Not just a novelist

I have friends who’ve reported reaching 25K, 30K, 40K words on their nanowrimo novels already. Well, I’ve got nearly 1.9K now. Up from 1.2K a week ago. Just.

But after taking the latter part of Thursday evening to drive west and stargaze, watching the Leonid meteor shower (about which I wrote yesterday), the truth of a past realization hit me with renewed force: novelist is not my main occupation. Not even in my top three occupations, to be honest.

My roles in keeping the household running (food, laundry,etc,) and the family business organized (invoicing, web updates and other PR for my attorney husband) fully occupy the business parts of my life … and I don’t complain most days. I like cooking, and I find tasks like washing dishes and clothing rewarding for the sense of order and rightness when everything is cleaned and put away.

And then I have the garden times of year: spring garden chores of splitting and moving perennials, replenishing mulch, and cutting back spring-blooming shrubs once the blooms have gone. In autumn, I start next year’s garden, preemptively mulching new areas of grass (sometimes mostly weed) and moving in shrubs or small trees gone dormant for winter. And each year adding a few dozen more bulbs for spring color.

I let housework go and leave my family to make themselves sandwiches at peak garden times. I will even give up reading (for a day or two) to get my gardening done when te time is right. I once hoped my children would join me in the dirt but neither has. So I gardened without them.

I realized then that gardening gave me a creative outlet, related to my love of drawing, writing poetry (this is before I’d started doing stories), sewing, crocheting and cooking. I also realized that I tended to do only one or two creative things at a time.

So here I sit, a part-time novelist. I haven’t written anything on Door to Phoenix in the past two day … but I’ve posted to both my Examiner pet column and this blog both days. The story still percolates in my imagination and I;m hopeful that, when I return to it, the ideas I need will have sprouted from the seeds in what I’v written so far.

Meanwhile, I have editing to do … and crocus and daffodil bulbs to plant.

















About Susan NC Price

Writing coach Susan NC Price has been a poet all her life and an editor for half her life, but only realized in her late 30s that she enjoyed writing all sorts of prose as well. The twin epiphanies of word processing and realizing she no longer had teachers forcing her to use their style of outlining outlines contributed to her late-blooming love of writing. Susan has 1 prizewinning short story, 2 grown writer sons, 3 current e-newsletters she maintains and a host of writing projects to her credit. She's currently working to develop new writers through her coaching endeavor: re/Write: Scribbles to Stories (see Facebook page:
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