Bullet Wisdom

I am an Active Duty Officer in the US Army. I am a Husband, father, writer, hunter, gamer, and SOLDIER. This blog is a forum for my many hobbies as well as my random musings.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Adventures of an Aspiring Author

It's Friday. Thankfully. It's been one of those weeks where the work/effort to payoff ratio has been skewed in the wrong direction. First, to the Texas Rangers. Boo. What the heck, guys? Score some freaking runs and try to get through the middle innings without getting shelled.

I'd thought I'd end the week with a quick play-by-play of a typical night in the life of an aspiring author. Let me rephrase, a typical night in the life of a working/parent-aspiring author. Sometimes I wonder how I ever finished a manuscript at all. Oh, wait, I was in Iraq!

5:00 pm - Horn blows, time to close up shop. Can't wait to get home and finish up the current chapter. I was on a wicked roll last night and there's some fresh ideas that need to be captured.

5:10 pm - Heading out door and phone rings. Higher ups want a copy of every purchase receipt going back to March. Wait, you need this today? Everone's already left... but I wasn't here in... I'm not... I... Oh, crap.

6:30 pm - Walked through the front door, threw stuff on the floor, kissed wife, and sat down for family dinner, a decent meal of leftover, then scolded son for playing with his during grace.

7:00 pm - Shower and change. Set up writing station. Open up Macbook Pro and launch Scrivener (if you don't have this you hurt). Review hand written notes from previous evening.

7:05 pm - Wife calls. My sh*t doesn't belong on the floor. Go and pick up. Assist with dinner clean up. Take out trash.

7:45 pm - Back to writing/man-cave. Put on headphones. I'm writing an action sequence, so I dial up assortment of Tool, Chevelle, Nickelback, and Three Days Grace. Focus Time.

7:55 pm - Tap on shoulder. It's the boy. He's holding a sheet of paper dated two weeks ago. Looks like its covered in dried juice and cracker crumbs. Apparently it's a reading project involving rote memorization, a substantial amount of illustrations, and a wing-board. It's due tomorrow.

9:00 pm - Homework completed thanks to parental intervention and large amount of yelling. Back in front of keyboard. Headphones on and tunes cranked. Another tap on shoulder. It's the daughter. Mommy requests my presence in the family room.

9:05 pm - Wife hasn't sat with me and watched TV all week. She'd like to watch some TV. Turn on TV and attempt to leave, but there's clarification. She doesn't want to watch TV, she wants to watch a movie WITH me. Power up BluRay player and sit.

11:00 pm - Wife is dowstairs getting ready for bed. Finally sit down and attempt to salvage some writing. Wait, I forgot something, something I wanted to do yesterday but didn't get around to accomplishing.

11:05 pm - Run down to garage and fire up irrigation system. I'm in the area, so pack up my sh*t and prepare clothes for next work day. While I'm in the area, trasfer wet clothes from washer to dryer, and fold batch of laundry while watching angry people on Fox News.

11:35 pm - Officially abandon writing/man-cave. Bring laptop downstairs to bedroom. Wife is already asleep. Conduct nightly hygiene regimen, then crawl into bed. Open laptop, review previous night writing.

11:50 pm - Correct numerous typos from previous session as well as some narration that made absolutely no sense whatsoever. Frantically type out cool new ideas (now a little stale) in bullet format so as not to forget them before next writing session. Hack through some awkward dialogue, then realize the entire bit is not germane to the plot. Shift-Fn-Up, Fn-Delete.

12:15 am - Word count for the day, 51 words. At least we have a few cool ideas for next time. Check alarm. Wake-up time is 4 hours and 15 minutes away. Run backup software (backups, people, BACKUPS!). Fold up Macbook. Go to bed.

Not every night is so crazy, but all have the potential. I wouldn't be able to write at all if it weren't for the support of my awesome wife, so I'll just take a moment to thank her for being amazing. As a working/parent/aspiring-author, I work when I have to, I parent always, and I write whenever I have the chance. Someday, I'll finish this damn rewrite, then reach for a glass of Scotch. A really tall glass.


Danielle La Paglia said...

Yep, that sounds about right to me. I have daily writing/editing goals, but sometimes that just doesn't work out. Writing life has to take a backseat to family life. Someday, maybe I can abandon the day job and write in the light of day. But not today.

Pat Hollett said...

I loved the '51 words written'! So real and down to earth. Life has a funny way of always being in the way, but as a parent we wouldn't have it any other way. At least you make time for your family and you obviously put them first. Someday, you will see your work published. You work hard and deserve a break. Sounds like you have a great family Ken. :)

Anonymous said...

It's hard to find writing time. Keep at it :)


Morgan Ashbury said...

You may not realize it, but while you're going through all these frustrations, you're also filling your "writing well". No matter what genre you write, there will be times when you need some slices of life - crazy, trying, ordinary life.

I did little writing when I was working full time and raising my kids: but then I didn't really make myself write, then either. Generally what time wasn't spent working, doing housework and dealing with kids was spent...sleeping.

Keep writing, never quit. You'll get there.

Falcata Times said...

At least you managed to get some writing time. I feel your pain. Incidently how'd the son do with his school work in the end?

Angela Addams said...

Yes that's typical - when you need to get things done a millon other things get in the way!

Michelle M said...

And I thought my life got crazy at times!

Ias Julie said, sometimes, it really is hard to find the time to write.

Angela Magee said...

I love this post. While in theory I know we all "go throw it", I feel a special kind of I'm-not-alone comfort from seeing a day in your life.