Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Oh, my goodness my brain is mush. I've been writing for two days straight more or less (with about a million interruptions a day, of course) and I feel like breaking something. This lovely little section of novel #3 was supposed to be done weeks ago. But then we all got sick, celebrated Christmas, and spun our wheels trying to get back on track. Now I'm feeling behind, and this frantic push to finish the section I'm currently working on is killing me. I'm almost there! The conclusion is only a page or so away! Why can't I pull the trigger???

Take a breath, Niki. Whewwww... Okay, here's my dilemma. In After the Leaves Fall and Summer Snow, my chapters typically ran about 2,000-3,500 words in length. My new book doesn't have chapters so much as it has sections: long segments of three different POVs broken up by smaller scenes. So although each section has smaller components, I still see each one as a whole. And this whole is closer to 6,000-8,000 words at a time. Here's the kicker: because I view these larger sections as one complete unit, I can't function properly until the whole darn thing is done. It consumes me. It renders me useless for anything but writing until I have put the entire section behind me. Seriously, it's bad. My oldest son wanted me to play race cars with him this afternoon and I zoned out so completely thinking about my book that he had to jump up and down on my stomach (I was laying on my back) to get my attention. Poor kid! I feel like a terrible mother.

Anyway, I've been thinking about balance in life and wondering what it is that YOU do to keep yourself sane and your priorities straight. I could use a little advice. A friendly pointer? A ghost writer? Just kidding. I love my writing, I love my family, I love my life. It's just that sometimes it all starts to swim together and I have a hard time keeping everything where it should be. Post a comment, send me an email. I'd love to hear what you have to say. In the meantime, I'd better get back to writing. The kids are asleep and if I don't finish this tonight... Well, I'd rather not think about it!


  1. So'd ya get it done? There are ways of getting perspective that I've experienced recently, but I wouldn't recommend them to anyone...(and I think you already know what they are).
    Hang in there, you'll get that puppy finished!

  2. Hey Niki - When I get overwhelmed I find myself singing the "Cares Chorus" over and over again. It helps to slow me down and put things in perspective and reminds me that I am not in control. A nice bath helps too (but we moms don't get to do that alone unless we lock the door and listen to the incessant banging, which defeats the purpose of the bath :)

  3. I finished the section! And I'm very happy with it, I might add. Best of all, I rewarded myself with a hot bath, a glass of wine, and a good book. Sounds balanced to me. Or relaxing, at least. :)