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Mama Writer, Week Seven

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Sep. 27th, 2009 | 08:56 pm

Last week, I looked at the fact that I had 94,500 words down on my ms and blithely considered the possibility of reaching 100,000 by the end of the month. To be specific, by the 30th, which is the day my honey goes back to work and I am officially a stay-at-home-mum/writer on my OWN.

I then laughed at myself, because who was I kidding? I had a 6 week old baby, and in the first 20 days of the month I had only managed 2000 words. And that was, frankly, a major achievement considering my brainspace and lack of sleep. To manage another 5,500 in the last 10 days a month was crazysauce.

I continued on my 100 words a day method for a day or two, and then something clicked.

Why couldn't I go for it? I had to step up to a better work rate by October, and it was the height of crazycakes to expect it to just miraculously happen on the day that my partner was no longer there to help with the kids during the day.

So I sat down during a babynap, cranked up the Cabaret of Monsters playlist, and wrote 1000 words in one sitting. My brain then melted out my ears for the rest of the day. But the point is - I did it. All this week I have written every day, with 500 words rather than 100 being my minimum. I've gone from having written 2000 words this month to having written nearly 7000 - and at some point in the next two days, I will hit the 100K mark.

It's not a lot by my pre-baby standards, but it's looking pretty damn fine from here.

Pushing my boundaries this week was one of the best post-baby decisions I made - I have been able to test what my current ability levels are, how and when I write best, and so on. My biggest challenge came yesterday, when a children's party and an afternoon nap meant that I still hadn't done my words by dinner time. In my old life that wouldn't have been a problem - churning out 1667 words after Raeli had gone to bed was more than possible.

But I don't live that life right now. By the time Raeli has gone to bed and we've managed to get Jemima at least pretending to sleep, I'm usually completely trashed. That's assuming that there is a gap between Raeli going to sleep (finally) and the baby waking up. Usually Jem manages to miraculously choose the exact moment that her sister loses consciousness to make a claim for freedom and mummy attention.

Last night, after big girl bedtime stories, I put the baby into my honey's hands, put in my earphones and played loud music at myself to just damn well churn out those 500 words. Five songs later, I had it done. Possible, yes, but way too hard on myself. I'll work harder to get the words done early in the day from now on. Babyjuggling is hard enough in the evening without work commitments as well.

I feel ridiculously proud of myself this week, though. Normality is in sight - or something approximating it. You can go a loooong way on 500 words a day.

(and oh yes, the latest edits for Cafe La Femme arrived this week, but that is a story for Mama Writer, Week Eight.)

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Comments {3}

Ben Payne

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from: benpayne
date: Sep. 27th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)

Well done, mama writer!

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from: godiyeva
date: Sep. 28th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC)

THank you for not saying normalcy.

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from: jumbled_words
date: Sep. 28th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)

Yay you!

(Also, if that is not the LAST round of edits I volunteer to strangle your publisher for a batch of violet cupcakes!)

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