Happy Weekend


The temperatures dropped into the 40s and 50s this week, which means I’ve been wearing my fall boots every day along with a wool coat and scarf. I am beyond excited. To go along with the fall weather, tomorrow we’re going pumpkin and apple picking like we do every year. Then we’re hitting up IKEA to look at a potential new sofa, then tomorrow night is the ballet! Sunday will hopefully look a lot like that photo above, from my Instagram.

How do people find the time to write or devote themselves to their creative pursuits with a full-time job? I only really have Sundays, when all is said and done. Sundays are my writing days. I’ve come to love them even more than I did before, it’s the day I look forward to the most, but it’s also a lot of pressure for one day. I tend to beat myself up a bit if, when I finally emerge for dinner after locking myself at my desk for the day, I haven’t written “enough.” I recently read that a first time author’s novel shouldn’t exceed 80-100k words, which is both a good end point and also insanely daunting. It took me a year to get to 31k, and that’s not an accurate representation because of all the sucky parts I’m going to have to cut. Does someone have a magic wand? Or perhaps a grant equal to my salary + benefits they can bestow on me so I can take a year off and work on nothing but this novel?

What are you up to this weekend? Make it a good one, kiddos!

25 thoughts on “Happy Weekend

  1. Is it kismet or fate that I was going to tweet/beg/you-name-it that if anyone was heading to Ikea this weekend would they pick me up one or two of those picture holder thingies that has the wire with the hooks that you can hang a bunch of pictures on? Do they even make them anymore? I can’t find a link. Anyway, if you see one, will you think if me? Seems silly to make a two+ hour trip for something that’s $9.99. But still, Ikea. I envy you that!

    For all of my growing up my dad was a welded-steel sculptor and a full time civil servant in a gritty hard job. Would he have loved to have sculpted full time? Yes. He’s a painter now, and works part time in a still gritty job. He’s come to realize that his work would not have been as good (the sculpting and the painting) without that other work, the hard day-to-day stuff he did. At times yes, he resented the hell out of it, but he also saw that it fed him. And those focused bits of time were glory and joy.

    1. I’m ALWAYS heading to IKEA, let’s be honest. I have to go back again because we’re having a couch crisis and have changed our minds like 40 times so far before settling on just getting a new slipcover for our existing sofa. Oy. I took a peek at the photo/frames department and didn’t see anything similar to what you were describing though! If you can find a picture of it, send it my way and I’ll keep my eyes peeled. Being 10 minutes from an IKEA is a powerful feeling :)

      I love that story about your dad. “Glory and joy” are what I have to focus on. I want to enjoy writing, and I think if I do it all the time (like anything) I’d grow to resent it? Maybe? I don’t know! I do love my Sundays though. They’re all mine. xo

  2. oh, don’t beat yourself up with shoulds and oughts. I heard people proclaim that if you do have a full-time job, you can’t be taking writing seriously and are not supposed to call yourself a writer. I heard all kinds of weird rules and guides. what about people who start with short stories? what about first novels that are three times that long? just go ahead and do what feels right and what works for you!!! happy weekend xxxx

    1. Oof, there is some harsh advice out there apparently! What if I’m not taking my job seriously even though it’s full-time, can I be considered a “real” writer then? ;) haha. I’ll definitely take your advice about just relaxing and doing what feels right! I tend to beat myself up too much, can you tell? xo

    1. Ooh, it’s fun! Unfortunately this orchard didn’t have a real pumpkin patch, but usually it’s a big field with rows and rows of pumpkins on vines. It’s pretty neat, like something out of Cinderella, haha. xo

    1. I guess I never realized they were a northeast thing only?? You mean people everywhere can’t go apple picking?! Quel dommage! xo

  3. your weekend sounds perfect. i forgot i was maybe going to order some of those boots. such a good deal, and then we really could be twins.

    well, soon you will be married and you can get on jamals benefits package. start saving to have extra money to take a year off after that. or don’t, just take a year off. or take a month off (would your job let you do that?) to see how you like it if you’re not sure. you know you are going to be having babies in the not super far off future, so maybe a year off to pursue your personal creative genius is a really good idea. why not? xoxo

    1. If you want that coupon code for 20% off + free shipping, let me know! We can be boot twins for sure. I’m wearing mine now, haha.

      I like the way you think! I’ve definitely prepped Jamal for the possibility of us being a one-income family after we’re married, you know, to support the starving artist just begging to break free from inside of me. Ha. Thankfully, he is more than supportive! And I definitely want to commit to this writing thing before I pop out a kid, otherwise I might resent the missed opportunity and that’s not good. So much to think about! xo

  4. I want to say that 80k turns out to be a mid 200s page count, which is totally doable. I’m sure you will have plot enough to fill up a book, don’t worry! I hope that by “cutting the sucky parts” you mean “trimming the lovely scenes that inspire me but just don’t drive the plot as much as I would like” and not “getting rid of the bad writing,” because you’re an excellent writer, just ask us readers. And in case that doesn’t persuade you, feel free to check out the books that I’ve taken pictures of in my Instagram, remind yourself that those books have been published, and there’s no way anything you’ve written is that bad.

    Also, at least day jobs throw the fun stuff into relief, and give you lots of writing material. It’s so much easier to write about a weird coworker when you have one! But this guy:


    used to take six month leaves-of-absence from his job just to go eat all the pastries in Paris. Maybe you can follow his example?

    1. Well this is just the nicest comment in the world. I even made Jamal read it, and he was touched. Thank you, Samantha! From now on I’m going to look at the previously-referred-to-as “sucky parts” as how you described: not driving my plot the way I’d like. I don’t have the heart to delete those scenes entirely, so when the time comes I’ll make sure to save that version as its own document. It will be interesting to go back and read them when all is said and done. And I laughed out loud at your Instagram comment, too. I forget that a lot of books DO get published, so there’s hope for me yet! Some of those titles you post though just look really, really bad, haha.

      That guy’s life sounds like a dream. I could do it. If I weren’t afraid of being broke or uninsured. Fear is stupid. Also now I’m starving from looking at his photos! How fantastic would that be, absconding to Paris for short stints? Mon dieu. I need to make that happen. xo

      1. Oh good – I’m glad it cheered you up a little. It’s true! I’m sure that the scenes you consider bad are are worst, a little stifled. It’s impossible to find the right words 100% of the time, and even more so the first time. Writing is in the editing, anyway – first draft, shmirst draft, you just need to put something on “paper.” When you come back to it, you’ll have the distance and perspective to find the right word. For what it’s worth, I love to edit / proofread!

        And yes, some of these books ARE really, really bad. It really makes me wonder about the world.

        1. Two words for you: Nicholas. Sparks. People read that drivel by the millions. C’est inexplicable.

          Realistically, I know that I can’t do anything until I have a first draft on paper to be able to edit and flush out and make better. I need a skeleton. I just need to get it down. But then the other half of my brain just sits there throwing a fit that it’s not coming out perfectly on the first try. Someone call me a waaahhmbulance.

          But seriously, thank you so much. And don’t go offering to read/edit to someone so vulnerable! Haha. xo

    1. Oh, it was wonderful! The ballet was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, apples galore, and even IKEA wasn’t so crowded for a Saturday! Sunday was quiet and slow, just perfect. I hope your weekend was just a lovely!! xo

  5. Yes, I would love a ‘creative grant’ please. Or a riding grant. Or any way to just retire now would be fantastic. I hope you had a lovely weekend

    1. Haha, if I find that grant I’ll point one in your direction, too! I’ve always said if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t need a ton. Maybe $5 million after taxes and I’d be set. That’s more than enough! xo

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