The Insecure Writer

So. Word of warning. This blog might come off more like a Dear Diary Entry than a witty anecdote. But I'm willing to work with it if you are!

Last night, My dearest, most wonderful sister-in-law came over.

And for all intents and purposes. She is my actual sister.

I don't have a real sister. I have three brothers. And none of them act like a sister. They only act like brothers. They pick on me. They make fun of me. They are rude. And they smell bad. And we NEVER call each other. And it doesn't bother us.

I've always wanted a sister. Sisters are always there for each other. They are open with each other. They talk about boys and explore make up together and help each other look nice.

They would never shoot a Marshmallow Gun at you for three hours straight on Christmas AFTER you gave it to them as a present. (Oh, and did I mention that this was TWO Christmases ago and that it wasn't just ONE brother. It was all THREE of them. Plus. Zach....)

A sister would never come over to your house and eat all week's worth of food and drink a refrigerator full of beer. In one night. In one sitting....

And a sister would never send a check for your four year old's Christian school fundraiser and in the Memo Line write: Cocaine!!!!!! (Please, somebody tell me how I can send that in her backpack to Preschool!!!!!)

Well, at least my perfect idea of a sister....

So. When I married Zach, I got what I always wanted. And not just one sister. I got two sisters!!!

And I just love them both. I love them way more than my dirty, old, stinky, mean, weird brothers....

Just kidding. I really do love my brothers and even though I want a sister now, growing up I was totally fine with three boys. They made me tough. They taught me how to be laid back. And they made all of the mistakes for me, so I could live my life learning from their problems! :)

There are certain things a brother can do that a sister can't.

Like, work on your old van for hours and hours so that you can sell it.

Pack up entire households for moving in like four hours and haul all of your incredibly heavy boxes in and out of houses in a matter of a few more hours.

Buy you an iPod when they very first came out, even though you don't think it's necessary, just because they are fascinated with new technologies and think you should be too.

Make your children laugh until they cry or puke from throwing them in the air until they're silly.

And let you get away with never calling them because you happen to be terrible about communicating with people, even people you love, and they love you back still.

Brothers are pretty cool too I guess. Just please don't tell them I said that!

So. Back to my sisters.

Like, I said, I love them both. But today this is just about Kylee. Because Kylee and I speak the same language. Sometimes it's a language that nobody else knows and conversations that nobody else hears because they happen back and forth with suggestive eye brow raises, knowing smirks and head tosses back with laughter.

We love mostly the same things. Except she likes to dress up in costumes and I don't. And I adore Reality TV and she can't even get through one episode of the Real Housewives.

But. What our favorite thing to bond over. Our most favorite and what propelled us from the very beginning into this kindred spirit relationship is Reading and Writing.

She is the one who handed me Twilight and said read. She is the one who debated Edward vs. Jacob with me for hours until I converted her to Team Jacob. She is the one who read my very first, very rough, very terribly written pages and said, "I like this, you should write more."

And so I did.

And then, at the end of that first book. She stayed interested. And when I decided to write another book, in a different genre (Ahem, Reckless Magic), she pushed me further. And when I would, say, ok, this is getting weird, I think I went way too far..... She would so. No way! I think it's great. And she was there to encourage me to do Kindle publishing after Zach suggested it and I said no way, nobody will read it.

Even to this moment, (literally...) she is the first to read any of my work. And the first to tell me, "Rachel, this doesn't suck. Nobody is going to stone you for this. Get down off your Crazy-Town-Cliff-Of-Despair and suck it up. This is good stuff."

And she is the first person I listen to.

So. When she was having boy troubles, like all single, beautiful women have, and I was finished with this book and battling moments of pure hysteria, we called each other, freaked out over the phone simultaneously and decided we needed to have a Panic Party.

That's right. A girl's night where the only object is to drink bottles of wine, eat until your sick, scream until you cry and watch the new episode of The Vampire Diaries. And consequentially The Secret Circle because you're too full to move and it's on right after.

