What I was supposed to be doing this summer

I really intended to write my next novel this summer. Really. I have it all outlined. I even tweaked the outlined last week and diagrammed characters, settings, and the like. I did.

But life happens. I have all my kids and the stupendous Mr. Klempner all home this summer, and we’ve been busy tidepool-hopping and museum-visiting and swing-pushing and the like. Also, I had a few deadlines to meet on short pieces, so I haven’t been lazy.


It might be more realistic to keep outlining and diagramming until the kids all head back to school. At that point, I should have more time to sit at the computer and crank out 1,000 words a day. Plus, I want to set aside an hour a day to revise the recently-rejected previously-completed novel. Then I can justify agent hunting.

I’m trying to be patient with all the interruptions and distractions. Just one more month to go, and I should have plenty time to write.

At least, that’s the theory.

“How do you do it?” How to write while you’re a stay at home mother

People often ask me this question: How do you find time to write? Other moms work outside the home, sometimes full-time, yet my extremely-part-time and mostly at home writing puzzles them. Life as a FT mom is so wild and wacky, my head buzzes with ideas that could make great kids’ books. Doesn’t yours? This is how to get the ideas out and coherently on paper:

First of all, I have a giant notebook. Inside, I write lots of lists. Some titles you’ll find in my notebook: funny things kids do; annoying things kids do; what kids fight about; excuses they give; sweet things kids do. Don’t just email your girlfriend or tell Mom or Hubby about the craziness you endured during the day–write it down, even just in shorthand.
Also, after a workshop by Sarah Shapiro, I’ve learned to listen and practice writing dialogue. She says to do it daily, but I’m not that good about it. Just copy down a short conversation every week or so, and you’ll get practice.
Read LOTS…then respond in a book club, blog, or by writing a review online. If the book gave you an idea, extend it as far as you can.
No T.V. means more time and more productive time is available in this house.
After you write, revise. Test out on friends by sending your story to them or by joining a writing group. Then revise more according to what they suggest, then re-read to them. Is it improved?
Figure out who publishes similar pieces to yours, get the submission guidelines, then send the manuscript in! You’ll never know if you might have succeeded if you never try.
And remember, rejection letters are good for your middos.