No Such Thing as a Typical Day

writing000018106955XSmallI’ve always disliked the question, “Can you describe your typical day?” Most likely because I can never answer it. I don’t have typical days–at least not as far as writing is concerned. Or at least not as far as I assumed my typical writing day would be when I started this gig.

I left Corporate America in 2004 after our last child was born; and even now, I don’t know how I worked outside of the house and accomplished anything else. My days are always filled to overflowing. Not in a bad way. I love being home with my kids. I enjoy blogging and working from home as a virtual book tour coordinator. Volunteering at church and in our local schools is important to me.

But every once in a while I feel a tiny bit guilty that I don’t write as much as other writers. I’m currently working on a middle grade historical that I started probably five years ago. My goal was to finish it by the end of February. Um…yeah, don’t know why I thought that would work.

Did I tell you that one daughter plays violin and soccer, and dances, while the other one is rehearsing for a musical? I put my chauffeur hat on a lot these days.

Then of course, the kids have no less than one major project a quarter for school and for some reason these projects are rarely able to be completed by the child alone. Since January I’ve made a starfish costume (I can’t sew), helped complete research for an Anne Frank scrapbooking project, and this weekend I’ll start helping the youngest make a bottle person of Ruby Bridges.

To complete the research for this middle grade historical, I’ve thoroughly read two resources on a private seminary for girls, read two novels featuring boarding schools for tweens as settings, visited a train depot, contacted two historical societies, researched the history of three New England towns, and viewed numerous historical photographs from the mid-1800s.

So, where am I now? After fully revising whatever I had written previous to January, I’ve managed to write a total of 20,000 words. My goal is 35,000. I also received a contract for a picture book I had submitted earlier this year. Not too shabby.

Balancing family life and writing has always been a challenge. While I don’t have typical writing days, I have many days filled with the blessings of being a mom and wife. My girls won’t live at home forever. One day, I’ll probably miss working on those school projects and playing chauffeur. For now, my writing comes in fits and spurts. I’ll keep setting goals and accomplishing what I can. Today, that guilt is taking a back seat to being happy with what I’ve checked off my to-do list.

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No Such Thing as a Typical Day — 4 Comments

  1. I think you’ve made a really important point in this blog, Cheryl, that we need to be realistic and satisfied about what we have to do and why.
    I’d say that ‘fits and spurts’ would probably describe the writing schedule of most writing mums. :)

  2. Thanks, Penny. Could I use a bit more discipline? Maybe. But I’m still making headway. When the girls are in college and I have more free time, my writing will move forward. Right now, I want to appreciate the present.

  3. Congratulations on your new book contract! Looking forward to reading it. I’m intrigued by your “virtual book tour” coordinating skills. Is that just for children’s books or all types of genres? Looking to get our pastor’s new book on a virtual tour. Any suggestions?

  4. Thanks Dawn. I’m excited, but impatient waiting for illustrations.

    I’ve toured books in many different genres, but I specialize in the children’s market, Christian fiction and non-fiction, and mysteries. Feel free to email me if you would like to talk more about VBTs.

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