Monthly Archives: September 2011

Hiatus. And who’s crazier, me or Jennifer Egan?

I couldn’t remember the last time I wrote a blog post, and then I checked the blog: Ah, June 29th. The day before I gave birth to my second child. So I am to be forgiven for the two-month hiatus.

Earlier this year I read this article about Jennifer Egan where she claims this:

I found writing when I was pregnant with my first son fine. I was literally making changes on hard copies when I was in labor. I almost waited so long that I had the baby in the car. I kept thinking, “It doesn’t hurt enough.” I was lying in my chair in labor, passing out very briefly in contractions and when I came to, continuing to edit.

That’s crrrrazy, I thought. And then I finished a new draft of my novel two days before I had my baby. (I knew she might come early, so I was trying to get the draft done as soon as I could.) Somehow writing while on seven weeks of bed rest seems less crazy than editing while in labor — but you know what, why shouldn’t I want to be as driven as Pulitzer-prize-winner Jennifer Egan? (Her next project is going to be historical fiction, she says. Smart woman.)

Anyway, I had planned to take a break from in July after I sent the draft off to a trusted reader. And take a break I did, because writing with a newborn in the NICU and then at home was not something I was up for. I think five years ago I might have panicked when a life-changing event came between me and writing, but now I know that it’s par for the course and it doesn’t mean my project will flounder.

And I’m back in the saddle now, trying to squeeze in half an hour to an hour of revising (much easier on the brain than writing from scratch) each evening. And I think I’m on track to start submitting this fall — the deadline I set for myself a while back — or early next year at the latest. I’ll try to stop by the blog to share info about the process of finding an agent, which I’ve been told is harder than writing the novel. Oh yay. But wow, I can’t believe I’m almost there. So glad I didn’t give up those hundreds of times I felt like I’d never finish. Hey, fellow aspiring novelists, keep on trucking!