Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How do you do it?

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

This is Prickles, the Pressure Porcupine. I won him after leaving a comment on Keli Gwyn's blog. He sits next to my writing area and reminds me to spread out my pressure. Not put all of it on one quill.

This time of year is crazy for me. It is the end of the school year. Contrary to popular myth, ALL of the students, not just seniors, can smell freedom. It is basically like teaching a bunch of over-excited Chihuahuas.

Then there are my own girls who have birthdays within 3 weeks of each other. Field trips, end of the year celebrations, end of season games, girl scout camping...It makes me tired just to look at my Google calendar!

Somewhere in there, I am supposed to write. Carve out hours of quiet time, sit reflectively and magically get these stories in my head out in a calm and orderly manner. I am still working on exactly how. < See all the adverbs in that paragraph? That should tell you something about my current mental state.>

So, tell me your story? How do you it all? When do you write? Are you a get up hours before the rest of the world type? Or stay awake long past everyone else is in bed type?

Also, I am looking for authors to feature on Tell Me Your Story Tuesday. If you are working toward publication or have a new release you would like to tell us about, email me at the address in my profile and let's get to know you!


Tressa Green said...

I'm fortunate to be a stay at home mom, so those precious hours while my two boys are in school is when I get the most writing/editing/etc. done.

However, with school out in less than a month, my free time will evaporate like morning mist under the glare of the summer sun. When the boys are home, I'm one of those who stay up waaaay late and work. I have to have quiet and I'm in no way, shape or form a morning person.

The downside to staying up late during summer is the the boys are allowed to stay up later, so there have been many a time when I heard the chirping of birds and saw the hazy gray of dawn before I hit the sack.

Back when I worked for pay, there was usually an hour or so lull in the evening between supper and bedtime where I had free time to do some work, which I'd continue about an hour or two after the kids went to bed.

My main challenge is having the discipline to use the time I have; I'm getting better about buckling down. :)

Teri Anne Stanley said...

I carry a little notebook with me and try to scribble down a few words now and then while I am waiting for track practice to end, or whatever...and then try to get in a few minutes on the computer before bet.

Unfortunately, the result is a pretty disjointed mess! I need a retreat. Just me and the laptop and lots of coffee.

Laura Josephsen said...

These past weeks have been crazy for me, too. My two kids have birthdays within two and a half weeks of each other, and those just passed. I totally hear you on juggling them between classes. I do some of my writing/blogging late at night when everyone's asleep (I'm a total night owl), or while I've got the kids working on school (I homeschool). This last week when I was trying to finish my novel, I lugged my laptop to the kids' piano and karate classes to squeeze in some writing while they were in class.

(Is that a picture of your girls? They're beautiful.)

My writing is very rarely carved out of hours of quiet time. There's not really much sitting reflexively and writing in an orderly manner, either. O_o Maybe there was as a teenager, but "Awakenings", which was my first real novel, was started when my son was a baby. My co-author and I wrote it through my second pregnancy and didn't finish it until my daughter was a baby.

Quite a lot of my writing is done with kids playing in the background, making spaceship noises or kitty noises or whatever other game they're playing. ;) Oftentimes my biggest reflections on characters/story come from rambling about my thoughts with someone--my husband or one of my friends.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Your girls are precious! I'm an early morning bird. I get a lot done in general before I get my kids up. While they're at school I have the day to write and I do my best writing mid-morning. By eight at night, I'm whipped, but sometimes I'll get a second wind and stay up past ten. I live dangerous, can't you tell? :)

Dawn Alexander said...

Thanks for all the compliments on my girls. I am pretty fond of them.:) The youngest doesn't generally have orange hair. This was taken for a Crazy hair day at soccer camp.

Tressa-It is funny, our lives are flip flopped! When school gets out, my writing time will increase like crazy while yours is being diminished. I hear you about buckling down. I usually have a little bit of time when I get home while the girls are doing homework, but that is usually when my brain shuts down and goes numb for a while.

Teri- A retreat sounds great! I have heard of other writers (who are published) checking into hotel rooms for the weekend to get work done. I don't know if I could convince my husband that was the best idea at this point, but some days it sounds sooo tempting!

Laura- I have taken my laptop to gymnastics and soccer practice on more than one occasion. My problem is I am a VERY social person, so if I am working and someone starts talking to me, I will completely abandon what I was working on for a good chat! One of the reasons why Twitter and Facebook are not safe places for me when I am writing!

Jessica- I am a morning person too. I don't try to write on weekday mornings because I know I will get right at a "good" part and have to get myself and the kids ready for school. I am so looking forward to summer to be able to write while they are sleeping or doing their own thing!

Unknown said...

Hi Dawn!
This was a problem that stopped me from writing when I was raising my kids. I didn't (couldn't)write seriously and while I regret the time I lost writing, I don't regret the time my kids had with me. I AM NOT A MULTITASK-ER! All my kids are grown and it's just my husband and I now. He complains that I don't take anytime off, calls me a workaholic. Humph! It's not that I love work - I just can't stop writing. I'm out of control and I don't want an intervention! LOL
One the upside for me, I have no stress, because most of my life is spent in an imaginary world of fake problems that are easy to fix. The downside, even when I'm away from my laptop, my mind is still writing and my fingers are itching to get to work. How do normal writers find time to LIVE?

Dawn Alexander said...

Candie~ That is a great question! I am a super multi-tasker, but I have found that I can't write and do too many other things at the same time!