The night included Peppermint Ice Cream (Our Holiday Season Favorite). Haagen Dazs Raspberry Sorbet. Snickers Ice Cream Bars. A box full of Lindt Chocolates. A bag full of Lindt Truffles. Dark Chocolate Bars with Sea Salt. Frozen Pizzas. And. Cheese and Crackers to compliment the wine of course.

Don't worry. If it sounds like I gained a thousand pounds whilst panicking. It was not all consumed. Not in the very least. And not that we didn't try. But good lord... We had too much obsessing and comforting to do. We couldn't be stuffing our cute little faces the whole night!

Although, Zach may or may not have been thoroughly grossed out by us....

He can diet.

We will panic.

And then we vented our fears. And our emotions. And gave each other advice. And swooned over Damon. And laughed at cheesy moments that still make us want to watch adolescent television.

And most importantly. We got it out of our systems.

Side Note: Isn't it amazing how one, tiny little insignificant seed of insecurity is planted and grows like a miracle-gro weed, choking out the life of any semblance of pride or confidence? I am kind of worried about this book one day, and the next I'm a total basket case worried that it will be the end of my short lived career and suddenly obsessed with my looks and personality! Insecurity breeds more irrational, uncalled for, unrealistic, completely useless insecurity. And I just want to say. I'm done with it.


Do I feel better!!

Not that I'm not still WAYYY freaking out over this whole book. Because I am. But through great conversation. My Bible Study this week. My children. And some random emails that were sent at the exact right moment. I learned something very important.

I need to slow down.

This book is getting rushed and if I'm not careful, will only be half as good as it could be. I know there are people that are very anxious for it and I was seriously rushing just for them.

My goal was Monday.

As in a few days from now.

Did I just break your heart?

Because I am just going to take a breath and relax now. I can't hurry this. If I try, it's just not going to work out. I forgot what was important and was blinded by a self-imposed deadline that was going to shoot me in the foot at the end of all this.

I mean, in all reality, it won't take much longer. It's finished for the most part, and half of it's in editing. But some of it needs a little more TLC. And so I'm not going to hurry myself.

Besides the Panic Party. There was another moment yesterday that cemented in the idea that I need to slow down. And this is like my most brutal moment of honesty because I don't want to even admit this happened to myself.

Don't think I'm a terrible mother... Please....

Yesterday is one of our fun days of the week because we go to Bible Study and the kids get dropped off in separate class rooms and have a great time with the other children.

Seriously, my kidlets LOVE it. Even Stryker. They have this fantastic long mirror near the floor so he gets to talk to himself and play with toys we don't have at home. It's a great morning.

And then, I always grab an extra chocolate for each of them (Yes, one for Styker too... Although he has never seen his....) and so on the way home, they get to eat chocolate and talk about the fun they had.

Yesterday was that kind of day.

At home, they had a fun afternoon of playing, and they got to watch some TV while I worked.

I've been crazy this whole week just working, working, working... so they have had to play by themselves a lot.

Near the time when Zach would be home from work, I stepped away from the computer and went about my usual routine of frantically picking up the house before the husband gets home so that when he walks in the door he not only thinks I'm the most perfect housewife ever, but he also doesn't ask that DREADED question, "What did you guys do all day?"

And I love my man. He's the best gift God ever gave to mankind besides his own Son. :) But... He's a man. And am I right ladies? We all have that special-super-fast-pick-up-hour during the day???

Well, we talked about it at Bible Study yesterday, so at least me and those women have this in common.

Ok, anyway, so I was a complete hot mess during this pick up session. The girls were just not listening and totally being naughty. I was like yelling and threatening and punishing and yelling some more.

I looked like a crazy person.

And I sent Scarlett into tears at least twice because she just refused to help.

And by the time we sat down for dinner, I was exhausted. Both from this deadline and from being a over-dramatic crazy person to my children.

