Another story off, and reflections on a busy month
Got a short erotica piece off for a private call for submissions tonight. I still have another one to do by January 1, but am not feeling overly stressed about that; the story's pretty well formed in my head.
I have been feeling a bit stressed and guilty--both, I realize, with no good reason, about how little writing I've accomplished since mid-November. Realistically, I went from two simultaneous editing projects that left me with very few brain cells (but gave me enough money to pay my half of the mortgage for several months) to a much-needed vacation to holiday prep and the craziness thereof. Dayle and I have started working again on Out of the Frying Pan, the next Sophie project. I've done one short story and--hurray!--several poems. (Poems are delicate, tempermental things. I can make fiction appear on command more often than not, provided I have anything resembling focus and mental energy, although it's not necessarily good fiction right out of the box. Poetry comes when it wants to, performs ninja sneak attacks on my brainstem, forcing me to write, then vanishes again.) Before the editorial insanity set in, I'd made decent headway on Master Right. Didn't finish the draft, but would have if other work hadn't eaten my head, and should be able to pretty readily once I pick it up again.
So why do I feel stressed and guilty? Because everywhere, I'm seeing chirpy articles about how to write as a stay-home mom by shutting your kids out of the office, how to make writing your #1 Priority Always, and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, a career focus is a wonderful thing to have. It allows you to be goal-oriented, lets you Get Things Done. But I admit my focus is split between my husband and the other important people in my life and my work, just about 50/50.
I don't have kids and that's unlikely to change, since I'm 42 and have never had a recognizable maternal urge. But if I did, I don't think I'd shut them out of the office. If my husband wants my company, I give it to him unless I'm in Crazy Deadline Mode.
And with that attitude, my productivity will never be as high as it might be. I know this, and sometimes I regret it. But aiming for some sort of balance seems to be what keeps me sane. If either side gets neglected too long--the writing or the relationship/domestic side--I get a little twitchy.