Jesse Hayworth
Jesse Hayworth

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Jaunty Post

“So … how’s the writing going, now that you’ve got the baby?” 

Maybe it’s not the first thing that people ask when they haven’t seen me for a bit, but it’s certainly on the list. 

And the answer is … “It’s complicated.” 

The answer. The writing. All of it. 

You see, for the first time since 2003, I don’t have a book scheduled for release this year. Over the past 13 years, I’ve never had fewer than two books out. Several years, I had six. I’m not great at math, but I remember distinctly that it meant turning in a book every two months. These days, I’m lucky if I write a chapter in two months, and odds are that I’ll throw it out the following month. I’ve started the same book four times now. And by “start,” I mean write 40-70k words before the wheels come off the bus.

I’m a writer. I know I am. But I’m not doing a very good job of it at the moment.

Partly, it’s a time thing–I used to have nothing better to do than write. I didn’t like my life, so what better than to lose myself in someone else’s romance? And now, well, I love my life and want to live every second of it (well, okay, there’s about an hour of today that could use a do-over, but in the grand scheme, we’ll go with ‘every second of it’). Not to mention, there are two fine and handsome men who have claims on my time, one of whom wants All Mommy All The Time. 

But there are plenty of wonderful, prolific authors out there who write alongside full time jobs and family, and a whole lot more time constraints than I have. And even when I do get a few hours to sit down and write … I’ve got to be honest with myself. It’s not the same. And that’s because I’m not the same.

I’ll say it. I’ve gone soft. And not in a good way, at least in writing terms. Because good writing (and especially good romance writing) requires this little thing called conflict, and good romantic suspense writing requires a really great villain. 

And here’s me, for the first time in my life taking a look around and seeing everyone around me not as they are today–good or bad, mean or kind–but as the year-old toddler they once might have been, and all the things their parents might have wished and hoped for them, the way Arizona and I are wishing and hoping for Wallaby right now. 

Which makes it really, really hard to kill someone, even on paper. It makes it hard to write something sharp, nasty, or mean, because even the villain was once somebody’s baby. It makes it hard to write a character flaw, a mistake, or even a misstep. Which makes for a heck of a boring book.

Gah.

Is it hormones? Maybe. Hopefully. Because I’ve got a great story outlined, if I can just get out of my own way long enough to write the heck out of it. Which I know I’ll do. I will, because I want to, and because I know I can. 

One of these days.

But in the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Youtube the 9/11 Budweiser commercial and have a good sniffle.

 


10 thoughts on “Going soft (in the head)

  1. Amy says:

    You’ll never be the same as you were pre-mom. But that isn’t a bad thing. It is just frustrating not being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. But if you look in the dictionary that is the definition beside “Mom”. Trust me, you will get it figured out. And balance will be restored. But, it probably won’t be today….or tomorrow. 😊

  2. *hugs* Nothing changed me as much as becoming a mom. I’d written one book before having my daughter, and everything I’ve written since is…pretty different. Maybe your writing is moving toward a different genre–contemporary rather than RS, for example. Or maybe you’ll get back to RS soon. Every mom, every baby, every writer is different. You’ll figure it out.

    BTW, I have cried at a Visa commercial. VISA. Yes. In my defense, it’s the one with Dan Jansen. Check it out on YouTube. *sniffle*

  3. Dawn A says:

    Eventually, that bad guy will demand to have his story told, so until then, enjoy watching the Wallaby discover new things. 🙂

  4. catslady says:

    I wouldn’t force it if you don’t have to. Write if you feel the need but if not and it’s possible for you, taking some time off isn’t a horrible thing either.

  5. My CP, who is bestselling contemporary romance author, took a break when her kids were little – because THAT is what she wanted to focus on. That was where her energy needed to go. At a certain point, she returned to writing and she hasn’t looked back. She’s more successful than she’s ever been!

    Jess, why don’t you just write for yourself and not worry about the final product at this point?

  6. Shana Galen Shana Galen says:

    I second what Theresa said. Being a mom changes you. But if you give it some time, you will start getting some of yourself back. It may not be the exact same self you were before your sweet baby was born, but it will still be more you than the you you are now (um…you know what I mean). For me it took 2-3 years before I felt like me again. A lot of moms told me it takes 6 months to a year. So take your time and embrace the new you!

  7. Eileen A-W says:

    HUGS!!! Nothing changed me as much as becoming a mom. It’s life altering!! Like you, I would never go back to the previous life but I had to learn how to live with the changes. It will all come together for you at some point. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but it will all mesh for you. Good luck and enjoy Wallaby.

  8. Lisa Hutson says:

    They do change everything, don’t they? You will never be the same. I am not a writer. But I am thinking maybe you can’t write the same stories that you wrote before. Maybe you have to tweek your stories to fit the new you? I have read stories when no one dies.
    Maybe the story you have outlined isn’t the story for you these days?
    Be kind and gentle with yourself, you will get it.

  9. We’ll talk, Jess. : ) I didn’t start writing until my kids were 3 and 6, and I definitely have gotten a bit darker as they’ve aged (totally their fault…their closets alone inspire all sorts of evil thoughts). You’ll get there, Jess.

  10. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

    Your son will only be little once…so take the time you need to be with him. Because you’re a writer…when the time is right, the pages will come.

    I’m so happy that life is good. That’s what’s important.

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