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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

IWSG: Worried About WIP :)

Welcome to the March edition of Insecure Writers Support Group.
Apparently I’m very insecure.
I thought IWSG was last Wednesday, and then my calendar pinged me with the memo that it’s tomorrow, or today I mean.
Another month deposited in the bag of life and I admit that these last thirty days have been a whirlwind of change and upheaval.
·         Mama and I are now outnumbered and alone with the kids when her mom and dad went home after an amazing two months.
·         I attended the Southern California Writers Conference and totally recharged my writing batteries.
The Beginning...
·         Mama also returned to work, so it’s just me versus them… and they are everywhere… one’s watching Blue’s Clues, the other’s watching the bowling pins come down… and the littlest one… he’s watching me… as he rocks in his rocking thing.
Needless to say, I ain’t doin’ no writin’ in the a.m. or the afternoon, so it’s all about the late evening…as I yawn and wonder where the creativity is gone (I imagine it like some ER doctor sleeping on the pull-out couch, waiting for the call.)
Hello, 911… what’s your emergency?
Er, yes, I’m a stay-at-home dad and my three boys have staged a coup d’état… there’s just so many of them…
OK, sir, don’t cry, no one likes a bald whiner, it’s unsightly. You need a shot of creativity, don’t you?
(Blows nose) Yes! Yes, oh yes, please.
Well, sit down and start writing… your horrible typing skulls will soon wake up the creativity doctor.
Are you sure?
You just made this whole thing up…
I did, huh….
It’s crap and not funny, but at least you’re writing…
True. Dat.
(Hangs up…)
Obviously I have problems getting to the point… but after 302 words (304 now, or 312 if you include this whole sentence) I must say I’m struggling with WIP this month.
At least, that’s how I felt until I began cleaning the shower while No. 1 Son used the toilet, No. 2 Son brushed his teeth (with his brother’s brush) and No. 3 Son woke up after only a quick nap.
Hands covered with Lysol “with Bleach to remove the entire mold!!!” I washed my hands, grabbed the wrong brush; gave the right one; changed the baby; found the fallen “paacie” (thank you, dear Jesus, for granting someone the wisdom to invent the pacifier)
I checked No. 1 Son, who was still happy on the potty, but wanted to know “why the bathroom smelled like the swimming pool.”
He looked up at the haggard husband of his Mama and added: “Papa, you’re a great.”
“A great what, son,” I said, turning aside to get back on bended knee while the shower mocked me.
“You’re a great Papa.”
I swung back to catch the tail end of one of the brightest smiles evah, and then he simply went back to his latest book (about Santa’s trip from the North Pole… am such a bad parent… must change books in basket…)
“Thank you, son! I think you’re great, too. You’ve really made my day.”
His nose buried in the book, I think I heard a “You’re welcome” as I stole a kiss.
Heading back "to clean a mocking bath" (also a great book by Sharper Leaf) I realized that, sure, I’m struggling with my writing (and parenting!) but I can’t, and don’t ever want to quit.
I hit WIP up for several pages tonight while the boys and Mama slept safe and sound.
Leaning back in my office chair (that has no office) I’m good.
It’s all going to work out just fine.


Anne Gallagher said...

Oh yes!! I remember the cheerios all over the floor days very well. I only had one but it felt like three. And I'll let you in on a little secret. It gets so much better when they go to school. Just keep telling yourself that.

Stina said...

This sounded like me until all my kids started school full time. That was back in the days when I didn't blog. No time. Fortunately I'm a morning person, so I would get up at 5 am to write. Still do. I could sleep in till 6 or 7 am, but I like to get up early to blog or write some more. Otherwise, it never seems like I have enough time.

farawayeyes said...

Might not be your WIP, but that was some great writing and story telling in that there blog bit. Just keep writing!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I so know how you feel! I am a stay-at-home mom of four. (Ages 7, 5, 2 and 5 months.) As much as I'd like to write every day, it is not always possible. But my WIP will get done, it just might take a bit longer. :)
Good luck to you!
ps. Have you read Glennon Melton's blog post "Don't Carpe Diem." If not, you should!

Miranda Hardy said...

Sounds like your wife has the easy part. Lol

I can't imagine three little boys. I have one girl and one boy by myself and barely anytime left for me. Lol And they are older now.

You'll make it work!

Anonymous said...

I love your transparency in this. I feel like I'm a bad writer/parent a lot lately. I feel like I'm so busy with life and things that nothing goes right. That my creativity is at a stand still. But like you said, if you sit down and write, it will come. It will come.

Suze said...

That must have been a great conference.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Three kids, it must be like living in a riot.

Cassie Mae said...

