new year, new routines

This year I am home more than away for the first time in ten years. I have four gigs (as Jim calls them) in 2012, each purposely chosen for certain reasons we'll get to during the year when I actually do travel. I can't tell you how strange it feels to be looking into January and not planning for travel. Frees and lets loose all kinds of energy.
 Other than those four working travels, I am home this year to write. I have big plans. I'll parse them out over the year, here, so let me start by saying I'm working on book two of the sixties trilogy now, trying to get the draft to where I can send it to my editor, so he can do his thing and they can do their thing at Scholastic, so we can get permissions for the scrapbook elements, so design can get going, so the revision notes can come, and so the book really begins to take shape.
 I hate to admit how much is not done yet. Conversely, I love knowing how much is known; it's just not pulled together in a linear narrative. This book will have a huge cast of characters and an enormous task: to bring Freedom Summer, 1964 Mississippi, alive for its readers.

Not only that; there's more, but that's a start, and it's the heart of the work just ahead.
 I have a year to see what it's like to be a full-time writer who is not on the road over 100 days a year to make her living. I bought myself this year. And I hope to use it well.

To that end, things will change. I've got new routines and new schedules. I've put together a ten-hour weekday for myself and it's working nicely so far. I've got a solid block of writing time in the morning, and another in the afternoon. I've got a fat block of time in the middle to do the things that need doing in the middle. I've got time available after those ten-hour days (they start early) and on weekends for friends and family and other pursuits. Sounds like a real job, doesn't it? It is, and I intend to treat it as such.
 I work right here, in my own office, in my own home. I have no commuting time to factor in. I have my own gym (more or less). I have my own health care plan (expensive). I have an on-site, fully stocked kitchen where I can eat what's good for me. It's a simple set-up, and I'm ready to work.

I need to be my own best employer this year in order to make this year count, which is why I'm writing about it here, in order to be accountable to myself. I'll use this space and my facebook page to share what I'm working on, to house some of my working notes, and to tweak and shape and catalog this gift of one year to write. I may not get another one, and I'm aware of that. 
It's a new day in a new year. How will I define success? Success is a strange word; it means lots of different things to me. I won't worry right now about what it looks like. I know what happens this year will largely depend on how and where I focus.

So let's do this thing. I'm ready.


  1. Good for you, Deborah. I'm not one for giving writing advice...but I'm worried about all the food pictures! You may want to pepper the next blog with pictures of gym equipment. REALLY....good for you. I can't wait to read your next book.

    Michael Shoulders

  2. Ha! Well, there's that. There's the food. :> But there's a method to my madness. Stay tuned.... xo


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