It's been over a year, and yet, hard to believe it's only been about a year. But there it is. My first release with Freya's Bower came out October 1, 2008. Just over a year ago. I'm going to guess I didn't spend nearly enough time in the interval sleeping. And yet. I'm not really a prolific writer, as these things go. There are writers who put out a far sight more work than I do. Lots of them even have day jobs and families, as I do. So how do they do it? How do they find the time to write so many words and do so much promotion?
I can't answer the question for them, I only know, in my life, there has to be a balance. I have two extremely competent young children. A nine year old who can, in a pinch, or just when she feels like it, cook supper for the entire family. And we aren't talking about bowls of cereal, either. I mean slicing, dicing, and cooking up a mess of Sheppard's Pie. We're talking full course meal. Then there is the six year old who knows, if he's going to eat, he's going to have to fend for himself during the day. And he's recently graduated from Rice Crispies to toasting himself a bagel.
I know. I'm lucky. All I have to do is sit at the kitchen table and supervise, and things get done around me. Because I taught them to be self sufficient. I want my job with them to be over. Much as I love them, I am just the mother. Not the life support system, and they are coming to realize that.
So I sit at the kitchen table and write while they learn stuff around me. Now, the trick becomes finding meaningful time alone with my other children. The made up ones. The ones who really cannot exist without my input. The characters who wander in and out of my life and onto the pages of my stories are as much a drain on my resources as the children of my loins. I don't know how it is for other writers. I just know how it is for me. When I get into the throes of a writing binge, the rest of the world falls away, and heaven help anyone who comes tapping on my shoulder looking for a missing sock or a snack or spouting any problem short of oozing blood.
The trick, I've been told, is balance. I've never been much of one for balance. All or nothing. Multi-tasking ends when writing starts. The more quiet and distraction free my environment, the happier I am. But to write prolifically means shutting out more of the world more often. Hard to do when there is the constant "Mommy, Mom, Ma!!!" going on in the background, just under the skin of concentration. And really, they are young, still, they do need attention after a sort, and so cannot be shut out. Not really.
So how do you find the balance between one set of children and the other? How do you do it? I'd love to hear your thoughts.