Here are some Life Lessons and Helpful Hints I learned over the last six months or so:
1) I do not recommend trying to write a book on a deadline when you can’t drink alcohol or more than one cup of coffee a day. It makes the whole process much longer and more painful than it might otherwise be.
2) In case you missed #1, let me say again: Oh my God, under no circumstances should you try to write a book to a deadline when you can’t have wine (and plenty of it) or caffeine (and plenty of it). Just. Don’t.
3) Toddlers do not respect work deadlines, moments of inspiration, or their own prescribed nap times. Or your wish to go pee all by yourself… but that’s the subject for another post.
4) Having flexible work hours doesn’t mean you actually have less work to do. It just means that everyone feels free to interrupt you while you are trying to do it. (This is actually a lesson first learned by B while he was trying to finish his dissertation and help me care for LLF in his infancy–LLF doesn’t respect work deadlines now, and he didn’t respect them then).
5) While it is pretty cool to have written a whole book, I mostly just felt dizzy when I sent off the first draft. I couldn’t tell if it was any good. I couldn’t tell how much revision it will need (although I have a long to-do list just from my own notes). I couldn’t even have a glass of champagne to celebrate. So as per my advice in #1 and #2, make sure you can drink because otherwise the experience of finishing a book is underwhelming. To celebrate I went wild and took a half-hour nap. wheeee.
6) Because LLF was no respecter of deadlines and it was hard to write a book while pregnant I had damn well better get the revisions done before babykins #2 arrives. I can’t imagine that a brand-new infant in combination with a two-year-old is actually a better recipe for getting work done. At least right now one of them is trapped on the inside.