Matt, I seriously luv you. See how I spelled that? It means like the sis/bromance we got goin on.

I think I must come up with a way to give birth to a potty trained baby. Maybe not eat so much spicy food?

Oh, and Mike, I can say this cuz I've read your stuff, nothing you write is crap.

Just sayin'.

Good luck with being outnumbered. And PS: Bald whiners are awesome.

Morgan said...

Ohhhh... man...

It's so stinkin' HARD, isn't it??? It's HARD!

It's hard to have an overwhelming desire to be productive and WRITE and accomplish, all the while keeping up on the necessary things (and most important things) but still trying to find balance, and sanity, and... and... *sighs*

One thing that you've got on the rest of us, Mark, is that you can laugh. We all love your sense of humor. I don't know how you write at night--by then, my brain is mush! (Though if it's the only time...) I'm squeezing in every free moment on my WIP and your blog... that's it. ;)

Annnnd I want to know the inside joke with Cassie and the messed up names! LOL.

Annalisa Crawford said...

That's a tough writing life you've got, but a great family life. I'm glad the words come in the evenings for you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't care where you are at in your manuscript, “You’re a great Papa.” is worth far more.

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree with Alex... "You're a great Papa" is awesome.

The WIP will come. I read George R.R. Martin once took six years (YEARS!!!) to write ONE chapter.

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Absolutely love your perspective! You are right, it will all be okay. :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Oh my God, that is just about the sweetest story I've ever heard! I seriously don't know how you do it, be a stay-at-hone-parent to 3 little ones and get any you-time at all. I only had one tyke at home and I spent every last minute on him I had. The house was always a mess and all I could manage to get done were meals and laundry. So I humbly bow to you in respect to be so committed to your family AND to your writing, and to have the attitude that no matter what, it's all worth it in the end. You're awesome!!

Kelley Lynn said...

Holy cow :) haha. The WIP will come. It will...

ANd your kids love ya, that's the important part :)

Cynthia said...

I think it's awesome that you're there for your kids. =)

Just swinging by from Rachael's campaign to say hello and thanks for helping out!

Sarah Tokeley said...

You, my friend, have everything you need :-)

Laura Pauling said...

Those words are what makes it all worth it! So sweet!

Christy Farmer said...

I so agree with Alex! The WIP will come, but having your little one say, "I love you, Papa" is priceless! Sounds like you're doing an awesome job! I love it, Mark!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I feel for you! I am the stay at home mom of four boys...but mine are all now in school, but I remember the days when I would bribe them to just give mommy one minute on the computer.
Notebooks were my friend. Carried one in my purse (they make man bags, right?) and jotted things down whenever I could. The result? enough ideas to last me a decade!

Cassie Mae said...

Morgan, it was all Mitchell's fault it was. All I did was ask him if he wanted to interviewed, and he sent me this:


Personally, I don't think it's fair. There are way more girl "C" names then there are boy "M" names. I get writer's block a few times. (I've actually bookmarked a page with boy "M" names for it.)

Ya, Mel, that's how much this inside joke means to me, lol.

Scarlett said...


You're amazing and so are your lovelies!

I miss my three when they were so little. I know it sometimes hurts, like a heavy tool to the bridge of your nose kinda hurt... or a stray rake lying in the yard makes contact with the forehead kinda hurt... or someone flushed with your face in the shower's stream and scalded over 99.9% of your body kinda hurt.

But(and remember I said this when they're all teenagers... and they will be someday sooner than you realize), EVERY LAST SECOND you spend on hunting down pacies and seasonally appropriate bathroom books and vacuuming up Lucky Charms from the shag carpet, will be SO WORTH IT.

Finding balance is near impossible. But then, so is marriage to lovelies. There's really no such thing as 50-50. Something or someone always has to take the lead. You're obviously doing an awesome job trying to figure out where you need to put your happy face!

Keep on keepin' on!

Leigh Covington said...

You're awesome Mark! And such a good dad. I love it. I feel like my creativity is on a break this month too, which is particularly aggravating when I want to FINISH this month! GRRR!

Alas - what will be, will be. And I know you've got all sorts of creativity up your sleeve. You always do!

Stacy S. Jensen said...

Now you're making me feel like an insecure parent. Christmas books aren't year-round books? My son is still wearing a reindeer shirt — yes in March. It fits you know.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Love your story about a day in the life of a stay at home dad. Write on, even if it's on the toilet paper roll!

Play off the Page

Tracy MacDonald said...

Ah, life with three kids- the best and most exhausting times are yet to come. Don't worry. You'll survive and so will they. How great is that first smile? :)
A2ZMommy and What’s In Between

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