Thursday, May 17, 2012

Balancing Act

When I'm on a tight deadline like this, everything in my life begins to revolve around the book. I work on it for half the day, and spend the other half of the day thinking about it. While I heat up food for my son, I'm thinking about what happens in the scene that comes next. When I stop to watch TV or read a book, I'm constantly analyzing the stories being told and thinking if there's a way I can learn from them to make my own book better. When I talk to my husband and he tells me about the computer language he's programming in for his latest research project, I'm wondering whether I've rounded out a character arc well enough, or what I could do to fix it. I think about how much is going to need to be done in edits. And then I think, oh god, right when the drafting is done consuming my life, edits for book 2 will begin to consume!!

And then I stop and take a deep breath. I tickle my son or curl up next to my husband on the couch. I keep listening to Sara Zarr's podcasts about finding balance between one's work life and personal life, and also how elusive that kind of equilibrium can be sometimes. I do hope, eventually, I can achieve that tight-rope act of balance. Maybe not right now or in the next two weeks until this book is due, but some day ;) My husband and I keep talking about this mythical oasis (theoretically sometime this summer), when his research projects for his PhD program will be in lull, and I'm in between edits, when we will take a breather, and also take care of all the things that have piled up during the crazy time, such as (but not limited to):

- laundry (oh how it has piled)
- unpacking the last couple boxes from when we moved in nine months ago
- getting our driving licenses for the new state we live in
- decorating (someday I would like to live in a place that doesn't look like I'm a transient college student)
- buy a couple of plants (kind of ties in with previous point)
- organizing all the things that we just shoved random places when we did unpack, so that I can actually FIND things when I need them.
- color my hair (which I managed to bleach after turning in book 2, but have yet to get around to coloring blue and pink)
- take off on a road trip in a random direction some weekend like the hubs and I used to do when we were back in college, preferably towards somewhere incredibly beautiful and soul-affirming. (If only there were mountains in Minnesota! Le sigh, guess a bunch of lakes will have to do).
- clothes shopping. I've gone up a size, but my clothes have not.

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