These past few months have been crazy. The launch of my debut novel. A complete rewrite of my second. And amid all that, life. Friends and family and house and dogs and workouts and parties and showers and hair and travel. Like I said, crazy. Looking back, I wonder how any of us survived it. How I remembered to pick up the kids and cook the family dinner and show up on time for anything.
And then, somewhere in the middle of all the insanity, I told my husband (okay, so maybe I promised and swore) I would take the rest of the year off from writing and just be.
Already I regret it.
Because now that my second book is turned in to my editor, now that I’ve got time to read and think and yes, take daily showers again, my third novel is reeling me back in with a force I can’t ignore. I hear the characters in my head, telling me their new thoughts, suggesting new and unexpected twists to their stories. I see the new scenes play out like a movie across my brain, a whole new plotline that will make the others pop. I want to hole myself up in a cabin somewhere and get it out. I don’t want to just be. I want to be and write.
Maybe that’s the lesson here, that I need to figure out a way to do both. To spend a good chunk of the day getting words onto the page but then learn to close my laptop at a decent hour and enjoy the evening with my family and friends. To not get so caught up in my story that I shove aside everything else, including personal grooming, to get it out. To give myself time and permission to be while I write.
Because ultimately, no matter how funny and irresistible the characters are in my head, the ones who star in my my real, everyday life matter so much more.