I've discovered something in my relatively short career....my computer has magic powers.
Bear with me; I'm serious here. For those of us who grew up with landlines, or had children while those landlines existed, it's the same concept. The kids would be happily playing or watching TV (or better yet, be outside for hours!) and then the phone would ring, or I'd decide to make a call. Within seconds, both (or now, all 3) kids would be demanding my full attention.
Remember those days?
I took up needlepoint this summer and discovered I could work on a project, alone in my room, in solitude. Peace and Quiet. Wow.....but beware the comforting, deceiving lull of the thought I could so work this into the next scene....I went into the deserted kitchen and opened the laptop....I kid you not, the moment I opened my document, I heard Those Words:
Mo-om! Can you come here for a moment?
Kenze, I'm heading out to the store. If you want anything special, make me a list or get your shoes on.
Grandma, can you get me some kool-aid?
Or my favorite one....
I need something from the back porch....(my chair blocks the entrance).
Sigh. See how it's magical? I open it up and somewhere a beacon goes off that says Mom Is NOT Paying Attention To You.....Disturb Her Now or Suffer The Consequences!
Yes, once upon a time, I would get so wrapped up in my writing, I
-Didn't pick the kids up from school (they rode the bus....horrible, I know!)
-Didn't check their homework (the fact they did it at all shows I'd done something right in my parenting skills!)
-Didn't fix dinner (I've managed to raise kids who knew how to cook; this was when they were 10 and 8, before their baby brother appeared)
-Didn't acknowledge the spouse arriving home from work (he saw I was writing and decided to let genius burn...smart man!)
-Didn't EAT my dinner (kids fixed me a plate and put it in the microwave....good kids!)
-Didn't even tuck my kids in for bed (they DID come kiss me goodnight; I told them '5 more minutes').
So yeah, I get why now everyone panics; but that also happened 14 YEARS ago! Since getting the majority of the stories out of my head, I've managed to only have a marathon writing stint like the one described above only a handful of times, and twice those took place during NaNoWriMo.
I've mellowed out, especially since my publishers folded and I'm no longer under a deadline for the last book or two in my Chosen series. In fact, the last time I wrote pretty much non-stop? June 2015, when I had 30 short days to finish SaLie's story and send it to my editor. I was convinced it was full of crap.....but she told me I'd sucked her into the story and her editor's hat had fallen off!
Since then, LIFE has intervened, plus we've moved to a new house, and I've been too busy to write. Instead of setting a 1500/day word count for myself, I'm down to 500, since my granddaughter only goes to school in the afternoon, which is my 'prime' writing time. Maybe next year when she heads off to all-day kindergarten, I'll crank out more?
Especially once I stop binge-watching Game of Thrones and Downtown Abbey.
Want to find out how other authors families survive? Check it out here: