Before anything else… words!

This is my new mantra. Before anything else… words. It’s possible I may have it tattooed on my arm, right where a wristwatch would normally go. Before anything else. Writing. Words. First.

Because… time. It slips and slides away faster than water through my fingers. I’m a part time worker. A full time mom. A wife, a housekeeper, a gardener, a dog walker (and dog nurse, thank you universe for giving me the most expensive, sickly dog, out there.) I’ve been PTA president the past two years, and I’m an un-recovered people-pleaser and social media junkie.

If I had a magic lasso like wonder woman, I’d use it to catch time and hold it. If I had a magic portal, I’d time travel and get to reuse my hours over and over. But sitting here at my kitchen table/office, I look around and see no magic lassos or portals amidst the mess left from a busy weekend. So I’ve got to make some decisions. Especially with summer vacation looming. When my son is out of school I have less time than ever!

So I’ve decided it all comes down to one simple rule. Words first. The mess can wait. The boring data entry for work can wait… for at least a few hours! The garden can continue to wait. So what if every single plant is buried in weeds? My neighbor calls my gardening style these days a Darwin Garden. Survival of the fittest, right?

Of course my new motto requires some planning. Words First means I have to get up early if the rest of my day starts early. Words First means I have to ignore the dishes in the sink and the emails flooding my inbox. It means the dog waits for his walk and my social media accounts are silent.

But without writing, I’m not a writer. And I’m not earning, because I have no new books to sell. Without writing, my dreams get dusty and I feel lost. That series I want to propose to Hallmark has been stuck, partially written, in its file for a year now. The story of my heart, that I started in National Novel Writing Month 2017, is still just a few chapters long and I can feel those characters waiting impatiently where I left them on the heroine’s porch, with the gaping hole in it. (Because the heroine fell through, after way too many drinks, after signing her divorce papers, and that was a fun scene to write!)

And then there’s my Heroes of Shelter Creek series. I want to continue it. Aidan the rancher has a story. So does Emily the vet and Adam the sheriff and what about Annie Brooks and Juan Alvaro? Their late-in-life romance needs to be told, somehow! (Since no one but my editor has read the first two books in the series yet, you don’t know these characters yet. But you will! Starting in July!)

Words First will take planning and discipline, both things I’m not so good at. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I’m determined to write at least 30,000 words this month, and it ain’t gonna happen without… you guessed it… Words First!

2 thoughts on “Before anything else… words!

  1. Jenny Andersen

    Thank you, Claire. I needed this reminder today, with the house screaming for attention, the cat screaming for attention, the… well, what isn’t screaming for attention?

    I’m going to close the office door and finish chapter 3.

    1. Claire McEwen Post author

      Exactly! It’s kind of non stop, isn’t it? And I think we just have to really tune that out or we’ll never have time to write.

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