Monday, April 30, 2007

Five Things That Make My Life Doable

When I am asked how I manage to have a toddler and write I always say my life is about compromise and discipline. I have to write - so I do. And because I write - LOTS of other things don't get done. In fact, as I sit in my office, my laundry is towering over my shoulder and the smell of dirty diapers from the full diaper pail wafting through my dirty house. But I have all the ingredients for dinner tonight and I've written five pages. That's my compromise.


1. Salad in a bag - particularly Asian Crunch. This is dinner most nights a week. You'd think I'd be skinnier.
2. Rachel Ray -- hate her talk show LOVE her cookbooks. I'm not kidding. It takes 30 minutes and it's good. She's not lying. She's annoying as all get out but she's not lying.
3. Lap top computer not hooked up to the Internet. For those of you who don't have this and lament about not getting any writing done - this is the key. This is actually number one on my list - I'd rearrange things but I'm running out of blogging time.
4. Coffee in massive amounts. I am not a coffee enthusiast. A recreational coffee drinker - nope. When my son was first born my husband asked if I thought maybe, just maybe I was drinking too much coffee and I told him (getting his drift and not taking kindly to it) - with sincere and utter heartfelt rage - that coffee was the only recognizable thing I had left from my old life. The coffee stays in the picture.
5. Deadlines. I'm not talking about editorial deadlines - though they are good but they are so far away. I could procrastinate forever. Nope. I have deadlines from my critique group. It's supposed to be at least a scene or a chapter every week but we've strayed from that - but if I go longer than two weeks without handing in a chunk of writing for them to critique I know I am falling behind. This is so invaluable because I know if I had a deadline just for myself I'd blow it every week. Like I do with dieting and working out.

So that's it - much like writing it's not glamorous. It's a little sad actually - but it's what I do in order to make this little dream of mine doable.

So, what are your tricks? How do you keep all your balls in the air?


Nelsa said...

Great tips, Molly - I think I may cave and actually get that Rachel Ray cookbook ... and give it to my fourteen year old who actually LIKES to cook.
As for writing tricks, my only two sure fire bets are making sure that my daughter takes her figure skating lessons in an arena with a nice comfy heated lounge area for parents. Three hours a week of devoted writing time. Bliss. And the subway to and from work gets me a couple of pages easy every day. Ya' do what you have to...

Sinead M said...

I can't. I'm sure her cookbooks are wonderful.. but I can't support that woman and her insane cheeriness.
Great tips, Molly. I know how hard it is, and to be honest, right now, you are making it look easy.

As for tips, I need to watch less TV and surf the internet less.
But I'm pretty sure everyone already knows that

Molly O'Keefe said...

Her ridiculous cheeriness was a hurdle - I won't lie. Nelsa good tip about the heated parent's room at arena's -- Ihave the feeling I'll be spending some time there myself.

Christine said...

I have to set deadlines. Since I work a day job, and have two girls who are at the age where they have groups and sports they belong to, I have to plan everything. If I don't, nothing gets done.

I've also had to learn to work within tight timeframes to get everything done. If I know I only have an hour to write, I write for a solid hour. I can get a lot accomplished when I'm doing that.

That and I have the help of my husband. He keeps the kids away when I'm writing. He also gives me a kick in the pants when I should be writing and I'm doing something else instead.

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