Thursday, July 15, 2010

Personal Inventory: Busyness

I’ll admit it. I’ve been terrible about posting to this blog lately.

I have the perennial excuse. I’ve been busy.

Of course, the word “busy” covers a wide gamut. It could mean everything from raising eight kids while running a business and writing a bestseller, to engaging in a year-long solitaire tournament with myself.

Since most of my efforts are of the long-term kind rather than the instant gratification sort, I do sometimes feel I’m spinning my wheels in an endurance marathon to nowhere.

Seriously, though, I’ve been busy. What have I been up to?
  • I’m not raising eight kids, but I am raising one two-year-old…the always busy and sometimes whiny Baby M. Motherhood…check.
  • I am a partner in a two-person gelato business. Dormant during the winter months, summer sees it swamp me under an obligation that sucks away at least 10 hours a week, often more. Running a business…check.
  • I’ve spent the last year looking for an agent for a picture book manuscript. A couple of months ago, I finally received a helpful reply. Did you know that concepts as characters make crappy stories? I didn’t. That particular book is now on the back burner. No, that’s not a euphemism for the literary glue factory. It’s more like, “Great bone structure but needs a total makeover.” So, now I’m researching kids lit markets and working on a new picture book, in rhyming pentameter, no less. (No, not iambic pentameter; I’m not Shakespeare, after all.)
  • I’m working on a novel. Since that mostly happens between the hours of 5 and 7 AM, though, that doesn’t really contribute to my busyness during the day. It does have a great deal to do with my constant state of exhaustion. That makes everything else take longer so, hey, maybe it does contribute. Writing a bestseller? Ah, what the heck…check.
  • I’m not playing any kind of tournament with myself, though I will admit to a time-sucking fondness for The West. (Please don’t take it away; I finally have the complete Indian outfit on World 1!)
Other than that:
  • I recently conducted a profile interview and now have the article written and the query with a regional publication. I also have a couple other articles, some tips and fillers, and several short stories out and about.
  • My freelance editing and copywriting continues. Right now that means a steady gig that requires two 500-word articles and two press releases every week.
  • I have this blog, a biweekly devotional blog, and two family blogs.
  • I have meals to make, laundry to do, bills to pay, a house to help clean and a garden to tend.
  • I decided to make Christmas gifts this year. Why did I do that to myself? Oh, that’s right; I’m a masochist.
Wow. Looking at it on my computer screen, I realize I actually am busy. Sometimes it seems like an excuse. On days when I feel I’ve gotten nowhere, it feels quite futile. And, looking at that list, I still wonder, where has all this gotten me?
  • It’s gotten me two rejections, one of which I mentioned in my last post. The other waited in my inbox this morning. That’s good news. I now know one more publication that wasn’t a fit for that story.
  • It’s gotten me more familiarity with the kids lit world, which has stripped away some naiveté about what it takes to publish a picture book.
  • It's gotten me a 2-year-old who thinks she's a children's book illustrator.
  • It’s gotten me a short story acceptance, which came in the mail yesterday and which I’m going to have framed. Yes, look for my name in print come fall.
  • It’s gotten me a great conversation with a fabulous musician.
  • It’s gotten me the knowledge that I’m not Superwoman, nor do I have to be.
  • It’s gotten me absolutely no immunity to the effect of seeing a SASE in my mailbox.
  • It’s gotten me the assurance that I have something to offer the world, that I actually do know how to stick with this, that I can keep hammering at the door until it opens, that I can be a contender.
And that means it’s given me quite a lot.

What has your busyness given you?

1 comment:

Lobug said...

Congrats on the short story acceptance!!!! :) So excited for you!
You are super busy. Super woman? Maybe not, but pretty amazing nonetheless. :D