It's been awhile, but I have a really good excuse. I was busy having a baby and I'm just now crawling back to the land of the living. When did my little bundle of joy arrive, you ask? Last month? Over the winter holidays? No, I admit, babygirl arrived in the heat of summer, but it still feels like yesterday. And I don't mean that nostalgically. I mean that I still can't quite figure out how to manage a newborn, two older kids, a job and all the other stuff that comes with the aforementioned trappings of this woman's life and find time to start my next book.
I find it absolutely hilarious, however, that the main character in my novel, Substitute Me, didn't have such problems. She transitioned from new mom to working mom with ease and grace. She found the perfect nanny and breezed right back into her whirlwind life as a corporate PR exec. How is it possible that I could create such a character, yet can't imitate her ways? I guess I didn't realize I was writing fantasy fiction. Then again, my character's nanny kind of destroys her life so I guess, I'm not totally jealous.
So, without further ado, here are five things you should never, ever, do, if you want to cultivate a productive writing life:
1. Have Children. At all. They are a major time suck. Even when they're sleeping you might, like me, have to stay in their room and watch them breathe to make sure they are actually asleep and not in a coma.
2. Get Cable. Like children, cable television will absolutely steal all of your time. Marathon episodes of A Baby Story are particularly addictive and may even lead to you accidentally getting knocked up which would mean you'd have children. (See #1 above).
3. Have Access to the Internet. The Internet is like that boy who always used to pull your hair in second grade. It is a major distraction and you won't be able to ignore it. Email, texting, tweeting, will always demand your immediate attention. The Internet is almost worse than children. But at least, you can unplug it for days at a time. There's no off button on your kids (sigh)
4. Think About All of the Money and Fame You Will Achieve From Your As Yet Unwritten Book. I don't think this really requires any explanation, but for those of you who still think you're going to pen the next Harry Potter or Twilight Series, it's probably not going to happen. Instead, you must write for the sheer joy of writing so that when you do publish your beautiful work of art and only make modest amounts for your effort, you feel overjoyed not betrayed.
5. Have an Attractive, Loving Husband/Boyfriend. He may mean well, but he will never understand why he has to shut up while you agonize in front of your computer for hours, sometimes days on end. He will pout and groan and complain that you are ignoring him. And to make him feel better (and perhaps it will make you feel better too) you will appease him with mercy sex. This in turn could lead to you getting knocked up (see #1 as to why this isn't a good idea).
So, there you have it girlfriends. Heed my warnings and you'll be on the right track to being very productive writers this year. Good luck!
Lori L. Tharps is actually in love with all three of her children and writes about them a lot on her blog at My American Meltingpot.com