I don’t know any writers who are *just* writers. And by that I mean they are full-time writers with nothing else on their plates. Not to be construed as me saying that being a writer isn’t among the most fabulous and honorable things in the world to be.
Frederick Lee Brooke, my blog friend and author of DOING MAX VINYL (currently queued up and being enjoyed on my Kindle) recently blogged about the multi-tasking writer and gave some worthwhile tips on successfully juggling a writing life. Good stuff, go check it out.
Multi-tasking is something I think most people, writer-or-no must struggle with on a daily basis. Whether you’re talking about managing many things in your head or physically carrying out several jobs at once, we’re all one slip away from the abyss. (Not that I’d mind being in The Abyss, not just any old one, but this one, what with my little crush on Ed Harris and all…
Being a writer and trying to multi-task your work isn’t easily done. I know for a fact that I can think about my writing while cooking dinner, doing dishes, changing a diaper, talking on the phone, and carry a nursing baby all at once, but that is not something I could easily add actual writing to.
*shivers as that flashback falls away into 2006.*
Writing, for me, requires a bit of mood setting. I have to block out some other things in order to get into that mental place. I need to close the door and pretend it is locked. I have to switch on Pandora (currently on “Explosions in the Sky” channel) and start letting myself fall into that writing place in my brain. I have to pull my manuscript up on the screen, scroll back a few pages and read it aloud, sometimes in a mighty British accent. Only then can I tap into the stream of my muse and let her tickle my mind.
Granted, there is a timer counting down to the moment my eldest cherub must turn off the video games, and another timer will chime when I have to go stir the savory goodness that is simmering in my crock pot, and yet another timer will go off later this evening when I have to pause my writing and begin working on preparations for my non-profit event happening next weekend. And this is an especially free day due to Mr. Corinne being home to manage the spawn’s every need in the interim. Thank you Mr. C!
So, I am juggling some things, in my head, but nothing is keeping me at this moment from the act of writing.
I found this fabulous book called THE NIGHTTIME NOVELIST by Joseph Bates in which he talks about many things relating to finishing your novel in your spare time. On craft, if is full of fab. I recommend getting the actual book form of this one, because it is 1) gorgeous, and 2) write-notes-in the-margin-worthy. In the introduction, Bates lists a few famous authors who wrote in their off time. Among them, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens… to name a few.
Hearing things like this only inspires me to get it done. Taking the time is a choice. So is making excuses. So, I leave you on this quiet Black Friday here in Colorado, switch off the interwebs and get to work. I am sending my husband telepathic wishes that he’ll feel inspired to get all the Christmas stuff out of the storage closet. **~~*:* (I never could figure out how people create those magical swirly and whimsical little lines from the keyboard…)
Check out this list from Publisher’s Weekly about famous authors who didn’t *just* write.
Peace love and magic!