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Monday, November 16, 2009

How I Wrote Ten Books

The Fiend of White Buck Hall will be published book #10 for me. After getting the contract last week, I took a moment to wonder how I have managed to write ten books. There are writers who produce a lot more and I'm slow in comparison to them, but I really don't think they sleep. :^)

Like the majority of women with families, I am forever juggling the various tasks of living--tossing up one ball and catching another before it falls. Yes, my children are grown, but for those of you who have small children and think life is difficult--just wait. It never gets any easier.

Hubby is retired, but I still have a real part time job that gets me up and out of the house for several hours five days a week, but when I return I have to throw a load of laundry into the washing machine and transfer another load into the dryer.

On my lucky days, I don't have to go on an errand, but more often than not, I do. I have to help out my Dad, or shop for more food, or buy parts for a broken appliance. Once I'm back at the house, I put some form of protein in a pan to brown on the stove.

I turn on the computer, check my email, and fix one paragraph of my manuscript before I check on that browning protein and add some sauce to it.

I talk to Dad on the phone while I'm emptying the dishwasher. I finish talking to Dad and put away the clean dishes before I go back to the manuscript at the computer, but by now my powers of concentration are completely scattered, so I check my email again instead of fixing the manuscript.

I have my computer programmed to announce the hour every fifteen minutes, so I know I have to complete the rest of our supper. I put the computer to sleep, rip open a bag of frozen vegetables and set the table.

Daughters #1 and #3 arrive home from work--late as usual. I ask one of them to locate their father tell him it's time to eat. Lately, he's been busy redoing an upstairs room so he's easy to find.

Daughter #1 cleans up after supper, but now it's time for me to take the dried clothing, fold it, and put it away.

Meanwhile, Daughter #3 is cleaning the bathroom.

Hubby has to check his email on the computer which he and I share. I let him go ahead because after all, I still have plenty to do. I can exercise, sweep, vacuum, or dust. I can organize the photos in the album. (Ha!) Sometimes I have to go out during the evening, but not often.

I never watch television, except for the news. If I'm really exhausted, I will make a cup of tea and read a book. If I have a bit of energy left, I might spend a half hour on the elliptical machine AND read a book.

But most evenings, I will write--even if it's only for an hour. Sometimes, it's more than an hour. That's how I finished ten books. Slowly, but methodically.

If I can do it, anyone can. You just have to plod ahead. Of course, it helps if you have a great story to tell and the characters are annoying you constantly to finish their tale. So you absolutely must help them out. :^)


Leann said...

It sounds like you have a good rythym down for writing. No messy house and scattered nonesense? When I hear any characters running around in my head maybe I'll write :-)

Do the daughters come over often for dinner?

Lita Harris said...

The inability to concentrate is my problem. I have a difficult time focusing when I sit down to write. When I do get into a groove, it's wonderful and I can bang out a nice batch of pages but the minute I get stalled it is painful to start again.

Penelope Marzec said...

Leann: My house is messy. It is always in a state of disaster. :^)

Currently, Daughter #1 and #3 are living here and saving their money.

Lita: It's the commitment that's the important part. I have pressed onward through some very trying times and finished every book I started. I had doubts along the way as to whether I could sell what I wrote, but I ignored the doubts and kept pressing forward.