Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday’s Time Tip: Guest Blogger Writer Cherie talks about how she deals with managing her time.

Writer Cherie has a fantastic blog! I met Cherie over at AQC (fantastic site for all you aspiring writers, and seasoned writers as well.) She gave me so much help on setting up my own blog, I just had to ask her to be a guest once I’ve had my blog up and running. She is also one of my first followers! How's that for becoming cyber friends? She is also a great one to follow on twitter! Cherie’s blog is Ready, Write, Go. She can also be found @WriterCheri on twitter.

I was happy when Cheri agreed to be a guest blogger, and she will be the first of many guests. I’ve been asking others to come guest blog, and I’ve a couple more yeses, so they will be appearing here, and in my TBA tab, under Guest Bloggers. Cheri gets double duty on this, one she is posting on time management, and two my first guest at The Write Time. She asked what do you want me to blog about? So I just tossed a few things off the top of my head. She took that and ran with it.

So here is Cherie with her perspective on Time Management and how she deals with her challenges. Take it away Cherie!

When Dean asked me to guest post and talk about my writing time management and why I write, I was pretty excited. First off, Dean's blog is cool (just look around!) and he is such a classy guy. Secondly, he's always trying to help others, especially with his time management tips. I mean, we're all complaining about not having enough hours in a day, right? You don't? Well, lucky you 'cause I sure do.

As a stay-at-home mom, my job is my family. I know it's easy for others to think that I've got all the time in the world to sit down and write my stories. I wish that were true. (Universe, if you're listening, can you make this statement true? Pretty please?) I have two little ones, and while I believe they are the MOST ADORABLE kids in the history of forever (mommy bragging here), they are also the MOST NEEDY people in the world. I can't simply kick off my shoes at the end of the day and leave my job at the office. I'm working 24/7, and when they get sick, 24/7 is no longer an expression but a reality.

Being a stay-at-home mom also means being in charge of the entire household. Chores are just the tip of the iceberg, and yes, they take a HUGE chunk out of your day. Sometimes we think scrubbing the toilet will only take a minute, but if you have four toilets in the house.... Well, you get my drift. And if I was just your regular housemom, I wouldn't be here whining. :D So what happens when you have a "writer mom" like me? And why, oh why, do I have I NEED to write, when I've already got my hands full?

Let's do a simple math. There are 24 hours in a day, 8 of that usually spent sleeping. So that leaves us with 16 hours to do whatever we want. Right? Making dinner takes at least 1-2 hours, breakfast and lunch together probably constitutes a full hour, depending on what you AND your kids are having (yes, I cook everyday). Getting ready takes at least an hour. Getting them ready takes another hour (but if you have a little boy, I swear it feels more like 4 hours just trying to get him to put clothes on after a bath.) So now we are left with 10 or 11 hours. Yahoo, you say, looking at the clock. Then you realize that the milk in the fridge expired a week ago, you need to run to the bank, the post office, and goodness, the library books are overdue? Your daughter's swimming class starts in 5 minutes, and your car's almost out of gas. By the time you get everything in your list done, it is five o'clock and time to start making dinner. Where did the day go? After the dishes are stacked in the dishwasher and the kids are finally in bed, you sit in front of the computer and fall asleep.

Dean's questions for me were the following:

1. WHEN do I write?

My answer: I write when I can. I take snippets and claim them for my own. When the kids are settled down for a movie (I love DVDs, don't you?), I'm as ecstatic as a clucking hen. Sure they'll interrupt me for apple juice breaks and crackers, but it's okay. If I take the stairs two at a time, I can be twice as fast.

Sometimes the muse strikes me at the most inconvenient time (curse you, fickle muse!). It's okay to drop whatever it is you're doing (just don't drop the baby) to write down your inspiration. The world will not blow apart in five minutes.

I go to bed late and wake up early. So I really don't get the recommended 8 hours of sleep, but what the heck. Some things have to give, you know. I'm not masochistic by any means, but I do what I can to answer the next question:

2. WHY do I write?

I write because the words fill my head and they need to go someplace. Writing is an outlet for me, a way to keep balance. I am always juggling my other roles: as a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and it is all too easy to lose sight of who I am inside. The me who exists as me, and no one else. When I sit down and take a moment to listen to my thoughts and write them down, I find peace. I've always written for the sheer pleasure of stringing together words and making them beat, making them come alive. Of being able to draw emotions on paper. In real life, I'm not a talker. I'm the person you'll see in a corner, curling up with a book or having a quiet conversation with someone. When I'm writing, the worldy inhibitions we strap ourselves with fall away and I feel free. I can say what I want, process emotions without having to worry about other people's opinions, and if I make mistakes I can hit the DELETE button and start over again.

And lastly,

3. HOW do you make the time to write?

This ties in with my first answer. But I will elaborate a little more and add this: sometimes, five minutes is simply not enough. We have to get off the guilt wagon and give ourselves permission to take an hour or two for us. For our writing. For pursuing our dream and what we love to do best. It's okay. The laundry can wait another day. Your children will not die from lack of attention for a measly hour. There's a reason why there are take-outs and pizza delivery.

The trick is BALANCE. We can't be everything to everyone all the time. We can't please everyone and please ourselves at the same time. The laws of nature dictate otherwise. But. If we know our priorities and set them accordingly, we won't drown in our To-Do list. Right now my kids are playing in the toy room. Dinner was already purchased and eaten. The house is relatively clean. I feel like I have all the time in the world. ;-)

Thanks, Dean, for the opportunity to share.

You are quite welcome!

Please come back on Saturday. My next guest blogger is about to be a published author. So the unveiling of the other half of my blog title, the Write Time, Time Management tips and Writing.

Thanks again Cherie, Loved your post.


cherie said...

Dean, I'm honored to be featured on your blog. Thanks for the opportunity to share. :)

Amy Jarecki said...

Cherie - Thank you for your insightful article! I went to the Professional Writer's Workshop by David Farland in June. There were 23 writers, and time was an issue for everyone. I'm a mom/writer/plant manager, but I'm fortunate to have an empty nest. I too steal time to write with a goal of 5k words per week. We writers have to do it. I encourage everyone to set goals and never give up!!! :-)

rivercat said...

wonderful article. You are amazing!

Joyce Alton said...

Ah, the Cherie tell-all. Reconfirming my assessment of her: she's awesome!

Juggling, it's what us mom's do.

Lynda R Young said...

Great post. Finding balance struck a cord with me.

Dean C. Rich said...


You're most welcome. Enjoyed your comments. Glad to have you aboard!

cherie said...

Thanks, guys! I appreciate the support and nice comments :) I'm not really that awesome. Just a regular person trying to do the best I can (like everyone else). ;)

Jenny Phresh said...

No, she really is that awesome. Just sayin'. Thanks for the intto to Dean's blog!

Jenny Phresh said...

Intro! Not intto.

Liz Fichera said...

Very cool to get more insight into your writing life, Cherie! And nice to meet you, Dean!

Julie said...

This is a great post, Cherie! I enjoyed learning more about your writing life. Also great to discover Dean's blog!

M Pax said...

Great post, Cherie. No matter what, life is busy.

Nice meeting you, Dean.

Dean C. Rich said...

Nice to meet all of you as well! Hope my blog will be of help to you in the future!

A.M.Supinger said...

wow, my post is poo compared to Cherie's!

Great job girl! :)