Oh Internets, hello!
Here’s what has been happening lately.
On April 30, I abandoned my husband and my baby and walked down the street to a local coffee shop. I ordered a coffee, (a real, live CAFFEINATED coffee!) and I hogged a four person table near an electrical outlet and I wrote.
I sat, and wrote, and drank that fucking fantastic caffeinated coffee for like five hours straight. It was awesome. And stressful. And terrifying to be so close to done.
After five hours I closed my little laptop, walked back up the hill, smelled Olive’s head for a bit, pumped to get rid of that coffee-breastmilk (except I couldn’t bring myself to dump it, so I may now be the only person in the world to have a little bag of frozen breastmilk in their freezer labelled “Caffeinated”.
Then I locked myself in our room and read through the entire book, beginning to end. Adding, and deleting, and rearranging sentences. removing commas, adding periods. Proofreading and panicking.
And then at 11:00pm, I wrote an email to my editor, attached the book – all 53,642 words, all 167 pages – and then went to press send. and couldn’t do it.
My mouse hovered over that button for what seemed like forever, as I kept wracking my brain, “Did I remember…? Did I include…? Did I correct?…What about…? Is it done? Is it ready? Am I ready?”
I expected to immediately feel lighter, or prouder, or free-er. Instead I just felt that thick ball of nerves I’ve been carrying around for almost exactly a year, dig themselves a little deeper.
So then, like a normal person would, at almost midnight, I baked myself a two layer chocolate cake (complete with frosting) and as I licked my fingers I tried to remember to feel proud of myself and to reflect back on what a cool process this has been. Oftentimes after working so hard to get somewhere, you forget to celebrate once you’re there because you are already looking onto the next part.
This was very true for me. After I pressed send I wasn’t thinking, like maybe I should have been – Holyshit! I just wrote a BOOK! What the what? Who’s life is this? Sweet brown, this is terrific!”
I was thinking instead, “Ohgodohgodohgod what if they don’t like it. what if it’s not funny what if it’s not useful what if I have to rewrite the whole thing what if it only sells five copies and everyone laughs?”
Welcome to the internal wrestling match that is an overthinkers mind.
Thankfully, the next morning when I woke with the gritty feel of chocolate in my mouth, and a sunny day ahead of me, I DID feel free! I didn’t touch the computer all day, or the next or the next. I went for walks with Olive and hung laundry outside and sat in the sun. And although my days didn’t look wildly different I didn’t have that insidious guilt constantly lurking in the back of my head, any time I was doing anything other than writing.
So. Now we wait!
I would like to take a moment, here on my Internet Blog, to publicly pat myself on the back – not for getting this done, but for HOW I got it done. I am the procrastinator of all procrastinators. In university I rarely started writing papers until two or three days before they were due – whether they were 5 pages or 15. Tests were always crammed for, assignments left to the last minute. I convinced myself that I worked best this way, and I got the marks to back it up so I never had reason to change.
But this time, I did not procrastinate. I wrote almost every day for the past six months. I took it a little bit at a time, word by word, topic by topic and I didn’t leave it to a blazing hellfire of stress and anxiety at the end. I am really proud of myself for that. So, I i think I am maturing. Or learning to manage my time better. Or something.
In Olive news, she sits by herself like a total champ these days, and potty training is going really well. We usually sit her on it as we change her in the mornings, and she has peed and pooped in it lots – I think the way she sits on it puts her in a nice squat and that helps things a lot. Plus seeing a tiny seven month old sitting on a potty by herself – oh I wish I could show you. It’s the cutest thing ever.
New foods she has tried: Salsa, guacamole, deer, lamb, salmon, pears, green beans, broccoli (NEVER AGAIN! That child smelled SO bad after eating it), omelette, and probably a few more that I’m forgetting (all homemade). This girl loves to eat, and is so enthusiastic about it, it is so amazing to see her discover new tastes and textures, and lunge for the spoon like a starving animal.
I think we’re all caught up now! Blogging will be back to a more regular schedule, and I even have a cool giveaway coming up. because y’all more than deserve it.