I feel like I’ve taken on two extra jobs this year as I prepare for my debut novel to come out. In addition to my work-work, I’m also writing a new book and preparing to market the heck out of the debut. That’s why from now on, you’ll probably only get to know me as Author Working Mom. But I think it’ll be a good thing. I’m planning some posts that offer advice to those who think they’d like to try getting published as well, plus I hope you’ll find it interesting to see what life is like for a new author.
First up: I thought I’d repost an entry I did over at the Elevensies, a community for Young Adult and Middle Grade Authors whose books come out in 2011. It’s part of a series called “A Day in the Writing Life.” Enjoy!
This is a day in my writing life. Actually, it’s me at the end of a day in my regular life, which is when my writing life begins. See, I’m a working mom. Except for rare occasions when I can escape for a writer’s retreat or negotiate a weekend afternoon with my husband, I do all of my novel writing in the evening after the kids go to bed.
And I do it all on this couch. Don’t ask me why I love this couch so much. It’s not like it’s the most comfortable couch in the world; as you can see, it’s a little small for me. (Also, no wonder my back hurts sometimes – my preferred writing position is a chiropractor’s dream.) I think it’s because the couch is in my living room, which is cozy and inviting, unlike the room in our house which we’ve designated as an office–it used to be a coal cellar. My couch allows me to escape into my characters’ worlds yet not have to travel far if I hear a little one crying upstairs.
Because that’s the reality of making a dream come true when you’ve got a million other titles besides Author. I don’t have the luxury of waiting for my “muse” to visit. If I waited until I felt inspired or knew I wouldn’t be interrupted I wouldn’t finish a chapter let alone an entire book. I have to make the most of the time I have, so if that’s an hour and a half between 10:30 p.m. and midnight, then I can’t wait for the words to come; I have to *make* them come,
And you know what? I think that’s why I’ve been able to make it this far. While I do know of some very successful authors who need to be visited by their muses or have things just so in order to create, I’ve also heard a lot of would-be authors lament that they just can’t find the time or the space or the inspiration to complete their novels. For me, Time, Space and Inspiration meet up every evening between 9 and 12, in my living room, on my couch. It’s not very glamorous, but it’s how I work. I try not to let a day in my life go by without one of these meetings, and most of the time I’m amazed at what we can accomplish, whether my muse chooses to attend or not.