A Dad and a Writer, Part 2: Week 3 and 4

Let me tell you, I have this fatherhood thing licked.

(Or maybe it’s the hubris talking…)

We’ve beaten the hydra of household and baby-prep chores down to a manageable level, we’ve plowed through our heavier-than-usual uncancellable social calendar, and we’ve established a new life routine.

I say “we”, but really the big game changer was that my girlfriend now feels well enough to handle some of the tasks. The pregnancy was quite hard (as were the first couple of weeks after the birth) and so I had to cover most of the housework for a while. But now that she’s back on her feet, I’ve found myself with an overabundance of free time.

(Now, that’s not hubris. It’s hyperbole.)

Kidding aside, at least now I can squeeze in some uninterrupted scrivening from time to time, and that has done wonder for my morale. I was really afraid I would have to put my writing career on hold for a year or two. But now, I know I can juggle both fatherhood and writing.

It’s not easy, but at least it’s possible.

And it’s also… surprisingly simple. It’s really a matter of realizing that every five-minute increment of the day counts. Before, five minutes was an entirely optional look at my emails, a glance at the news, or some sort of aimless wandering on the Web. Now – it’s washing some dishes, or starting a load of laundry, or taking out the trash.

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it adds up quickly – to the two or three hours a day I need to write. Speaking of which…

Query Report: Resurrection

It’s time to have a first look back at the querying work I managed to do since reediting Book the First, reworking my query and rewriting my synopsis.

Number of Agents Identified12

This could easily be a lot higher – I really should take an hour or two to draw up a list of names that numbers in the low thirties. That part of the process goes a lot faster when it’s done as a methodical crawl through various agent listing sites.

Number of Queries sent: 8

Obviously, this can’t be higher than the number of agents I’ve selected. Beyond that, however, this is a bit low considering I’ve had more than a month to get cracking. Now that I’ve adjusted to the new baby in the house, I should be able to send at least one query every couple of days.

Number of Rejections/Stale Queries: 0

I haven’t received any formal rejection on those eight queries, and it’s a bit early to consider any of them dead-from-old-age yet.

Number of Requests for the Manuscript: 1

That’s good news, but I really do want to see if I get a few more requests before celebrating – my first query generated a first request quite early, and never did again, so this could be another outlier.

Final Thoughts:

Well, it’s an early report covering the dog days of summer. One positive answer and no formal rejections is as good an outcome as could be expected. But I want to see how things turn out before saying I have a solid proposal package. We’ll know more next month.

A Dad and A Writer, Part 1: The First Two Weeks

Well, it turns out having a newborn baby is hell on a writing schedule.

It certainly didn’t help that my son showed up four weeks earlier than expected. The house was a mess of boxes and bags of baby stuff, the baby furniture was halfway assembled, and that doesn’t even take into account all the stuff we’d put on the back burner in the mad dash to finish up our preparations.

But now that we’re back in the house, we’ve managed to catch up on those tasks (somewhat.) So I should be able to get back on querying and finally, FINALLY, get re-started on Book the Second soon.

I should… except that it’s become really, really obvious that my next few weeks are going to be lived in two-hours increments, which means my usual writing regimen of “mess around for an hour or two to get in the zone, then write until exhaustion sets in” isn’t going to work.  I’ll have to get serious about scheduling writing time if I want to get anything done.

(A tip for future new dads: don’t sweat the diapers. Changing them is really not that bad, it’s nowhere near as disgusting as you imagine plus it’s a couple minutes every three hours. It’s the hour-long feedings and the rock-the-baby-put-baby-in-bed-baby-starts-crying-rock-the-baby endless cycles that are trying.)

On the plus side, in the long run I’ll probably benefit a lot from a more mature approach to writing schedules. It’s just daunting from my current point of view. But I’ll make it work. Hey, I’ve managed to hammer out a blog post, at least. That’s something, right?