motherhood, writing

Porch Musing


The First Reader and I were sitting on the front porch sipping coffee and waking up, when I started quizzing him on military colloquialisms. He rubbed a hand over his face, standing his hair on end, blinked at me, and pointed out he’d only technically been in S4. 

See, this is why I need his input on this project. It’s not that he’d been there, done that for all the things I intend to stuff into this book. It’s that he’s an observant man, and I can use that to make the story much more real than if I were simply deducing from human nature and my own external observations of military life. 

Yes, I am working on the next book. The East Witch is done (woohoo! Mental cartwheels of joy!) and fermenting. Like really good pickles, or yogurt or something. Takes time to really meld and my re-read next week or so will get the full flavor rather than my trying to look at it too soon while I am still in writing mode. After that, I’ll be recruiting Beta Readers for it. But in this lull, I can’t stop writing. So I’ve moved on to Supporting Ragnarok (you will see it has altered in scope, if you pay attention to the writing progress counters in the sidebar of this blog) and am continuing to mess around with the Hatrack (of course). My daily wordcount goal is now 500 wpd, still modest, but a huge leap from the beginning of this year. As I shake down routines, and take advantage of this vacation, I’m seeing progress. 

Something I learned a long time ago. Success begets success. I was talking with the Little Man about this. He was bemoaning that he’s gone from having a nice daily routine where he was getting things done and felt good about it, and himself, to having fallen off tracks. Once derailed, it’s hard to get back on. As an adult, I know this. As a teen… He’s 15 today. He’s my baby, and he’s counting the days until he can get his learner’s permit and be driving… Sniff. Ok, where was I? Oh, yes. Getting back in the saddle is vital, and the sooner you do it, the better. I’ve been encouraging him, and helping him with some ideas to get him motivated, but in the end, I told him: it’s all you. You have to be the one to do this. I can’t do it for you, not even as your mother. Sure, I could be prodding him along every step of the way, but what happens when I’m not prodding? 

Self discipline is hard for me. I have a bad tendency that can be harnessed for good, but it’s something I have to be constantly aware of: I hyperfocus on projects. When I am deep in the throes of ‘getting it done’ I have a difficult time pulling back and seeing the bigger picture. And if I do pull back so I can do something else at the same time, I can lose the project – especially if it’s writing, where the muse gets sulky and won’t talk to me because I wouldn’t let her out to play – and then I have yet another unfinished end. 

I’m back in the writing saddle. I’ve been here all year, but now I’m finally starting to see momentum. Once I see the rewards, I’m motivated to get more. It’s a simple equation, easy to grasp. Really hard to do in real life. So worth it, though. 

Header image is the birthday boy, my Little Man, about age 4. 


7 thoughts on “Porch Musing

  1. Hyperfocus. That word resulted in a reading pause, some staring at the page and the thought, “Yes, I do that and I never had a name for it.”
    I’m going to continue to think about this.

    I’ve remarked that it’s far easier to continue bad habits than it is to continue good ones.

    1. I did it from childhood and it wasn’t until I had a child I was told ‘you can’t hyperfocus and take care of a baby’ so then I had a name for it.

      I can shut out everything else. Food, drink, if you want my full attention be aware I may respond and then not remember a thing about it later. I warned the First Reader there would be times he’d have to poke me with a stick!

      1. Oh, there’s a name for it? Been doing that all my life. Cost a lot in babysitters when the kids were little, because it was definitely not safe to go into semi-trance without a responsible person supervising them and ready to interrupt me if necessary.

        Granted, there were times when “necessary” was somewhat stringently defined, as in, “If nothing’s on fire and there is no blood, it’s not an emergency.”

          1. I wonder too! Just two kids 10 months apart nearly killed us… I can’t imagine getting anything at all done with four toddlers underfoot!

  2. Undiagnosed ADHD is what my wife suspects. Since our son has been diagnosed it seems probable. When I get involved with a task or project I am indeed hyperfocused, Other times “oh look a chicken!” “Squirrel!” The military did help me to find coping mechanisms and life has also added a few licks.

    1. Yes! I don’t have a diagnosis, but when you start checking all the boxes, eventually you start thinking ‘yup, that’s me..’ so I picked up some of the coping skills for ADD or ADHD. They work, usually. This last weekend I unleashed the full power of my brain to finish the novel in three days. Not much else got done, but it was *glorious* to indulge myself in focus.

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