Everything has changed in that last six months – I can spend hours watching little fingers grasp little noses as they try and get their thumbs in their mouths. Or in each other’s mouth. My world fits in the palms of those little hands and I’m wrapped around each of their little fingers. Often literally – they’re both very good at clutching my fingers, shirt, and hair.
Writing with infant twins is hard. In other shocking news: water is wet, books contain words, new mothers lack sleep.
Maybe it’s that sleep deprivation that kept me from realizing this fact until now. After all, I’ve had the Schmidtlets for six months.
It’s not solely an issue of detangling myself from their grasps, and it’s not just a where’s the 25th hour in my day? issue either. It’s an escapist one. It’s a first draft dilemma.
The revision part of my brain isn’t broken. I worked on revisions while I was still in the hospital. But that book is in Agent Extraordinaire’s hands.
And I’m faced with blank screens and ideas that need to be translated from thought bubbles to words on a page – and this is where the hard begins.
Drafting for me was always full immersion. I’d interrupt myself while having a conversation to say “what about…” or “what if…” and then scramble for my keyboard. I’d have 4K Saturdays while St. Matt watched or played tennis. I’d stumble into bed just hours before my alarm because I was being carried along by an avalanche of words. I’d watch my word and page counts rise with delicious pleasure. The real world seemed almost secondary or less tangible than the one in my head – as if it were the layer under which I super-imposed my story.
Well, baby spit up is tangible. And wet and smelly. Baby cries and giggles aren’t to be ignored. And while I’d like to put on my WIP playlist after the Schmidtlets are asleep, it clashes with the ceaseless repetition of the classical playlist on their sound machine. Or the tinkling of their mobile. I can’t tune those out, can’t shut the baby monitor off – and can’t close out this world to escape into one of my own creation.
So I’ve had to work around this, find ways to invite the babies into the world of my head, and find ways to incorporate that world into my reality.
Baby A’s definition of bliss is snuggling in my lap, so I’ve spent hours reading and singing pieces and scenes to him. I just try not to take it personally if he falls asleep. *makes note: scene needs more tension *
Baby B is a mover. He inherited his fidgetpants from me – so I settle both boys in their stroller and we head out on the walking paths. They watch trees and hunker down for naps and I brainstorm, scratching hasty fragments in the notepad I keep in the stroller for this purpose.
And the simultaneous nap? It’s as elusive as a unicorn and just as magical, but when it occurs, I take advantage. I may not be able to fully immerse myself in the world in my head – but with a reality this adorable, I’m not sure I want to.
Speaking of simul-naps. There’s one occurring right now –- time to go unleash some words.