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.