No Time to Fix Mixed Metaphors: Jumping Back In

Underwater fashion. Beautiful model swimming underwater wearing colorful clothes with spray of air bubbles

Leave it to me to dive back into my early morning writing routine right when we’re all still groggy from the time change.

But remember how I said that my writing goes in seasons? This is the start of a big one for me. Because the truth is, I haven’t had a chance to touch my current WIP for several weeks now. I’ve been busy with a major freelance writing project, conferences, book launch planning, house-hunting, baby shower planning, and prepping to be an aunt to another adorable niece! Life has been full and wonderful, but lacking in the new words department. By the end of this week, I plan to change all that.

The good news is that for once, I have an outline for this story. I’ve got my road map, I’m ready to go off the beaten path a bit and get a little lost along the way, but unlike with previous novels, this time I see the final destination.

All I have to do is take that first leap (back in). Because by now, since I’ve started writing this book and then promptly stopped, I’m like a kid who went swimming in a cold pool, got used to the water temperature,  then got out and toweled off to go grab a hot dog. And I just know that once I jump back in, the water will hit me, cold and unnerving, and the only way I’ll warm up and get comfortable again is if swim as fast as I can. No stopping, no treading water. Just go.

Wish me luck? And pardon the mixed metaphors: road trip, swimming pool…I shudder to realize what I’ve done here. But I’m pulling the lost-hour-of-sleep card. And the fact-that-I’m-off-to-pack-to-visit-my-sister-who-gives-birth-tomorrow card.

And the we-are-writers-but-we-have-a-life card.

Can I sign up for a membership for that one? (p.s. This photo is because I still want to be a mermaid when I grow up.)

Does your life ever go in seasons? What new adventure or transition are you prepping for at the moment?



Author: Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novel CHASING THE SUN (Lake Union/New Harvest, June 2014), about a frail marriage tested to the extreme by the wife's kidnapping in Lima, Peru. A former magazine editor, she now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Visit her online at

8 Replies to “No Time to Fix Mixed Metaphors: Jumping Back In”

  1. I can’t believe I forgot to ask you about the house hunting – I hope you find your perfect home base soon. And a new auntie to boot – YAY!!
    (If the “writers have a life too” card comes in a 2-for-1 special, can I share with you?)

    Your comments about the outline inspire me. I think that’s exactly what I’m missing right now to drive me forward.

    1. Thanks, Lori! The house-hunting is going well, but it’s a little crazy at the moment: so many people are making offers at once. I hope we’ll get to grab one soon!

      I hope the outline helps. I’ve never really used one in the initial draft stages before—for me, it’s usually a revision tool, which is why this is all so new to me.

      Tell me tell me how your story’s going, though! I’m fascinated by it. Can’t wait to read it and hear all about how it’s coming along 🙂

  2. You def have a lot going on Natalia! I’m curious about your approach to your WIP. Did you ever try to outline your previous work or is this the very first time you’re working with an outline? Do you think you might deviate from it or plan or stick to it no matter what? I feel like writers are mostly either writing as they go or outliners and it can be frustrating when you don’t know where you’re going. But sometimes the characters take you places you never imagined! Anyhow, just curious about how you hope your process will change/differ with an outline.

  3. I’m with you on the seasons. Summer is such a good season for me because it’s (usually) less busy at my day-job, so I can take my lunch hours and get a solid hour of writing in every day. That has not been the case this winter, unfortunately. Good luck with the dive!

  4. An outline, huh? What a weird idea. 🙂

    Transitions? Spending a year slightly less occupied with family business than last year (slightly). Working on my WP (I’m finally figuring out how it works, now that it’s done, and I may have a title.)

    Congratulations on the impending niece. I haven’t had one of those in over 30 years (my family doesn’t reproduce).

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