editing, Life Talk, philosophy, publishing, stories, writing

Finished! (Well, Sorta)

Monday evening right before dinner, I typed the last words to my final short story planned for this summer. I still have plenty (PLENTY) of editing to do on all five stories and the novella, but the actual creating part is done.

So weird this morning not to open up a document on my computer as soon as I got up.

I’m not going to write anything (except blog posts and Twitter/FB updates, naturally) for the rest of this week. Give it all a chance to simmer. Clean my poor neglected house. Make bread. Finish organizing the school supplies for this fall.

I’m making a good start on cleaning up other projects already – I have the main body of Grace’s sunshine quilt all sewn and almost all the borders on. After that, it’s a simple matter of assembling, tying, and binding (which will still take a long time, but not as long as the putting together of the quilt top itself).

I was nervous about setting myself such a definite goal and project for this summer – a collection of short stories and/or a novella to indie publish this fall. And it’s definitely stretched me, and I definitely will never again set myself such a tight time frame for a relatively major project while my kids are still little, but it’s also been great. I’ve proven to myself that I CAN do this, I can accomplish something when I set my mind to it, I don’t always have to be the person who loses heart partway through.

Granted, there’s still a great deal to do. I have a copy-editor, but I still need to figure out cover design and formatting, along with the aforementioned edits.

But the end is in sight. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have confidence that I’m going to get there, and confidence is half the battle, right?

The other tremendously important thing I’ve learned this summer is that, while making writing my career is so vital to me, it’s not worth family. Honestly, that’s said so often that it’s completely cliche, but I’ve never been entirely certain of its veracity before. Not until I actually had to make the choice every day: kids/husband or writing? The times I chose the family I do not regret at all, and the times I chose writing … well, sometimes taking a break from my family WAS needful for my sanity (hey, just trying to be completely transparent here), but mostly, I have learned that spending time with my family over my writing will always be the choice that leaves me the most satisfied. And it was good to have the opportunity to learn that for myself, instead of wistfully looking at my piles of unfinished writing projects and suspecting that all those writers that talk about family over writing are just blowing hot air.

My next writing project, after I’ve published these stories, will be to polish up Magic & Mayhem (I have GOT to think of a better title) over the fall and winter, with the loosely-held goal of indie publishing that in Spring 2013. And maybe a few other sneaky side projects along the way – I’ve discovered that short stories can be rather fun.

I’m sure I’ll have plenty other thoughts throughout the rest of the summer on what I’ve learned from this particular writing project, so stay tuned.

If I’m very diligent, I’ll even be able to post pictures of the sunshine quilt before fall, too.

We’ll see!

Joy’s quilt – we’re using the same nine-patch pattern for Grace’s, but with yellows instead of pinks. They are going to look SO ADORABLE side-by-side in the littles’ room once it’s all finished!

14 thoughts on “Finished! (Well, Sorta)”

  1. What a beautiful quilt. I completed a wall hanging years ago and started a queen size which I never finished. Way too big of a project for a beginner like me. I agree with you about family. I haven't gotten a lot done this summer because I've been with my kids. And I love it. It forces me to get up early in the morning to edit. :)

  2. Gorgeous quilt! I recently finished my wip and let it sit for 3 weeks to simmer. And like you I cleaned my whole house, got rid of a bunch of stuff (junk) and basically de-cluttered. And now that everything is nice again I can dive back into revisions :)I kinda like the title magic and mayhem.

  3. I have been promising my husband ever since we were married that I would make a quilt for our bed. We even bought all the fabric for it a couple years ago! I keep putting it off because it's SUCH a major project.

  4. In the interest of full disclosure, my mother did put together that quilt top for me when I was a kid, but never finished it, so I put it together and tied it for Joy. Grace's quilt is (or will be when it's done) all me, though!

  5. Thank you! It's been fun working on short stories instead of novels – that sense of satisfaction comes a lot more quickly, and is great inspiration to KEEP GOING!

  6. I agree with you on family vs. writing. There are seasons of life. Sooner than we think, the children will be grown and then there will be more time for writing (and grandbabies :)

  7. Louise, this is so exciting to hear, that you've completed the short stories and novella. Yes, there is the editing and oh so much more ahead, but without the written stories, there would be nothing ahead! Congratulations and I look forward to your published work.

  8. Can't wait to see the new quilt! Love the pink one! I love the one you made Miss Firecracker too though. I'm wanting to read your short stories now too. I need something new and good to read.

  9. I'm so glad for you…your short story collection\novella is getting to the most exciting part: getting it out in the world and publishing your work. Congrats! Can't wait to read one of those books…

  10. Aw, I'm glad you like Firecracker's quilt. I just put the final border on Grace's this afternoon. She wants it on her bed NOW and I have to keep explaining that Mummy still needs to actually quilt it. She's so excited for it!

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