You’re reading this blog, but chances are you have hundreds of other things competing for your time. So first of all, thanks for coming.
I’m a greedy person. I have filled my life up with tasty morsels – an interesting career; a husband; some children; a big crumbly house in France (regrettably far from our parents, siblings and best friends); a gîte to renovate and run. Cooking, lots of home cooking. And, of course, writing. I just keep adding things to my plate because they look so good. And then there is life, serving me up side-dishes. Eat your greens (taxes, accounting, chores…you know the drill). And of course hygiene. Even mothers need to make time for showers. And sleep. No, really. So, how to wrangle all of this? I have two key strategies for keeping my sanity:
1 : Macro-Wrangling, or “Fill your plate”
What is it you really want on your plate? Put the big, important things on first. Make room for them. Don’t start with aperitifs. Skip the hors d’oeuvres. Get right to the main course. There’ll be room afterwards for the bread, the sauces and the condiments. You can have the cheese course later. See, I told you I was greedy. I start with family, earning a crust and writing. How about you?
2 : Micro-Wrangling, or “Taste your food”
Don’t put everything in your mouth at once. Don’t think fish and chips, think wine and cheese. You want to taste both, one at a time. For example, when I’m looking after the kids, there really is no point sitting down to write. Personally I need to get into my writing groove to produce anything worthwhile. A dedicated hour of writing solitude yields much more than a frazzled three hours broken into five minute slots, punctuated by toilet trips, looking at drawings (‘beautiful, Sweetheart’) etc. And it feels bad from a motherhood point of view too. The children deserve real focused attention. So separate it out.
What are your wrangling strategies?
P.S. If you are an agent or a publisher reading this, please note: I am not too busy for book tours. My plate may look full, but I still have room for dessert.