Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Of Coffee, Dog Walks and the Rush of Time

Good grief, is it Wednesday blogging day again? How did it sneak up on me? I know what you’re thinking. Ah, the life of a writer… Time for a leisurely second cup of coffee while perusing the newspaper, then out to walk the dog, chat with neighbours. Then finally two hours of writing before rewarding yourself with a chilled Pinot Blanc on the deck.

Hah! This past month my writing schedule has been so hectic that I’ve seriously considered going back to full time work. If you’re looking for a clue, just check out the time when I’m writing this blog. 11:49 p.m. That’s right. Eleven minutes to MIDNIGHT! And in case you think I only got started on my day at 4 p.m., I first sat down to write at 7:48 a.m. With a cup of coffee, I admit, but you have to grant me some breaks.

Much has been written about the busy, multi-tasking life of the modern writer. Blogs, websites, Facebook pages, guest blogs, listserves, book clubs, community talks, readings and signings and panels. But less is said about the fact that we are often working on not one but two, possibly three, creative writing projects at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking. In the past month I have done the final edits on my Inspector Green mystery, Beautiful Lie the Dead, due out this fall. At the same time I’m been working on the first draft of a new Rapid Reads book due out from Orca Books in the Spring 2011, and just today I finished the rough draft of the first few sample chapters of a creative non-fiction project that I will be developing over the next two years.

And now, at midnight, I am trying to write a coherent blog. All these projects have distinct casts of characters who must keep away from each other in my head. They all have different voices and styles, and require mental set changes to keep me firmly in place. I don’t have a trick for that, except to say that I wish there was a better way. A more leisurely way, involving a second cup of coffee and a lazy walk with the dog. Time to think, and preferably not at midnight. If anyone does have a trick or two, this weary writer wants to know.


hannah Dennison said...

Try throwing in a manic full-time day job, Barbara! I work at an advertising company as well! I bought a book on Time Management in the end because I was/am (still on chapter 1) permanently frazzled. Glad to know I'm not alone!

Barbara Fradkin said...

I used to have a manic full-time job too, so I know how you feel. Three kids all in activities too. But still, the urge to write is overwhelming.