The Writer's Life with Children's Author Karen Cioffi
Between babysitting my grandsons two days a week, taking care of a house and cooking . . . and a husband, and throwing in doctor appointments, my weeks themselves vary. Add to this ghosting projects and other writing projects that come along and, well, it’s tough to stick to a routine. But as my writing coach, Suzanne Lieurance always tells me, you MUST make the time to move your ‘real’ goals forward and stick to a weekly writing schedule if you want to realize your personal writing goals. So, I’m working hard at it.
In general though, my routine is to check my emails when I first get on the computer. While this can be a ‘bad’ thing, I do it in case a client or someone else in the writing world is trying to contact me. If I have a timely project that needs to get done, I’ll forego checking my emails in the morning.
My problem with checking emails or going online isn’t because of social networks or entertainment – I get sidetracked with informative emails. A writing or marketing article, webinar, etc. will have me off and running. I do try to watch it though. If I’m busy, I’ll save the email and go back to it at a later time.
I do have one rule that’s consistent - my clients’ work always gets done on time.
After I do the needed writing for the day, I’ll check in on my writing groups. There are some days I’m just too busy though. Depending on what I’m doing, If it’s something timely or I’m engrossed in, I’ll be at the computer till around 11 PM. But, the days I babysit, I don’t get much done.
As far as where I write, I wish I had an office. Unfortunately, I work in a corner of my dining room at a computer desk that has two additional shelves above the monitor area. The keyboard slides out from under the monitor shelf. Under that are two shelves that have paper, books, the router, lots of wires, and the computer box. Above the monitor shelf is another shelf that holds my printer and telephone, above that is another shelf that holds my fax machine and pictures of my grandsons.
Along with my business writing, for my personal creative writing I use the computer. I’ve tried writing on paper, but my thoughts are just too fast for my handwriting. Another feature I like that the computer offers is the ‘backspace’ and ‘delete’ buttons. As soon as I realize I want to change something, like magic, it’s revised. I do keep notepads around to jot down ‘sparks of inspiration’ or to jot down something I forgot to do or need to do. But, the computer is my favorite writing tool. And, I just upgraded to a new Dell computer with 6 GB of memory and a 1 TB hard drive, along with MS Word 2010, so I’m in writing heaven.