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time off for good behavior.

When the baby was born, I decided to take a month off of writing. Tomorrow, Piper turns a month old, and I'm a little chagrined to admit I couldn't even wait a whole month. See, I wrote last night. I spit out 569 words while my daughter slept cuddled up with Daddy on the couch and my hands were free to work. Do I regret starting back up a little early? Nope. I spent every day from 31 March 2010 up until the birth of my daughter writing. I really missed it.

The process of writing is pretty simple for me: I sit down, open my laptop, put in my headphones, and I write. There's no trick or special ritual. I've written in three countries, at four in the morning, on my honeymoon, fighting dreadful morning sickness, and while experiencing contractions! If I get stuck I go back, reread, make some edits, and then write some more. It's a lucky thing that I can inspire myself. And if I write some shocking prose, I know that I can always fix it tomorrow!

My writing group is also partly to blame for my momentum; if it weren't for the twice-monthly meet-ups I'd probably be a lot lazier. I'm doubly lucky as the people in my writers' group have proved to be more than simply writer friends. It is a blessing to get constant inspiration from my "tribe", writerly or otherwise.

Tomorrow is the last day of taking time off, which means that Sunday is the day I will sit down and get serious. I'll get my story out on colored index cards, shuffle and revise my arcs, and then begin the process of winnowing down the last two years of prose. I'm excited. Writing is the one process that is entirely my own. It will be great to get back into it. It might be silly to admit, but I've missed my characters and their world. They are old friends by now, and I love them. So even though I'll enjoy tomorrow, my last day of "maternity leave", I'm ready for Sunday. I'm ready to write.

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