I did it.
I finished Bloodbonded.
Well, not “finished.” I will have a few more folks read through it one more time before I publish it, just to make sure that the last changes I made make sense and find any weird mistakes, inconsistencies, typos, extra blank lines, etc. And there are a few peripherals that need to be done–a character index, an appendix, a revised bio, some maps. But those are small things, really. The good news is…
Bloodbonded is basically DONE.
My family gave me an amazing gift this weekend: guilt-free time away from home for a full 72 hours. I borrowed a beach house and spent pretty much the entire weekend in this spot:
I may have moved around the house a bit–made coffee, sat in the comfy chair for a while, stretched on the couch, whipped up some eggs for breakfast.
But pretty much, that was my spot and my view.
I read through all of Bloodbonded, beginning to end, out loud, in two days. That’s 550 pages of editing in two days, y’all. That’s brutal. But it was good to read it that quickly. It gave me a good sense of continuity, flow, and consistency. I think all the proper ingredients are there.
Of course, this morning I woke up thinking of things I could add, change, or delete… Creator remorse, people. I’m pretty sure it’s a thing. They’re all little things, though–sentences or paragraphs here and there, brushstrokes of setting, a line of dialogue, etc.
I spent a little time planning and thinking, too. I’m not really sure what came out of it except maybe resolve. Right now, I basically have three jobs–stay-at-home mom, writer, and AHG Troop Coordinator. AHG Troop Coordinator goes away in about three months (can I get an “amen”??). I’ll still be involved there–probably a lot–but I should have fewer responsibilities and less minutiae to distract me from the rest of my life. But generally, I see little signs that my life might get… well, if not easy, at least easiER over the next few months.
So I’m trying to decide what kind of balance or time allocation to aim for. I started to write out all of my weird schedule stuff and then realized–you guys don’t care about all that.
I mean, you guys care about me, but you don’t care about the weird details of my schedule.
You care about me finding time to write.
Four hours a day. I think that’s what I can do most weekdays. Four hours.
And that includes building a social media presence (read: platform/audience), editing, doing business administration, researching markets (and researching stories), and even reading fiction.
There will be days when I can’t do four hours a day, and there will be times when prepping for a campout or getting ready for a party or working on a big school project will mean I can’t write for days in a row.
But there will also be days when I can just throw those obligations out the window and write for six or eight hours.
I wrote down some of my goals for each day, week, month, quarter, and year. I’m sure that, as with all things in my life, those goals will be just that–goals. They’re something to aim for, not something to feel guilty about missing.
I think the biggest progress I made was what happened in my thinking. I am such an overanalyzer. I paralyze myself with my own internal thought spirals. But really, in a way, that’s not a biblical thing to do.
Don’t get me wrong–anti-intellectualism is a thing in the modern church, and too many Christians give people too much fuel for the “Christians don’t think” fire.
But in my own zeal to be an intellectual, thinking Christian, I tend to ignore the other three pieces that Jesus said I should be using to love him–heart, strength, and soul.
If there are Christians who rely too much on their flighty hearts to make decisions and trip from one bone-headed decision to another because “Jesus told me to”–and there are definitely those Christians!–there are also people like me who paralyze themselves into inaction for fear of making a bone-headed decision. Or people who completely turn off their internal wiring because they convince themselves that it’s stupid, wrong, ineffective, or not Jesus-y enough. Or people who completely crush their own internal fortitude because they’ve unintentionally given power to the lies and half-truths those internal thought spirals produce.
(These thoughts actually ended up in Bloodbonded. It’s weird how sometimes my writing helps me work out my own issues. Or maybe it’s not so weird.)
I spend so much time wishing I were someone else–wishing God had wired me differently. But there’s nothing wrong with the way he wired me. He gave me this curse/gift for a reason. I don’t know what that reason is, but that’s not up to me. My job is to be obedient to his call on my life, and that means loving him with heart, mind, soul, and strength. And for me, one outward expression of that love is through my writing.
Resolve. Yes. That’s what happened this weekend. That, and a mostly complete novel.
I don’t expect this to be the last thing you hear from me on this subject. I’m sure I’ll have moments and days and weeks and maybe even months where I am ready to throw up my hands and give up on the whole kit-n-kaboodle.
When that happens, y’all remind me of this post, okay?
So maybe while it is (almost) the end for Bloodbonded, I think it’s just the beginning for me.