Since I became pregnant, I’ve read maybe four books. FOUR! In THIRTY ONE weeks!

The reason? Well, there’s a couple. The first is my reading comprehension is shot to hell due to … oh I don’t know, pregnancy brain or something. I read so much slower these days, and often have to double back on the more complicated sentences. Frustrating? You betcha! The second reason is that infamous word: NESTING. Dun dun dun! Seriously though, I have an extremely hard time sitting down and just enjoying myself these days. When I do, I immediately get the urge to clean something, or finish a project, or start a project. (Pinterest, as you can imagine, is quite dangerous!) Luckily, I can still write without that itch, due to the fact that I’m still “producing,” which is what my pregnant brain seems to demand. So hopefully once the baby’s here, though I’ll be super exhausted for several weeks, my brain will be back to normal, i.e. demanding to be reading every second of the day.

But like I said, I’ve been writing! I was shooting through the manuscript quite swimmingly when I got stuck at 40k. Stuck stuck stuck. So I shipped the manuscript off to my brother and it’s been the BEST. My family make GREAT betas because, while they definitely always point out what they like about my book (which is essential for me and my shaky confidence), they also point out what’s not working. So my brother (who is a certifiable genius, for the record) has been going through the book with me at night via chat, attacking one- or two-chapter segments. I was completely of the mindset that I just need to finish the book, flaws and all, and then look and see what I’ve got. But sending it out for help “prematurely” has made a huge difference. I finally know how to tie up this silly thing! And the bonus is once my other CPs see it, it will likely be in better shape since it’s already been through one fresh set of eyes.

Happy Monday!

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I write speculative fiction inspired by mythos from around the world, complex family dynamics, and my own experiences living with mental illness. After earning my BA in Linguistics from Brigham Young University in 2008, I received my MFA in Creative Writing from Converse College in 2012. I live in Denver, where my husband and I spend countless hours chasing our three young sons (and sometimes catching them!). I collect tarot decks, dye my hair mermaid colors, and procrastinate by decorating my home. My debut novel, Feathers Sharp as Knives, releases on May 2, 2023.

5 thoughts on “Confession

  1. You’re being productive, just in different ways! At least you’re still writing and making progress there, which is great. I just got feedback from my beta about one of the books I wrote in grad school, and it’s making me think…maybe I shouldn’t have tried writing while working and doing school. :-P It was pretty brutal. But I’m also working on revisions for the book I wrote after that, which was partially written while in grad school, and it seems to be much better, so we’ll see.

    Anyway, don’t stress out too much about how much you read. You have time.

    1. Thanks! I feel like a fake–a writer who doesn’t (currently) read. I was always the kid who got in trouble for reading past my bedtime, so it’s weird to suddenly not enjoy diving into a book. But like you said, I have time!
      Even if the first book isn’t the best you’ve ever written, and never sees the light of day again, you still benefited from writing during grad school because you kept it up even when life got complicated. That is an essential lesson for every writer to learn!

      1. I think we all feel a little fake sometimes. General brain-tiredness after finishing the first draft of the most recent book combined with a busy summer and prepping for my best friend’s wedding have left me feeling like a slacker too, since I haven’t been as diligent on working on revisions EVERY DAY. It’s OK to slow your pace once in a while, though, as long as you don’t make it a habit.

        And awwww, thanks. That was the fourth book I wrote, so part of me felt like I should have done better. BUT I did learn a lot from it and I was trying a LOT of new things and I knew there were a lot of problems when I gave it to that reader, so it’s not like all of her comments come as a total surprise. And as I mentioned, the first draft of book #5 does seem much better, so at least I’ve improved.

        During these unpublished years, we’re probably way harder on ourselves than anyone else would ever be. We should probably learn to do something about that.

        1. “During these unpublished years, we’re probably way harder on ourselves than anyone else would ever be. We should probably learn to do something about that.”
          Agreed! I know it’s my biggest sin.

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