Kelly talked about that elusive butterfly, trying to catch it and fulfilling that nagging little muze without losing your mind over the everyday details that conspire to keep us from our dream of getting those stories down on paper...um, computers. I've been writing since 1992, starting out this process with little little kids and a husband and home to care for. I shopped for the best cartoon movies, carefully arrainged play dates and booked afternoons of Mothers-Day-Out hoping to buy myself a wee bit of time to pen my novels.
Maybe distance makes it all seem like it was a dream deal but memories are tricky things. Burned dinners, fighting children, chores left undone were a part of my life. No one was happy, least of all me. I don't know how I did it. Well, I did it but obviously not very well since I didn't see my first book published until last year. For what it's worth, my closets are full of finished manuscripts that will certainly never see the light of day. I call them my contributions to the "writing goddess". My kids grew apace with my determination and I don't think they remember a time when I didn't write.
The strangest thing was that as they got older they started to really admire my determination. They'd come into the office...hey, Mom, what's this one about? OR...hey, Mom, what's the heroine's name? Things like that. For me, I think by gradually pulling them into the process of what I did and including them, managing my writing time got easier. It became a game to title my stories and that's a good thing, because I soooo stink at that. They started to help me in little ways sometimes pitching in, grabbing the phone, answering the door. Of course, their rooms looked like crime scenes but you can't have everything.
Due to necessity, I lived in organized chaos and that was okay. I produced. I managed.
Now, with one gone and the other "almost gone", I'm finding a new way that's far more structured. But since I have a big, wide lazy streak running down my back, this is a good thing. Oddly enough, I've grown just as my kids have. I start the day by making my phone calls, answering email and blogging and then, if life is kind, I'll start writing. I'm not much of a "night writer" so it's essential that my mornings are free. I swill coffee, forget to eat, and write away most of the day usually in my most comfortable jammies. A cave dweller, for the most part, I'll emerge from the house maybe once a week, sometimes two, to hit the grocery store, dry cleaners or whatever and carefully arrange all of these chores so that I can get back home in a timely manner. Nope. No lunches with friends. No pedicures. Getting my hair appointment takes months of planning. Okay. It's not quite THAT bad but pretty close.
My closest friends will tell you I'm lying through my teeth if I were to say I don't get back on the internet to chat. I do. It's the hugest, biggest time eater in the world, but for me it's necessary. I write in blocks and must stop from time to time. Finishing a scene means break time. I'll write an email or two, grab another cup of coffee, throw some clothes in the wash and break time's OVER. It's just enough to keep me from burning out for the day. I'm fresh and more ready to tackle the work. Right now, it's all about the work. Yeah, I spend time with the family. Go to an occasional movie or watch a basketball/football/whatever game on tv with DH but just about every second of my day is spent doing what I love.
Truth is...I'm happiest right HERE behind my computer.