Thursday, February 16, 2012

Guest Post - Mary Lowry on

Today, I have the very special privilege of turning my blog over to Mary Lowry, author of The Earthquake Machine (Review and Giveaway here!!). I am thrilled to be able to share her advice on writing with a busy schedule. As a blogger, reader, writer and full-time nanny, I can definitely benefit from a little time management. And Mary has excellent advice for all of us!
Finding Time To Write with a Busy Schedule
by Mary Pauline Lowry:

I was excited when Nikki asked me to guest post for Imaginative Adventure about finding time to write. If I had a fantastic completed paragraph for every time I’ve said, “I wish I had more time to write!” I could’ve written Anna Karenina by now. It’s a subject I’ve obsessed over for the past 12 years; I’ve most always had to fit in writing around a full-time job.

For me, the first step to finding time to write was making a true and solid commitment to my writing. I was going to show up at the page, I decided, and I was going to do it most every day. (For those aspiring writers having a hard time with this first step, I highly recommend the book WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg). And it works best for me to sit down at the same time every day. I’m a morning person, so I started to write in the mornings before work when my head was clear and the coffee just beginning to kick in. I call this very early morning time “the magic hour” and I think it’s only possible as a writing time for people who do not have very small, very early-rising children. (My writer friends with small kids seem to get their best work done at night, after their kids are in bed).

I’ve also tried to work jobs that would not totally suck all the writing energy out of me. Because of this I’ve had an eccentric and varied job history. I’ve been a forest firefighter, an apprentice carpenter, a counselor at a domestic violence shelter, a production coordinator on political commercials, etc. etc. I always tried to find jobs with schedules that allow me to fit in time for writing. For example: when I worked at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, my work schedule was from 3—11pm, so I had lots of time to write in the morning.

But I think NO MATTER what your work and family schedule, it’s possible to find 30 minutes a day to write. And you don’t need any fancy place to do it. While it would be great to have a special “room of one’s own” for writing, sometimes a girl has to make due with what she’s got. Stephen King started out writing regularly in his family’s laundry room.

I’d also highly recommend working through the book THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron. You’ll love her; you’ll hate her; but if you do what she tells you your creative life will bloom.

So if I had to make a list of suggestions for someone trying to carve out a little time to write I would say:
1. Make a set time to write every day.
2. Start small, with a 15--30 minute commitment.
3. “Bookend” your writing time by texting a supportive friend
before and after.
4. Treat yourself to a nice beverage while you write (coffee, tea,
milk, lemonade, whatever you think is yummy).
5. Give yourself a good self-care treat at the end of each week to
6. DON’T show your early work to anyone unless you are 100%
sure they will supportive and encouraging.
7. Remember that all it takes to be a writer is to write!

Book synopsis: The Earthquake Machine
The book every girl should read, and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read. The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside,everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. Theonly reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.

Thanks Mary for taking the time to share with readers of Imaginative Adventure and myself! 

Mary has been kind enough to offer everyone a chance to win a free ecopy of her book, The Earthquake Machine. It is a beautiful story that everyone should read! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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