Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gin Under My Pillow: A Mom's Guide To Writing a Book

Morning Readers,
     I'll let you in on a little secret....I write. Well, I know you know I know that you know I write a blog, but I also assumed you thought I only blogged and possibly worked on graffiti, when the mood struck me.  Several months ago, I started my first book of humor. Day one went pretty well, with many paragraphs churned out. Day two...a few more sentences. Day three, the babies slapped my computer shut and demanded I mother them instead of writing about it. "But this is more fun!" I protested. They weren't having any of it. So, today, I thought I'd explain why a mom/writer gives you a blank stare and backs away when you ask..."How's the book coming along?"
                                                A Mom's Guide To Writing A Book: 101
(also available in Cliff's Notes and I'm Hurling Myself Off A Cliff's Notes..)

1.) What do I want to write about?

     To be honest, it doesn't matter. Pick anything, anything at all because whether you're cutting peanut butter sandwiches into the shapes of the new unicorn breed you've invented, or the shape of your spunky, go-get-em heroine's face, your kids will be eating it, while you scratch outlines, on the kitchen door, intermittently whispering, "Opening line, opening line... apes are so over-done."

2.) So what is it that you do, exactly?

     Try answering this question as calmly and as rationally as possible. You're writing a book, but you also change poop, a lot. I like to answer this question with, "I'm writing a book about poop." It's easier to remember than, "I'm a pooper..er...a writer...I mean, I poop. No..that's not what I meant. I meant I poop when I write. Wait...."
...Simple, prepared answers help you stay on track, if you accidentally wander out of the house and run into another human being.

3.) Where will I find the time?

     There isn't any. No one allows you to brush your teeth, let alone, floor it in a literary drag race with Jane Austin. Just don't make the mistake I did, and attempt random, ceremonial rain dances you found in a library book marked, "Death", in order to conjure up more time. This is a bad idea for a few reasons:

a.) Asking the butcher to hand you a live chicken is awkward and expensive.
b.) It's hard to explain away any extra pairs of horns you may or may not grow.
c.) Screaming, "You hold the portal open, while I shove it back to the other dimension," when your husband walks in the door, is bound to cause an uncomfortable silence in the bedroom.

The only way you find time is to sacrifice any time you're supposed to be sleeping, and invest in a heavy duty cover-up/iron-clad foundation for your under eye circles. No one said the cover on the book jacket has to be pretty. Less-than-nightmare-inducing should still be acceptable. If you write horror, even better...

4.) People started laughing when I said I was writing a book.

     They're not laughing at you, it's just that your bra's on the outside of your shirt, again. The sooner you get this corrected, the sooner you'll snatch that Pulitzer.

5.) I didn't get to write, today. Should I throw my dream away like the pants Paris Hilton wore, once, yesterday?

     In short, no. It took you twenty sacrificed showers, thirty sleepless nights, and being the only woman at church without a clean pair of underwear, to come up with and jump start this dream. Not to mention, it took a lot of courage to march up and down the street, in said underwear, singing, "I have a dream. I have a dream. Saints alive, I have a dream!" Take a slug of Gin, get back on that unicorn and canter steadfastly back to Fansaltania.

6.) My baby ate my computer and I didn't back up my work.

I believe you. Always back up your work. Watch your baby for viruses.

7.) Wash, rinse, repeat until that book is done. Let me clarify...this does not mean your hair. We all know that'll be sticking to your face like eight-week-old cabbage by the time your masterpiece is complete

Where do you block out time to work on your hobbies? Any other tips for parents who write, blog or try to go to bathroom alone are also welcome...

Until Next Time, Readers!