We just had my son’s fourth birthday. When he was born, I hadn’t made forward progress with my writing in a LONG time. I had a hard drive full of first three chapters of a half-dozen or more books, but I hadn’t finished a book since the birth of my daughter three years before he was born.
Summer in my life has always been linked to my writing–the summer of 2005 is when I finished my first book. The summer of 2007 is when I finished my third book. My daughter was born late that summer, and when my son came n 2010, I realized that it was time to let RWA & my dreams lapse. I hadn’t finished a book in three years. I had two kids. I needed to just move on. I decided I would dedicate myself to book review writing when I could to stay active in the writing world, but that I’d hang up my pencil.
A funny thing happened in early summer 2011 though–I missed writing. Desperately. Passionately. I *wanted* to try again, but I didn’t want to suffer through another three years of false starts. So I made a commitment to myself that I would start writing again, but that I would never go a day without opening my document–even if all I wrote was 5 words, I would keep making progress.
Shortly after my son turned one, I finished that “trial” book using my one-day-at-a-time method. Three months! That book joined the three other unsold books, and then later that year book five joined the under-the-bed crowd.
But then in the summer of 2012 my son turned two and, I finally sold a book–books 6 and 7 sold that summer, with book 8 following suit that fall.
Through it all, I kept on my one-word-at-a-time plan. My kids were getting bigger and my writing hours kept shifting, but I kept just opening that document up each day. I racked up a lot of 50 word days.
In 2012, my son turned three and I finished book 9. Soon I’ll get to tell you all about Book 9,10, 11, and 12 and their new home, but this summer, the ninth summer of writing, the fourth summer of my no-excuses plan, has been full of good things. Book 13 is my Campus Cravings story, while last week, as my little guy finished up year three, I finished up lucky #14.
Four years ago, I had one child, three unsold books, and a lot of deferred dreams. Today, my heart holds more than I ever thought possible.
Happy Birthday to my little man–thank you for the renewed focus you brought to my life.