick!
    And tick by tick (and hopefully sleep by sleep) you will get there.

    • Thank you, John! It means a lot to hear (err, read…) you say that, because I know you’ve been here and have come out the other side a resounding success. I’m coming to really love those ‘tick’ moments – had one whilst going to the cornershop for milk the other day, and I swear the world smelt better afterwards. I have no idea why, but it just did!

      Sorry for the late reply – still getting the hang of this malarkey… xx

  2. Gerry Fenge says:

    If you delay the stomping on baby rabbits till book launch, the publicity may well help sales. (Always keen to give good advice!)

    • Hello Gerry – again, apologies for the late reply! And lol! I’m not sure if that’s the kind of publicity I want… but they do say the only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you.

      Thank you for all your encouragement – it means a lot! xx

  3. Skylark says:

    Haha, Gerry, that gave me a laugh 🙂 Claire, I sympathise. With two young kids around, writing can be a bit like wading through mud. But you’ve got determination and talent so you’ll get there. And so will I, hopefully!

    • Hello, Skylark! sorry it’s taken me an age to reply… I Must Do Better (D, See Me in red pen!) at this. Ah well, it’s a learning curve, I suppose!

      It does feel like wading through mud sometimes, but I’m now finding it fun mud, rather than annoying mud. Still wish there was an ideas scoop that could scoop out all the rewrites and put them on the page for me, though…

      We shall both get there in the end!! xx

  4. The wonder is that you’re getting any writing done at all! With your positive attitude you’ll be sure to get through all the times when you itch to write all day and you just don’t get the chance, and then when they’re finally sleeping, so are you…

    You’ve already achieved more than many aspiring authors by actually finishing your first draft and with your sunny (or chocolatey as needed) outlook I don’t doubt you’ll get the re-write done as well.

    Happy (re-)writing!

    • Thanks, Maren – and sorry for replying so late. It’s all go here at the moment, and finding 2 minutes free isn’t easy!

      For ages, I treated revising like a chore, but then found that if you just change your perspective a bit, it all of a sudden becomes a lot easier. The thing is not to see it as something destructive (even though it effectively is), but as a chance to learn something. And a day when you don’t learn something is a day wasted (or maybe that’s just the teacher in me… ^^D)

      xx

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