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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Guest Post: Debbie Curran

Today's premiere guest post is by Debbie Curran, another writer-in-progress and fellow blogger. Find out more about Debbie at her blogs:

Writing With Kidlets At Home

At 16 - I announced to my family that I wanted to write books. Novels. And I began rewriting books I’d already read for ‘practice’ – I thought I was brilliant.

It was, quite frankly, terrible writing... but my family kindly told me it was wonderful. Dad just wanted me to be sure to have a day job. Yeah, an early phenom I most definitely was not.

By 25 - BA in hand - I thought I had the world by the tail. But I still needed to pay the bills; I found work and squeezed in a little writing around work, travel, dating, nights out, reading, tv, movies... yeah, hadn’t really worked out the best priority list.

By 35 - married with one on the way. It was time. I brushed off the ‘big idea’ I’d flirted with for years and tossed it out to my hubby. He punched holes in the story, I changed the main character’s sex and species (YA fantasy), and created a new world and mythology.

Now, 4 years and 2 kiddies later I’ve got a huge fictional family tree on the wall, a mythology, backstory, outlines and notes that fill a couple flexible folders, but not much actually written. Trying to get it in while the boys are chasing each other, tearing apart the basement, and destroying the small amount of order I manage to keep in the house is a challenge I’ve yet to overcome.

I’m still working on it – in fact, I’ve started writing in 15 minute chunks and I’m finally seeing progress. I’m also splitting the time between two major writing projects, two blogs, and reading whatever books I can get my grubby little hands on. Yeah, I guess until the boys are both in school, I’m looking at small-chunk-writing... and maybe I’m more productive that way... because I’ve gotten more accomplished over the past few weeks than the preceding months.

Or maybe it’s the writing-with-kidlets that’s doing it... juggling the yells, screams, fights, slips, falls, stubbed toes, wants, meals, snacks, drinks, games, walks, bike rides, and the always-behind-laundry makes for less time-wasting. And I still get plenty of that in.


Anonymous said...

At least I'm not the only one with a fictional family tree hanging on the wall :) Congrats on following your dream, Debbie. It'll come along slowly but surely. Enjoy the writing process. I'm in the querying stage, and I miss just writing, instead of writing query letters, summaries, and researching agents.
I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Debbie, hang in there. J K Rowling wrote her first book in a coffee shop in snippets while a single Mother.

Cinette, thanks for the guest post, helping ther rest of us feel not quite so alone. Roland

Caroline Starr Rose said...

When mine were young, I found if I committed to writing three days a week, I could usually pull it off. Some of these sessions were "long" two-hour stretches with a babysitter at home. Most of them were ten minutes stolen from nap time.

It was slow going for a couple of years. I really think keeping reasonable expectations kept me going.

DLCurran said...

Wow - thanks for the encouragement! I often feel like throwing in the towel... then Daren (my MC) dances through my head and I rush for the nearest notepad! It's all worth it! :)

ali said...

ROFL Debbie. When you said "grubby little hands" and then went on to mention your two boys, I *thought* you were going to say, how can you help but have grubby hands when you've got boys?! (I have two boys, and sometimes they're grubby hands are catching!)

roxy said...

I really loved this post. Boy, can I relate. I have six kids, and my youngest just started first grade this year. I've fit in small writing chunks for so long that I'm now in a funk with all this time on my hands.

Melissa said...

Cinette - you haven't left lethbridge all summer? My sister just moved there. She got recruited for rugby at the University.

Debbie. Hang in there! Roland's right. JK wrote her first book in a coffee shop in tiny chunks while being a single mother with a young child.

Lynda Young said...

As long as you keep plugging away at the story, you'll do just fine :)

W.I.P. It: A Writer's Journey

Cinette said...

ali - Little girls are just as grubby as little boys. I know, it surprised me, too! All that sugar and spice stuff - blarney!

Roxy - SIX kids? And I thought I had my hands full with four. I simply didn't have the energy to write, between the kids and the farm, for years. Now my girls are all old enough to have learners permits, so I have more time and they' ve provided me with plenty of teen drama to write about!

Melissa - We made in out to Jaffery (Tie Lake) for an extra long weekend, but farming seems to hold us close to home. Lethbridge isn't a big city - I may run into your sister yet!

antrisdale, Roland,Caroline,Lynda - Sometimes, all we need is someone to provide us with a tidbit of encouragement. Thanks for stopping by to help provide that for us struggling beginners!

DLCurran said...

ali - now that I think about it, I have problems with that 'grubby little hands' disease here too... especially the walls!

Roxi - I'm with Cinette. SIX kids? And you still found time to write? ~elevating you to 'hero'status~ Wow, again! :)

Melissa - okay, between your comment and Roland's, I think I'll run with the comparison to JK Rowling... especially since it's the same genre and a boy MC (even if those are the only two similarities LOL).

Everyone was so encouraging with your comments - thanks so much for making the first 'scary guest blog' such a positive one! ~sending glittery showers of thanks~