Apologies for my blurry, non-portrait-mode phone photo. I’m about 3 generations behind 2 generations of iPhone, so, whatever. This is where I spend most of my day, hanging with the boys in their playpen downstairs on foam mats with letters, shapes, and numbers on them.

It’s very easy to fall asleep in, surprisingly.

I’m finally off the antibiotics for my infected finger.

You might be asking yourself, “How can a finger infection simultaneously hurt like none other and cause you to have an existential crisis, question everything and anything I’ve ever done, and make you want to potentially give up writing?

And I’ll answer, “I was only on antibiotics for 10 days.”

If my whole world can fall apart in 10 days, that’s a problem, right? During those 10 days I went through a serious crisis: Can I do this? Can I be an active, engaged father yet still try to become a published novelist? Turns out…

No. Not this way. Not the way I’ve been doing it.

Whatever methods I had before are no longer viable. I can’t use a Bullet Journal anymore. I can’t designate a notebook for each project anymore. I can’t work on multiple projects simultaneously anymore. I can’t do any of it anymore.

I love my boys, but it’s impossible to write the way you wish when you’re a parent. I can’t sit at a desk for hours on end, like I could before the boys were born (Only now do I realize how much time I wasted. Do whatever you can, kids! You still have time!)

So I have to find time to write when I can, like sitting in the playpen, when the boys are breastfeeding, or when I have a few minutes while they play with their spoons in their high chairs.

I’m back to using Field Notes for day-to-day writing. Everything, literally everything, will go in there. Blog posts. Story notes. Dialogue. Article starters. Anything. They’ll sit in my back pocket while I roll around, playing with my boys, and if there’s anything that needs to be typed up I’ll do that at the end of the day.

New Field Notes
This is their Field Notes Autumn Trilogy edition, which you can buy here.

Instead of trying to get three to seven projects off the ground at once, I have two projects I’ll focus all my attention on.

Project: GREY, which is a completed manuscript that I’m submitting to agents, and Project: NESS, which is in its 1st draft. Realistically, I’ll have maybe an hour and a half to write a day if I wake up early in the morning, so I’ll spend an hour on Project: NESS (or any project where I’m producing words), then spend 30 minutes on Project: GREY (or any project that requires plotting or touch-ups or full edits.)

And that’s it.

If the systems aren’t working like they used to, then don’t try to fit a square peg down your throat. Throw them out and make it easier for you.

I’m back. I’m ready to work. I’ll never give up on this again.

Thanks for reading,

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Contact: robertmichaelacosta@gmail.com