by Bethany Maines
As I write this, I am very far behind on writing my fourth
book in the San
Juan Island Mystery series. I have a title, a nice first chapter, and half an
outline. Which is at least half a draft
short of where I wanted to be at this time.
And in other news, there’s a pandemic and my child just started back to
school, but for some reason school doesn’t start until 9:45. Why this is I have yet to determine, but it
delays the start of my work day by a significant chunk of time. I would love to say that those two events are
causally related, but they’re really more corollaries. They are linked and
related through the reality in which we wade, but, as much as I would like to,
I can’t actually say that my school districts scattershot, indecipherable
response to the pandemic is actually to blame for not sticking to my schedule. I may be able to blame the pandemic itself,
which has sent me head long into escapist fun writing and sees me closing in on
finishing a trilogy of paranormal romances, but I think, in the interests of
truthfulness, that’s as far as I can pass the blame.
|Me trying to escape the pandemic through writing.|
But as school starts back up there is a lot of twittering
about the kids being behind. Or not being behind. Or being able to catch up no
problem! To which I say… yeeeeeah? Maybe.
The truth is that private schools have been in person and in session for
much of this time. So if you could
afford private school, which generally means that your kid (who was already looking
at better outcomes than a public school kid) is, in fact, ahead. Yes, the public school kids will bounce back
and they’re already in similar boats to each other, but let’s just say that
some kids have better rowers on their team than others. Yes, everything will work out in the end, but
the rah-rah “no one is behind” cheer strikes me as particularly delusional when
I can point to a whole contingent of children who are receiving a better
education due to finances. The pandemic has distinctly widened the gulf between
the haves and have-nots.
But back to me. Am I
behind? My deadlines are relatively
self-imposed. I can flex them. Is it sooooo bad to be running late? Maybe if I type for two days straight I can
catch up? If I can learn anything from
the school debacle, it’s that no, probably sprinting to catch up is not the
way. Writing consistently is probably a
better way to get quality work. But
having already not done that, it’s probably best to go the public school route and
tell myself that I’m not behind and that everything will work out in the end.
Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of the Carrie Mae Mysteries, San Juan Islands Mysteries, The Deveraux Legacy Series, and numerous
short stories. When she’s not traveling to exotic lands, or kicking some
serious butt with her black belt in karate, she can be found chasing her
daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel. You can also catch up with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and BookBub.