Friday, April 29, 2011

I Have a Book to Finish

By Kim

The blogosphere has many posts about balancing the writing life with real life. I even wrote one myself at this time last year. Summer vacation loomed and I despaired at the thought of accomplishing nothing on my novel during it. My children were, to be fair, only a fraction of the problem. I had reached a point in the manuscript where my muses weren’t talking, or perhaps I just didn’t like what they had to say. I needed to tune them out for awhile.

Now I can’t ignore them. They jabber away in my head while I run errands, do laundry, and tend to my family’s needs. Even when I have the house to myself, other obligations prevent me from taking dictation for hours on end.

If I didn’t share posting duties at What Women Write with five other women, there’s no way I’d ever finish my manuscript. I’m not the sort of writer who can bang out five hundred words in an hour and throw it up on this blog anymore than I can compose three (or even two) thousand words in a day. I envy authors who can, but I’m too much of a compulsive editor.

A typical post takes me a full day to compose, edit, and put up on Blogger, and that’s after I know what I intend to write about. A book review is far less time consuming to compose, but requires me to read a novel before I can write it. The same goes for an author interview, only in that case I need to tack on at least an hour’s worth of time to come up with questions the author hasn’t already answered on twenty blogs, in the Q and A sections of their books, or on their websites.

Before the tone of this post scares my WWW colleagues or you, I should clarify that I have no intention of bowing out of my blogging duties. I’m simply taking stock of the time commitment involved in the hope that our readers who may toy with the idea of starting a blog of their own will find it helpful.

Painting by Carl Ahrens
Having to write on a deadline, even when ideas and words don’t flow, is a valuable exercise. Someday I hope to have a new novel to write, a finished one to edit, and a published one to promote. I’ll have book club meetings to attend, guest blog posts to write, Facebook and Twitter to update, interviews to give and, I suspect, my sanity to lose. I know I’ll look back with longing on this time when I had no writing obligations other than a novel to complete and a blog post every other week.

That said, I still must prioritize my time. I have roughly 80 pages left to write before The Oak Lovers is complete. My posts may get shorter. I may have a looming blog deadline and not be at a place where I can leave Carl and Madonna’s world longer than it takes to recycle an old post. My prose may be less than perfect once in awhile. I’m not slacking, and I trust that you will forgive me.

I have a book to finish.

Photo of Kim and her children by Deborah Downes


  1. Good luck with the final 80 pages. I enjoy the shared tips when you have time to share them. And, sometimes the shorter the better for me — so I don't spend too much time reading rather than writing.

  2. I applaud you! It is so difficult to prioritize our time--I'm to the point where I have cut out everything I can possibly cut out, and I still can barely breathe! lol I'm spending this weekend putting my office and my priorities in order to figure out how to balance everything, because like you, I have a novel to write. :)

  3. Stacy - Thank you so much for stopping by. I agree that sometimes it is easy to waste a whole day reading blogs if we aren't careful!

    Krissy - Yes, prioritizing is a difficulty, especially with two kids! I cut out things, too. I clean as little as possible!


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