Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Mad Woman of Warren Avenue

We all lead incredibly busy lives. Kids, spouses, careers, and writing consume our waking hours. How do you find time for your personal passion when your life is filled with so many obligations and responsibilities? My solution - use every available moment that comes your way.

For example, when I first started writing I would plot out my books on the way to work. I would take a route down Warren Avenue, hence the title for this blog entry, "The Mad Woman of Warren Avenue," passed Wayne State University to Karmanos Cancer Institute. The daily commute took approximately 25 minutes. The ride provided a solid period of time to map out my book details, plot out the stories, and design the characters. I've always muttered to myself, so as I drove I'd talk to myself. Actually, I called it talking out loud, like working out a puzzle in my head.

Sometimes I would notice other drivers staring at me with this confused expression on their faces. I'm sure they were wondering who I was talking to or what was wrong with me. I didn't care then and I still don't. The car and drive provided a quiet, non-interrupted period for me to think through the details of my stories. Another thing I started doing was talking through scenes while I prepared dinner or washed dishes. I keep a pad of paper and pen on the kitchen table and jot down ideas as I work in the kitchen. Another trick I learned from my publicist was to leave a scene unfinished when I shut down my computer for the day. It gave me an opportunity to keep the creative juices flowing when I'm not on the computer.

Although I don't have children, I do have a husband that likes to spend quality time with me. When he's home in the evenings, we watch television or movies together. Being with him limits my writing time, so I sometimes get up at 4am, write for an hour or two and then return to my bed for an additional hour of sleep before rising and preparing for my work day.

I find early mornings to be a wonderfully creative time. There's no telephones ringing or people asking me questions. I go to my desk and without turning on a light, I power up my laptop and go to work. I don't do editing or rewrites, early mornings are set aside strictly for creating new scenes. Lunch time provides a perfect opportunity to edit, and after dinner I do my edits, if my husband is at work.

How do you make it all come together? Do you have systems in place that you'd like to share? E-mail me at or click on the comment link. I'd love to hear from you.

Remember, don't be a stranger.



Jewel Amethyst said...

Sounds like you have a busy busy schedule. Like you, I write my scenes in my head while on the way to work and doing chores. I also write at work when I have some down time and email the drafts to myself.

Liane Spicer said...

That creative quiet time you carve out in the morning? I get it late at night when the household is asleep and there's nothing but the sounds of the night and the house lizards padding around the walls to keep me company.