Part Two of A Writer’s Life…

If you’ve clicked over from the site “Pimp My Novel“, welcome! I was thrilled to win the contest to be today’s guest host, and even more thrilled to have you at my site.

A quick intro…I am a former television commercial writer, and I’ve recently finished my first novel, a historical fiction about the Oregon Trail. For a quick excerpt of my novel or to read my bio please check out the tabs at the top of the site.

Now, without further ado, here is Part Two of  A Writer’s Life

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

I’ve detailed what I put up with from my wonderful family in order to get words onto a page. Now, let’s go into what my family puts up with from me.

* “I’ll be there in ten minutes sweetie” is honestly what I mean when I say it, but then I discover just one last thing that needs to be fixed, a word that could be replaced with something more meaningful, a chapter title that needs a little tweaking…and before I know it two hours have zipped right by.

*At any given moment there are a minimum of three sticky notes on the computer monitor, and usually the number is more like seven. Good for me, but super annoying to the lovely hubby. (Kids like them too…as in they like to pull them off and make a run for it)

*A bathroom filled with half-read books, articles on the craft of writing, and various drafts awaiting edits. (You ask me where a mother of four-year old twins can get a moment of privacy and I’ll tell you the best bet is in the bathroom…for a while. Soon the family will catch on that I’m actually working in there.)

*I consider any clean paper lying around the house to be fair game for writing on. I am one of those people who thinks about my edits during the day, even when I don’t have the draft printed out in front of me for review. As a result, sometimes I have an idea and if I don’t get it down in writing fast I’ll lose it. So, after a mad scramble I find whatever I can and go for it. Recently, I used my daughter’s paper she was coloring on, and wouldn’t you know it…it was the first thing she asked for the next morning! As they’ve gotten older, I find I can’t use their stuff as much anymore since their memory is starting to get better 🙂

*During Bi-monthly writing critique group meetings, about two hours each evening, and large blocks of time each weekend, my family is on their own. Fortunately I have the BEST AND MOST SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND EVER and he makes it possible for me to be “away” during these times. (He does however have a large range of plans on what to do with all the millions I make from my hugely successful books. I can’t bear to tell him what an average advance is for a first time novelist is…I just grin and play along)

*And finally, Bessie. Dear, sweet, (ok, she’s actually very temperamental and totally grouchy but don’t tell her I said that or she’ll shut off again while I’m in the middle of a brilliant moment of prose)

Bessie is my computer. My VERY OLD computer with no tolerance whatsoever for anything new so I have to watch my dear hubby like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t, you know, try to download ANYTHING, visit a site like YouTube, or give it another command while she’s chugging away at the first command. 

When I turn her on it takes over five minutes for her to warm up, pull up all the icons on the desktop, and sort through and display the various error messages. If you dare touch ANYTHING during this process, you’re toast. Might as well plan for the blue screen and eventually pulling out of the all the plugs to reset the whole thing.

(Don’t tell Bessie but if I do ever sell my book I’m buying a laptop :))

Yep, my family puts up with a lot so I can pursue this dream, and I love them very much for it!

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10 thoughts on “Part Two of A Writer’s Life…

  1. I have horses, cats and dogs rather than children and parents instead of a hubby (I’m twenty-nine, but my fam is tight and living at home I can write, paint and work with horses, none of which would be easy living alone paying ‘normal’ rent) but I totally hear you!

    My family deals with the same sorts of things. And they’re just as supportive as your hubby. My twin sister’s husband is sort of a foster hubby for me, and since he’s a tech guy, he’s ALWAYS pulling my tush out of trouble with my computer, which isn’t quite as old as yours, although my last laptop was eight and VERY particular about most everything…

    Everyone jokes about how much I’m going to ‘owe’ them when I finally get published (right now I’m just working on hooking an agent) but really they want to see me published just because it’s my dream. That’s the great thing about families. They help you build the roller coaster and then let you ride it for free just because they love you! And I love them very much in return.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! And good luck getting any writing/editing done over the holidays!

  2. My husband isn’t allowed to use my laptop without explicit permission– he has the desktop for his use (which I will sometimes take over without asking, even with my laptop!) and woe to him if he uses my laptop with permission and anything goes wrong!

    He’s great though, and puts up with a lot from me–supports me unconditionally with my writing.

    Thanks for writing this! It was fun to read!

  3. What a beautiful blog. I’m glad you carve out set time to write. That is a challenge as a mom. Good luck with the rewrite–it sounds as though it’s really coming along!

  4. Here’s hoping for a laptop!

    And by the way, if you’re into researching the history of West, you might want to check out Louis L’Amour’s autobiography, Education of a Wandering Man. It’s all about his days as a miner and hobo and listening to all the old timers to make sure he got his stories right.

  5. Hi Christi:

    My name is Florence and I have been reading you first on Eric’s site and now on yours. I am an aspiring writer and I am enjoying your posts.

    Visit me if you have time. I have already added you to my blog list.

    Happy New Year and keep writing.

  6. Great posts! Here and at Pimp My Novel. Thank you.

    I have a golden retreiver who knocks my hand off the mouse when she wants to go outside. She has a vote on whether it is harder to be a writer or to live with a writer.

    However, she is also easily bribed by biscuits. So…

    Being lost to the life of the mind can be a good thing when you’re writing. But, yes, real life matters too. Just ask my dog.

  7. Yes, our families do have to live with a bit of extra mind wandering. I write on envelopes and whatevers too, and then lose them…

  8. I finally made my way to Part Two. 🙂 I love your voice, Christi, so hope you find a home for your novel soon so I can get my hands on it.

    My hubby is totally supportive, too, even though I don’t have all the distractions. He makes meals when I’m immersed in thoughts or words and also knows how to interpret my “in just a minute”.

    Loved both of these posts and will be back to check out your blog more soon.

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