Monday, February 18, 2013

As If Life Isn't Crazy Enough

 I heard an account yesterday of a man who remembers watching an old variety show from the 1950's where a guy does an act with twelve poles and a series of spinning plates. The entertainment of the thing was not in the spinning but the crashing of the dishware when the performer could not keep them all balanced and spinning.
Being a mother/wife/blind lady/writer feels that way to me sometimes; like the plates are all getting ready to smash to the floor at any moment. I got some great advice from author Cheryl Carpinello about how to rid your self of the guilt that comes from having a few broken plates.

How to Make the Time to Write
by Cheryl Carpinello

Making the time to write is something that all writers struggle with at some point in their writing career. I have, and it took me a while to come to terms with that.

Early in my writing career, I found myself so busy with raising a family and working that I was content to write in the evenings after the kids were in bed, and I had the kitchen cleaned. Even six years ago, I managed to sandwich my writing in between grading papers, making lesson plans, and keeping my kitchen cleaned. I had long ago decided that housecleaning would have to take a back seat to my family and my teaching career. (I taught high school English for 24 years and that meant teaching writing and grading senior exit research papers.) My one promise to myself was that I would clean the kitchen each night so I could cook without clutter the next night and enjoy our family dinner. That solution worked for me and for my family.

Retirement created problems for me with my writing. I found myself with free time (a novelty) and 50 million little things to do. What I didn’t have was a writing schedule. I found days slipping away when I didn’t do any writing at all. How could I be a writer if I couldn’t write every day? I felt so guilty over not writing that I didn’t write. And then I felt more guilty.

In the fall of 2011, I went back to teach full-time, and discovered how busy I had really been all those years. My galleys were due on The King’s Ransom; I had lesson plans to do and research papers to grade again. It proved to be a tough year. However, it solved my writing problem.

What I re-learned that year is that I am always writing even if I am not using pen/paper or a computer. I build my stories in my head, jot down some basics on paper, write my expanded story in my head, and then, when I’m ready, I sit down with pen and paper and write. 

Once I understood how I wrote, the guilt of not writing went away. Take the time to understand how you write, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to write.
"Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend" 2011 Global E-book Finalist

"The King's Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table)" 2012 CLC Silver Award for YA Fiction; 2012 USA Best Book Awards Finalist for E-Book Children's Fiction
You can find out more about Cheryl Carpinello, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at
Follow Cheryl Carpinello at
Beyond today Educator
Carpinello’s Writing Pages

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