- Nick Adkins
It has been four chaotic months since my last blog post. I vaguely remember trying to craft something in July and I can't remember what happened to that post (I believe it was wordy, not unlike this one). What I do remember is that I have had a growing list of things that I want to work on--finish my August picture book (or how about a single illustration), convert Sloth VS Turtle to ebook, convert The Great Big Scary Monster to ebook, post to Facebook more, write a blog post! Well, I can allow myself to check off one of those things (GBSM ebook). It seems normal everyday things have been getting in the way of my to-do list. I'm sure anyone who has graciously taken the time to read this is quite familiar with my dilemma. Between work, kids starting school, family time, general social time, lunch-packing, car-fixing, and the list goes on. Even my own author related work has gotten in the way of author related work. That is, I was spending entire days out at events neglecting all of the things listed above, and also not writing or illustrating. What did I do before I had kids?! A lot of nothing I presume. Anyway, this is me explaining to myself why my to-do list is growing instead of shrinking.
Here is the part of the blog I meant to write (don't worry; it ties in):
I generally work from home. I don't enjoy dragging all of my art supplies to the coffee shop. But once in a while I need some background noise (other people quietly talking) instead of BACKGROUND NOISE (my kids) so I decided to do some touch-ups (full revision) to August on the laptop. Logan stopped me at the door. He often demands a toll before I leave and invisible payment is not appreciated. On this day he wasn't looking for money; he stared at me with his mouth wide open (the 'I can't believe' look) and arms out, blocking the door and said, "Where are you going?!" And I said to work. "But you just got home from work!" And Eli chimes in to reiterate this statement. "I know," I say, "but I need to work on my story right now." Logan puckers up, "But...but, you do that at home!" Now I am explaining the background noise thing to a five and a six year old and they are so upset because I am leaving even though when I work from home, I usually lock the office (bedroom) door. "But we haven't seen you at all today!" they tell me. They're killing me. I leave with them crying, close the door, lock it behind me, see them crying and waving at the window as I go to the car, the same as I drive away.
I got so much done that night. August got a makeover. The story came out not quite perfect yet, but much improved. I came home with a clear head. But then, the boys are in bed already and yes, I didn't see them all day. It stinks (we're not allowed to say sucks in our house, but maybe it's okay in writing?), but I got something done doing something I love--something I want to do 'full-time.'
But here is the part that makes me happy. The next day, the boys are working on their own books at the kitchen table. They ask how words like dessert and underground are spelled and they ask if I can help them print their books like mine and Logan asks how much he can sell his for (maybe if he hits it big, he'll stop demanding tolls at the door). I don't like leaving to work, but I like this. They work passionately. It makes them happy. They're driven by the idea of finishing a book. I've been there.
We talk about how important it is to do something you love for your work. And if for the time being, that keeps me obnoxiously busy, and makes my to-do list grow, and makes me leave home one or two nights a week after the other work is over, I/we simply have to keep at it. Hopefully they take that away.
By the way, keep an eye out for a couple of new books by Logan and Eli :D