The Writer’s Life with Children’s Author Nancy I. Sanders
D is for Drinking Gourd: An African American Alphabet
Author: Nancy I. Sanders
Illustrator: E. B. Lewis
Publisher: Sleeping Bear PressBook’s Website: www.DrinkingGourdAlphabet.wordpress.com
Q. What is a typical writing day like for you?
A. Over the years, my writing schedule has reflected the seasons in my life. When I first started writing, I had a newborn and a two-year old. When I was busy caring for the boys during the day, I was constantly brainstorming ideas. When I put them down for their naps, I’d sit down to write.
Now I have the luxury of writing from the moment I get up until my husband, Jeff, comes home from teaching fourth grade in a public elementary school. Both our sons are grown and gone and live nearby. So I can be found writing some days from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. It’s a writer’s dream come true! I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real, but know as new phases and stages of life come by, new writing schedules will appear.
Every other week or so I have writing groups that meet in my home, so I’m usually writing four full days a week. Before breakfast, I work on little projects such as submitting my current book for state reading lists and awards. After breakfast, I work all morning on my current major project, which over the years has usually been a book deadline. After lunch, I work on short writing projects such as magazine articles, social networking, marketing, new book proposals, and writing for my church.
Q. Where do you write?
A. Now that our sons are grown, I have the luxury of writing all over the house! I remember those early years of writing on a card table on our porch or on a desk squeezed in the corner of our bedroom. I guess those memories help me appreciate all the space I can write in today!
In our office, there are three desks. Two of them are my writing desks. One desk is where my desktop is. The other desk is where my laptop is. Each desk has research books, file folders, and notes on a major writing project I’m currently working on.
I split half my computer time between my desktop and my laptop. Alternating between the two helps keep my eyestrain and wrist strain to a minimum. Also, I carry my laptop out to my couch/recliner where I can type with our two writing buddies, our kittens Sandman and Pitterpat, napping next to me. And when I want a change of scenery I write in our living room looking out the window at our birdfeeders.
Depending on my writing projects, I also spread out my research and notes and manuscript files either on our dining room table or on a 6-foot folding table in the former-boys-bedroom-turned-library. I find I work best if I can keep a project spread out on a single large table and not have to put it away every night. It keeps the flow going smoothly from one day to the next and one chapter to the next.
Be sure to follow Nancy's virtual book tour! A complete schedule can be found HERE.