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Monday, March 1, 2010

Busy Mom's Guide to Writing a Book Part 3

You didn't think I'd actually forget about the writing part, did you?

It's the easiest part.

It is also the hardest part.

First, you have to make time to do the writing. I know it's hard. Believe me, I've been doing this mom thing for twenty years. 20!!! (How is that even possible, since I'm only 29 myself? Ha!)

It's never easy to find the time, but here are a few of my tried and true tricks....baubles of wisdom from the queen, if you will:

1. Less TV. TV is a huge time-suck. Pick a no more than three shows to watch each week. And TiVo them so that if you are in the middle of a good idea, you can catch the fashion show on Project Runway later. (Really, there are only three good shows on T.V.: Project Runway, Glee and Lost*)

2. Less Internet. Internet+You=unfinished material.

3. Find creative times /places to write: For example, I write everyday during my lunch time (I was going to write lunch hour, but I am a teacher. There's no such thing as a hour for lunch!!) But amazingly, I can crank out little nuggets of good writing in twenty minute intervals if needed. And the act of writing EVERY DAY is important for me. I work best when I am able to get into a groove. If that means lunchtimes or in the car while the kids are at dance practice (not while I'm driving, of course. While I'm driving, the writing is too messy to re-read), then that's what I do. Of course, I write when I am at home, but sometimes STUFF happens (as I'm sure you're aware, being a mom and all), and if I've already gotten a bit done during the day, even if it's a tiny amount, I'm less likely to be cranky.

I'm also one of those writing geeks who carries their journal (or writing book, as I call mine) wherever I go. I'm a big fan of the black and white speckled composition books, but my husband gave me some moleskines for Christmas and, well, I fell in love......

(Go and buy some moleskines....YOU ARE WORTH IT!)

4. The best ideas come at the wackiest times. Seriously. (Having a moleskine nearby to capture these elusive rascals is a must!) As a mom, you have to realize that when you sit down to write, the ideas are NOT going to fall from your fingertips onto the keypad. It's like the rule that says that if you have a clean diaper and a change of clothes in the diaper bag, you will NOT need it, whereas if you don't...... You have to make yourself write down bits of wonder whenever, wherever they lurk, and capture them, so that when you have a moment to sit and write, they'll be there for you.

I guarantee you that you won't remember half of them. (It's the sleep depriavtion=short term memory loss equation).

So, there you have it. The third leaf on the shamrock of writing.

Speaking of shamrocks, we have entered the fabulous month of March. Watch for upcoming Irish stuff, as well as my super sekrit recipe for the best corned beef EVAH!


*yeah, Lost is lame now, but I still have to watch it.


Hardygirl said...

Soooo true about the best ideas coming at the wackiest times, and if you don't have your moleskin ready, they dissolve into the clouds.


Kelly said...

My husband just gave me a cute notebook to keep in my purse for my observations and inspirations!
I have cut down on TV, but man I do have to cut down on my internet time...

Sharon Mayhew said...

I never go anywhere without paper and a pen.

Have you used skype yet?

Daisy Whitney said...

I'm 29 too and have been for many years!

Myrna Foster said...

And I can never find a pen. Okay, never may be a bit strong.

Great advice. I need to take spend less time on the internet than I did last month.

Jackee said...

LOVED this post, Shelley. It all hits home, but I especially can relate to the "less cranky" if I've written everyday.

And I'm starting to fall in love with the black and red hardbound notebooks! (Which is bad because they're pricey.)

Anonymous said...

Those moleskines sound lovely, will have to get one :o). At the moment my farm diary is also my ideas book.

Kelly H-Y said...

You are too funny ... and SO right on!!

storyqueen said...

SF-If only I could remember where I put my notebooks....

Kelly-Me too. Even though I spend very little time on the net, it's still time I could be writing. But I'd miss blogging too much if I gave it up.

Sharon-Ah, known as the bane of my existence. Don't ask.

Daisy-Psst, Daisy, you still LOOK 29. Me? not so much.

Myrna-every little bit helps!

Jackee-YOU ARE WORTH IT!! Buy the nice notebook!

Niki-I love the idea of having a farm diary...of course, I'd probably have to have a farm then...hmm.

Kelly-Thanks...just telling it like I see it. But it really is nice to have friends stop by and tell me I'm not too crazy.

Nisa said...

Great ideas! I would watch less TV if I watched TV... Everyone keeps telling me to get the Lost series and watch it from the beginning? If the last season is lame, is it even worth it now?

Lady Glamis said...

So many good ideas here! I've stopped watching TV for the past 8 years. It has freed up a ton of my time. I still watch movies, but only here and there.

Elana Johnson said...

Very good pointers here. TV and the Internet have combined against me. Or they do if I let them. It's a constant battle. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I really need to work on less internet time. That is definitely one of my biggest "walls" to productivity! :-)

Carrie Harris said...

I love Glee. Frankly, I'm lucky it's not on every night, because then my profession would go from "writer" to "Glee-addicted couch potato."

Myrna Foster said...

I gave you a blog award. Come and get it, if you want it! ;)

Natalie said...

AMEN!!! I know there is a direct correlation between how much I write and how little TV and internet I consume.