I haven’t talked about this online for a variety of reasons but you should know that all this time I’ve been blogging about this insanely stressful series of months I’ve been having, there’s been an additional complication on top of everything else making it all that much harder. Namely, that while I was packing up our house of 11 years, trying to buy a new house that kept falling through and coming together again, getting no sleep while battling toddler moving angst, taking action and dealing with the horror of current events and trying to hit a zillion writing deadlines while sick, I was also pregnant and having a host of health issues there as well.
But now, dear reader, we are on the other side of much of that. Baby is here and healthy (something I was SUPER worried about after all the stress and drama the poor thing was second hand subjected to!), we moved into the new house at the top of the month (which we were doing so we’d have room for baby), things are finally somewhat moving along with selling the old house and, at last, all my writing deadlines are behind me. Everything is still a huge mess, of course, both literally (as we’ve been in here a month and there are still unpacked boxes everywhere and no one knows where anything is) and figuratively (my hormones are all out of whack so stress breakdowns are still happening regularly even though a lot of the worst is behind us). But we’re all here and somewhat settled now which helps tremendously.
With our last baby, we had all those months to get our head around her coming and to prepare for being parents. She had a cute little nursery all set up, outfits lined up in neat rows, everything ready and meticulous. But this time, so much was going on, they handed us the baby and it was like, “Oh right, that baby we haven’t had two seconds to think about.” Waves of mom guilt that I couldn’t take care of myself and baby like last pregnancy and that baby’s world wasn’t ready for her nagged at me daily and still do but there was simply no time.
But though poor baby came into a world where she had no nursery, there are boxes in her crib and chaos all around, Mommy, Daddy and Sister are snuggly and warm and made up the difference with love.
And, folks, I am tired. The last few months had far too much physical work for someone in my condition but it had to be done and there was only us so I did it. There have been days of so much stress I thought I would burst into flames both from the stress itself and because I knew stress was bad for the baby but I kept on because I had to. There have been tears and frustration and hopelessness so bad I thought we’d all sink in it but we didn’t. And while emotions are still raw and there’s still work to be done, it really does feel like the worst is behind us.
I hope. I really freaking hope.
Because the last 10 months of my life were such a stress souffle, I decided to try to take some kind of real maternity leave this time and give myself a break. I closed my eBay store until April and I pulled back on writing. If you’ve been reading these recaps for a while, you know I’ve tried to do this several months in a row now and failed mainly because new writing gigs kept coming up and the move was a rollercoaster of on and off, hurry up and wait. Even at the start of this month, the play I’d handed in at the end of January and thought I was done with for good, ended up needing to be totally rewritten in a week, which meant working non-stop when we had just moved into the new house and I thought I was finally at leisure to get ready for baby. Instead I wrote in every spare second I had around all the pregnancy brain weirdness and stress and made it happen, even literally writing through contractions at one point praying to baby to let me just send this in before she came.
But I got it done on time by some miracle and now my schedule is mostly free. (That getting a rewrite done in a week while 9.5 months pregnant, sick and in an unpacked house, by the way, did not feel like leveling up. It felt like, Holy CRAP, I am never EVER doing that to myself again. EVER.) For now, the only plan is to try to catch my breath for a while and enjoy my new little friend.
Anyway, let’s get into the numbers…
Here’s what February 2017 looked like in writing…
Total Words Written This Month
Average Words Per Day
My goal for the month was 15,301, which is all I would have needed to be on pace with my goal for the year.
132,739/200,000 words (66%)
- The (Completely Inaccurate) Legend of the Mummy Witch House (again because I had to totally rewrite it)
Other Works Actively in Progress this Month:
- Moved into a new house and…
- Had a baby!
How did February 2017 stack to up past years?
Aside from the two outlier years? Pretty darn consistant totals, though the first graph makes it clear I front loaded this month and then mostly coasted. Which is fine since baby came just after the midpoint of the month and no one can blame me for taking that writing break. 😉
For now, the only writing I’m doing are journal entries (I started keeping a baby journal with my first daughter and I’m trying to do the same for #2) and behind the scenes organizational things (for example, I’m developing a new system for keeping track of all my works in progress and their statuses). If, by some miracle, I find myself with enough schedule stability and time, I still hope to finish 4th Orange soon but I’m not going to set any more firm deadlines for a long while. Yesterday I used half of what could have been my writing time letting the baby sleep on my chest while I snuzzled my face into her soft little baby hair and just breathed her tiny warmth in and that felt like the most important thing I had to do.
I’ve found that writing is the hardest work to get done with a baby, though I’m getting pretty good at typing one handed while nursing. Even now, writing this, I know I’ll be interrupted any second to go feed the baby so it’s hard to focus, especially on something intensive like fiction edits. My productivity will probably take a major hit in the months ahead but that’s fine with me. I did so much work the last few months, I’ve built myself a nice cushion of works to last me a nice long while.
Overall, I need a few weeks to breathe and slow down. And, really, boxes can wait. We will eventually be unpacked. Deadlines will crop up and still somehow be met, as they always are. Breakdowns will happen when they need to but hopefully my emotions will stabilize now that some of the pressure is off.
In the meantime, I’m keeping plenty busy. After all, this baby isn’t going to snuggle herself.