I made my crazy deadline of finishing the revisions on my new novel before the girls finished school for the year. I actually beat my deadline by 2 days. Hurray! The only trouble is waking up the next day, after all of those weeks/months of putting pressure on myself, and having no novel-in-progress sitting on my shoulders, waiting. I won't work on it at all while it's out with my beta readers, which is a good thing. By the time their comments come in I will have had a much-needed break from it and I'll (hopefully) have a new perspective on it and will be able to revise anew with a fresh viewpoint. But in the mean time, what do I do with myself?
It reminds me of when I finished grad school. It was a ridiculously busy two years of my life. I was working full time, attending grad school full time, and doing my own divorce, because it just killed me to think of hiring a lawyer to do a bunch of negotiating and paperwork that I knew I could do myself. It also meant that for those two years I had a grand total of maybe ten free minutes each and every day. I worked from 8am-3pm, raced across town to school, was in class until 7pm, headed home to log onto my work account for two more hours of work, then tackled my studies until 1am or so. The same routine every day, for two years. And then one day it was all over. The divorce and school part anyway, and a simple full-time job just didn't seem like enough to keep me busy to my new standard for normal. So I joined two writing groups, took a writing workshop to develop my master's thesis into a book, organized daily outings with friends I hadn't seen in two years, took a tarot class, chased a promotion at work, and started following about 10 local bands from bar to club so that I was never, for a second, sitting still. After I finished the workshop and tarot class, after half the bands had either broken up or moved to LA for their big break, after I'd had ample time to catch up with every friend I had, I did eventually slow down into a more relaxed routine.
This time around I have the benefit of having two small children, so sitting still just isn't an option. But the feeling of being in a race against time, of needing to get a lot of words down on the page every day, is still going strong. But after tomorrow summer vacation is here, and my girls don't let me write all day while they play nicely together. They need an activities coordinator, and most importantly, a referee. I'm sure they'll keep me busy enough that before I know it my beta readers will be done and I'll have a novel to revise. In the mean time I'll do my best to maintain momentum on smaller projects. I have three short story ideas to develop. Two parenting essays in mind. A novel I've never been happy with that I'm tempted to overhaul. I'm sure eventually I'll settle down and just enjoy the sunny weather and park visits with my girls. But until then I'm going to sneak in as much writing as I can.