Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Take What I Want

I work two part-time jobs. I have a 3 year old and a 4 year old (who will soon be a 5 year old). I have two dogs, a cat, and a spouse. My first novel (Coming from Nowhere) came out in 2009, my second (Life After the Undead) in 2011. I've also had a couple novellas, short stories, and anthology contributions in there. I used to write articles for an agricultural magazine and a magazine focused on serial killers.

This year, I have a novella, the sequel to Life After the Undead, a short story collection, two novelettes, and a nonfiction book coming out. I'm a chapter away from finishing a draft of my forth novel, and I freelance content editor for two publishers.

Yes, I do sleep. Most nights, I'm in bed before 10:30. How do I do it? You ask. Let me tell you.

1. I squeeze writing in whenever I get the chance. I have a few minutes between projects at work? Perfect, I jot some ideas down. An hour lunch? Wonderful. Take 15 minutes to brainstorm some ideas or get words on paper.

2. I block time in the evening after the kids have gone to bed to get my stuff done. I have to make sacrifices to do that. For example, I don't always get to sit on the couch and watch TV. But if you're serious about your craft and want to be a writer, you'll be fine with those sacrifices. Besides, I don't force myself to work every night, I make sure I veg out every now and then.

3. Never underestimate the power of pen and paper. I know with laptop computers it's more convenient than ever to write wherever, but I don't like to lug my computer everywhere. Sometimes, a notebook is all you really need. I use it on the weekends with my kids while they're watching TV. It makes them feel like I'm hanging out with them, and I don't have to actually watch their cartoons (most of them I've seen already anyway). A notebook is great at swim lessons and doctors appointments. Really, it goes anywhere, and you don't have to wait for it to boot up.

4. I pay people to clean my house. Yes, it's slightly elitist and I'm incredibly spoiled, but you'd be amazed how much I get done when I don't have to waste hours vacuuming my floors or scrubbing toilets. I still do my own laundry, which provides a nice break between tasks, but not having to worry about the other stuff is so freeing.

Being driven and determined also help keep me motivated. I do take a lot of time to hang with the family, too. We watch movies and run errands and go snowmobiling. In the summer, we like to fish and camp. A lot of the time, I feel like I could accomplish so much more if I just had more time. You know what would free up more time? Not having a real job! *Sigh* Some day...

For more information about me and my projects, check out my blog.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have a way that works for you. CONGRATS! I wish I had someone coming in to clean for me. Maybe someday? Thanks for sharing what works for you. Have a wonderful weekend!


Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Pembroke, great post. It is a credit to you how you manage to balance family and writing.