The Writing Life

So…I’m a wife to one man. A mom to four kids. A chauffeur to what feels like seventy-five daily destinations. And a woman who writes.

Now, I never really talk about writing on this blog for a few sorta valid reasons.

My Sorta Valid Reasons For Not Talking About Writing On This Blog:

1. It makes me seem kinda weird (I think).
2. The subject invariably brings up the dreaded question, “Where can I buy your books?” To which I’m tempted to go into a lengthy explanation about the exhausting publishing process and how long it usually takes. And then I have to suppress the urge to pull out homemade charts and graphs (don’t laugh—I have them) detailing J.K. Rowling’s 200+ rejections and Stephen King’s five never-published manuscripts and the six years it took the Kathryn Stockett to get someone interested in The Help. Boring information, I know, but I’ve read it all. Because sometimes a writer needs a little help out of the trenches from those who have already been there/done that. Which leads me to my last sorta valid reason:
3. The point of this blog is to make people (hopefully) smile, not bore them to death. And in my dreams a.k.a worst nightmares, this is how that conversation would go:

Nightmare Dude: “Where can I buy your books?”
Me: “You can’t. Except for a few greeting cards with my name on them, I’m not yet published. Working on it now.”
ND: (as he/she looks puzzled) “Well, how long will it take?”
Me: “I’m not sure. Maybe a year, maybe five. Every situation is different.”
ND: Sigh. “So what are your books about?”
Me: “I write books for women. Most include romance, but not all. They’re all about a heroine who goes on a long journey to discover—”
ND: “zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……” Eyes rolling backwards. Drool sliding out of mouth. Head hanging sideways.

Conversation over.

But writing is what I do. I write as much as I can and as often as I can. When I’m working, I write on my lunch break. Or during planning period, because trying to decide when Guy is going to kiss Girl totally counts as planning. When I’m trying to sleep, I write in my head. Which accounts for my charming, sometimes Zombie-like personality. In short, I write all the time. In fact, when I’m not working, this is what a typical day looks like for me.

6:00 am: Wake up, make coffee, and make what feels like four-dozen breakfasts/lunches.
7:00 am: Throw on sweatpants—my writer’s uniform of choice. Hooters has skimpy tank-tops and cleavage, I have baggy knit pants and…whatever. It all evens out.
7:30 am: Close door on two departing kids. Give self a mental high-five.
8:30 am: Drop off oldest child at high school, high-five my four-year-old, and drive home.
9:00 am: Grab more coffee. Turn on television. Sit down to write.
9:10 am: Change channel because Dora is boring. Change channel again because Wonder Pets is also boring. Consider changing channel to Jerry Springer because it’s not boring, but figure it’s totally inappropriate for a four-year-old. And me.
9:15 am: Sit down to write.
9:20 am: Get up again, grab Pop-Tarts for daughter’s second breakfast (which I would say no to, except I totally relate), and pour apple juice.
9:30 am: Sit down to write
9:40 am: Feel guilty for ignoring daughter’s repeated requests to play Barbies, turn of television, and grab a Ken doll (because I’m always the boy).
10:30 am: Guilt gone, so…Sit down to write.
10:40 am: Hear dryer buzz, switch laundry, and, now distracted, begin wiping down counters, organizing drawers, and color-coordinating closets.
11:30 am: Give in to daughter’s requests to paint my nails. Eye computer, still sitting unused, and sigh. Pull out polish and offer her my toes because no one can see them in the winter.
11:35 am-12:00 noon: Ignore repeated texts from oldest son to be checked out of school for lunch. And to take him drum/guitar shopping. And to let him come home because he’s not doing anything anyway. To which I wonder…Then why did I spend exactly 8 million dollars on school supplies?
12:05: Feed daughter lunch. Feed myself lunch. Eat daughter’s barely touched lunch, which usually consists of P B & J (which I love and make on purpose).
1:00 pm: With double-lunch finally over, sit down to write.
1:30 pm: After staring at screen for 30 minutes, realize I’ve written about 12 words. If you’re doing the math, that’s one word every 2.2 minutes. Which translates into not much. Which translates into this seriously stinks.
2:30 pm: Wake up after accidently falling asleep (because I bored myself into a near-coma with all that non-writing).
2:30-3:15: Write like a crazy person before kids come home…somehow manage to pull off 2000ish words in record time.
11:00pm: After day is over, climb into bed with laptop, review in horror the crappy words I wrote earlier in the day, revise and knock out a few more words, and fall asleep with laptop on chest.

Repeat next day.

So that’s it. That’s what I do. And I thought maybe, since this blog is nearly six months old and has the words “…and writing” in the title, I should fill you in on the writing side of my life. It isn’t glamorous, it doesn’t pay much, but it’s fun. It’s more than fun. It’s my dream. It’s what I need to do almost as much as breathing and sleeping and eating (Okay, about that last one—if I had to give up writing or Milk Duds for a solid month, I think we all know what I would choose).

Happy Tuesday!!


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