Thursday, March 25, 2010

What day is it?

This morning, I got up early. My cat, Sophia Maria Lolita Conchita Chequita Banana, is in a mood. Last week we had lovely weather and she was allowed outside everyday. Yesterday, we had rain mixed with hail and she had to stay indoors. She takes this personally, as if I somehow control the weather so that I can control her, and she fancies herself a free spirit. No amount of lecturing sways her opinion...

But I digress...

Writing is sort of a solitary profession but the Internet has really spiced things up. Still, I have days when I just want to get out of the house. Deadlines typically preclude that, so I find myself agreeing to do things all over the place. For instance, I'm blogging seven times in July. Yes, seven. I'm giving three online workshops in the next few months. And I'm going to more than a few conferences.

None of that seems ridiculously difficult, unless I get a deadline. Or my son gets sick. Or my daughter has a crisis. Or my youngest son moves (he bought the house he's moving into next cross fingers!). Or my husband makes a plan that includes me.

The funny thing about working from home is that sometimes, somehow, your personal life and your work life knit together. Right now I have someone who wants me to make my airline reservations for an upcoming speaking engagement so she can make hers...and my response is I can't. After I get my work done today I need to go grocery shopping and houseclean the living room for the holiday.

I winced when I sent the email. I know she's going to think I'm nuts. How can I give grocery shopping the same level of importance as meeting a deadline or making travel arrangements? It's easy. I like to eat. (Maybe a bit too much!) And the cupboards are bare.

I've done dishes and put in a load of laundry while talking with my editor about my next project. And, of course, I've been known to scribble notes about my next book while eating dinner or attending church.

Creating is such an odd business that you (seriously) can't control it. You cannot say I will write from eight until noon and then houseclean for company tonight. If the words are flowing and you WILL find a way to both write and cook dinner. In fact, I suspect most writers have done it. I also bet some of us have run to the ladies room when out to dinner with friends, taken a notebook from our purse and written a scene.

One of my favorite places to write seems to be in church. I'm not particularly proud of this, except that I think that if you get your best scene ideas while sitting in church it could be argued that those scenes have been divinely inspired...Not buying it? Neither does my husband! :)

Anyway, the point I'm making, in my roundabout way, is that despite my best efforts, it took my Google calendar to remind me that I was supposed to blog today.

At first I gasped in horror that I'd be so late in posting, then I realized...Hey, I actually did remember.

And that's my second point. Somehow in this crazy existence where housekeeping and public speaking get the same level of importance (but different clothes) it all works. Because of my career, I do have time to take my son to doctor's appointments and help houseclean my mom's house. I can tell my dentist, "Put me in whatever time YOU have available." Dentists love that. And so do hairdressers. My sister can schedule me at a time that suits her, making it possible for her to please cliets who aren't so lucky.

So writers are a bit crazy. Our lives are definitely weird. But it's a fun, interesting kind of crazy!

susan meier

susan meier
A duet from Harlequin Romance July and August 2010

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