Monday, October 3, 2011

Changes ahead

This is one of those blog posts that I dislike having to write, because I'd much rather bloviate about politics, culture, or religion than talk about anything even remotely personal.

But I've come up, lately, against a few unpleasant realities that I can't deny, and the responsible thing to do is to deal with them.

Reality number one: our school days are getting longer. With two in high school and one in the eighth grade, homeschooling is, shall we say, a greater adventure than ever. It's certainly a more demanding sort of adventure, of the "finding oneself on a quest for survival after falling through a hole in the fabric of space/time and ending up in the middle of the Battle of Hastings" variety (meaning, we'll be fine as long as we recall the superiority of the combined arms attack). But the increase in length of our school days means a decrease in the amount of my grotesquely misnamed "free" time (as every mother knows, "free" time is really "time I have stolen away from the mountain of chores and responsibilities awaiting me because this sort of time theft is cheaper than therapy"), which is leading to some unforeseen difficulties, which leads us to:

Reality number two: this blog takes a lot of time. Sure, it looks like I slap these posts together in a twenty-minute caffeine-fueled frenzy, but sadly I do spend quite a bit of time reading the news and other blogs, contemplating the topics I plan to write about, doing the actual writing, and then proofreading (not always well, alas) before hitting the "publish post" button. When I'm being efficient about it all, I probably spend about an hour a day on the blog (and most of that time is writing). When I'm uninspired, tired, or less than sure what I really think about the issue (which means I start writing frantically and erase huge swaths of text when I actually nail down my opinion), it can take double that amount. In previous years I have managed to find those hours in bits and pieces throughout the day, but this year seems to be different so far. And one reason for the difference, beside the longer school days, is:

Reality number three: I am way behind schedule in my attempt to self-publish my first children's fiction book; I'm even way behind schedule in my attempt to blog about the process, because frankly the process has turned into me feeling stressed about not having enough time in my day to work on my fiction, let alone to blog about it, let alone to maintain this blog and the sadly neglected C4C blog. And I need to get the whole fiction-publishing thing going. I've wanted to publish a book of children's fiction since I wrote my first (terrible) one back when I was fifteen years old. At present I have, not counting that one, at least six manuscripts of children's fiction (there may be more, because I'm really bad at keeping track) most of which are either finished or nearly finished and two of which are part of the series I'm presently working on self-publishing. I like writing fiction--it energizes and inspires me in ways that no amount of non-fiction writing can do. I'm going to keep on doing it whether my books sell to anyone other than friends and family or not; I'd do it even if self-publishing weren't the possibility it is these days; I'll do it even if it turns out that I'm totally awful at it, because I love doing it, and find it absolutely necessary, somehow.

And, yes, I do like writing this blog, too. But if I'm ever going to give the fiction writing a decent chance, something has to give.

I'd like to keep posting here, and I'd like to keep posting daily on weekdays, as I've been doing (but we'll see). The posts are going to have to be shorter, though, and if I don't respond to you in the comment boxes as frequently it doesn't mean I'm not paying attention. Because the fourth reality is that even my little comment boxes require more of my attention than I can realistically give if I'm also preparing my first book in my planned series for publication, finishing the final chapter of the second book and beginning the editing process for that one, and preparing to write the first draft of the third book during this November's National Novel Writing Month. It is just, alas, becoming too much.

Eventually things will settle down (I hope!). I really do want to do both, to write and publish fiction and keep this blog going. Right now, though, I really need to give the fiction a fighting chance, and that means putting this blog just slightly on the back burner.

As always, your patience is greatly appreciated.


Dom said...

All the best with the writing!!

scotch meg said...

Good luck, Erin!

May we meet somewhere after our books become best sellers...

And do remember that the Daughters of St. Paul are actively seeking children's books to publish.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

Erin, thank you very much for providing this forum. Even though we fundamentally disagree, I thank you for your patience and tolerance.

Be well and successful!

Joshua said...


This is (I think) the first time I've commented on your blog. I really love reading it, but I strongly encourage you to put your fiction writing first. I'm in the process of proofing my own first self-published novel, and, though it has been maddeningly frustrating (especially the e-publishing part), it is worth it. The happiness that comes from holding the softcover copy in my hands is only eclipsed by the joy I feel when one of my students (voluntarily) reads and enjoys it.

I wish you good luck and abundant blessings!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your book. I hope you can keep writing here, even if not as often. Even one thought-provoking post a month would be great, even if it's not on a topic that is happening right at this minute. I don't think blogging has to be about quantity, but quality, which you provide. Some bloggers post many times a day, but they often become news aggregator blogs. Which is fine, but I think there is room for different models. Best wishes to you.

Ann Marie

The Cottage Child said...

Erin, I love your political commentary, usually just sort of nod my head and mutter "uh-huh" anymore, you say it just like I mean to - but I appreciate mostly that you do it amongst practicing your faith and serving your family. I would enjoy anything you write, so whatever you can manage, be it here or elsewhere, this forum or another, I'd learn something, I'm certain! Thank you for even worrying over it, but don't. We're here when you are!

Anonymous said...

Okay, all righty then! Do what you must do. Relish the blog, and am sure I would find integrity in all your work. Good luck, and God Bless!