So. I turned off the phone, because Zach ended up having to go back to work for a minute so it was just me and the kidlets, and I decided to breath for a moment and just focus on them.

I asked them, in turn, what their favorite part of the day was.

Scarlett immediately said puzzles at church!!! And she was thrilled.

And Stella.

Stella said something else.

Stella said that her favorite thing during the day was cleaning up.

And she can be a bit of a jokester, so I was like, Really? You loved to pick up?? What about church?

And she said, I like church mommy, but I really loved to pick up!

And I said, Oh, well that is fantastic, you can pick up every day then!

And she said, Mommy, do you know why I loved to pick up?

And I said. No, why?

And she said, because I got to pick up with you! And I just love picking up with my mommy!!!!!

And then Scarlett said, Mommy, you're my best friend. I love you so much.

I might have shed a few tears at that point.

Gosh, kids have this ability to just take a magnifying glass and completely enlarge your worst areas and then put a life-sized poster of those areas up so you actually have to take a look at them!

In all of the excitement that was yesterday, Stella's favorite thing was the hardest, most challenging thing for us to do, because we did it together. Even though I was yelling and forcing them to work, we did it all together.

I kind of wished she would have picked dinner with me instead of my most ugly moments of the day. But she didn't and so I looked at myself long and hard in that moment and decided that the Lord was telling me something and that it is beyond time to slow down.

And so I am going to listen this time. And obey.

I'm slowing down.

This book will not be out by Monday, unless there is a miracle that happens between now and then.

And the next book is getting pushed at least a month. I wanted the series finale done by Christmas Break of December. I thought, what a perfect time for a book to come out!

But. I am slowing down. I'm going back to writing in the few hours between the children's bedtime and my own. And in the gracious babysitting hours my mother takes. I am going to breath. And think again, not in split personalities. And I am going to do more than clean with my children and yell at them. I am going to ENJOY them.

This whole thing is about them anyway! Making enough money to give them what they need, what they want and teaching them to follow their deepest dreams. And in one month of a hurried deadline and a little bit of notice, I've somehow managed to forget that.

Worst mom ever?


But hopefully. It's not too late to change that.


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  1. It is awesome that you learned so early! (and you will have to relearn it later). Note about Scarlett: She is the SECOND BORN. All work will have to be a game! If it isn't fun, it isn't worth it! And it will have to be a team or a competition. Then she will do almost anything!

  2. I am absolutely in love with your first two books! And reading your blog post about the book is such a tease. So you just take all the time you need to make the third as fantastic as I am sure it will be! :o) lol

    PS... Every mother has those days when they feel like the worst mother since the beginning of civilization. The very fact that you realized that you needed more family time means you aren't anywhere close to being a bad mom! :o)

  3. I just finished both books in 2 days. They are wonderful. I can wait,although a little impatiently, for the 3rd book. Family is more important.God,Family then job. That is the order it should be. Keep up the great writing in your own time frame... thanks. :-)

  4. So I am totally looking forward to the next few books but if you need more time, I'm sure people will understand. Even me! When you have finished the series, I would love to hear why you are team Jacob. I only read the first two books (Bella just irritated me too much), but I thought Edward was so much more fitting. I would love to hear it from a writer's perspective!

  5. I am a mom of 3 also, it is hard, and I have those yelling days where they won't help me pick up too. The good thing is, they don't seem to remember me yelling, so much. :-) It does get better too, once they grow just a little bit more.

    Your books are great and we can't wait to read them, but your right, your family comes first! And when you do publish we will be here worth the wait!

    also, your hubby sounds pretty great, but mine is the best! *wink*

  6. Totally understand being a mom. and as enthusiastic as I am about your next book (because the first two were A-Mazing! makes me wonder how someone of your talent could ever doubt yourself.) I think you should put it out there when it feels right. and I for one am glad that we only have a few months waits in between books as opposed to years. they are fabulous, you are fabulous and a great mom :)