A little at a time

I’m editing again–and surprised at how soon I’ve been able to get back into it, actually. It took me six months after my son was born before I tried to integrate writing into my new life, but I’ve been steadily editing for a few weeks now. A paragraph here, big chunks there; fifteen minutes here, a couple of hours there. Slowly but surely, it’s getting done (even though at times it feels like it’s not).

Storyboarding has been a huge help, especially for a chunk that needed [what feels like a] big overhaul. I jotted down each scene on an index card and taped them to the living room wall. Most of my time is spent in that room, so I was able to stare at the scenes for a little bit over a period of a week or two, and experiment with moving scenes around or removing them altogether. What a great tool! I don’t know why I hadn’t tried it or thought of it before, but I definitely plan to use this method in the future. It lets me “write” even when I can’t write, and I think it’ll be especially good during the outlining and plotting phase. In lieu of photos and artwork, my walls will be adorned with Sharpie-scrawled index cards.

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This is what productivity looks like for me sometimes: Breakthroughs during burping sessions.

Somehow, I’m also managing to read. I don’t know how, but it seems like I finish more books in the few months after I have a baby. Maybe it’s because my expectations for myself are lower, so I don’t pressure myself to be as productive as a writer and I can therefore enjoy reading more (usually, if I have time to read, I feel like it’d be better for me to use the time to write instead). So, I’ve finally read Brave New World (excellent!) and am in the middle of In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente. Valente’s prose is breathtaking. I love it when a writer uses beautiful phraseology and smart, unique metaphors and similes that make me just stop and relish the sentences. Her stories (the book is like One Thousand and One Nights reimagined) have absolutely transported me, and since they are small tales that weave into a larger one, I feel satisfied even when I only get to read a couple of pages at a time.

A little at a time. That’s just my pace these days. But it’ll be so worth it once it’s done.

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