Friday, December 18, 2009

How I Do It: The Truth Revealed

My non-writer friends often ask me how I do it all. Work full time, nine hours of college per semester (including summers), be a parent, a wife, and still find time to write.
I will let you in on a little secret. It’s time I reveal something about myself. Please sit down. I’ll wait. You see, I am really a …(say it)…vampire.
I don’t sleep so that frees up a great deal of time right there. I am a special breed of vampire that doesn’t need to suck blood. I survive off of coffee. I don’t sparkle in the sun, but I do shine and will burn (It’s more the Irish blood than the vamp that causes that though.) I can’t transform into a bat, but occasionally I have been a fly on the wall. Not sure if I am immortal—never really tried to die. Don’t want to risk it. But seriously, how else would you know? (Mmmm… there’s something there.)
Well, since you can’t become a vamp too, let me give you some more time saving techniques to free up additional hours that you can spend honing your craft.
-The first thing you should do is down enough coffee, soda, or Redbull that your body gives off a faint hum like that of a power plant.
-Immediately, trade all live plants for silk. Unless your plants are Venus flytraps, then keep. They are useful when you stop washing dishes.
-Collect take-out menus. They also come in very handy to eat pizza off of when you forget to buy paper plates.
-Teach children how to cook their own microwave meals. I mean if you treat it like it’s a video game—they will also get an entertainment value as well as feeling proud for being so darn helpful.
-Learn to use the steering wheel in your car as a desk. The car is a quiet place, and seriously, what else are you going to do at red lights. And remember, a person honking at you to go is not a bad thing. Just a friendly reminder. People like to help.
-Stop dusting. When your friends start to notice tell them that you are growing cobwebs for the most awesome realistic haunted house ever. Then the only time you have to dust is the day before Halloween, when you will tell those same friends that you changed your mind.
-Quit your job and live off the government. I heard they’re throwing in a health plan soon.
-Drink heavily. This helps you lose all sense of time, and ensures that everything you write it SuperFreakinHeelarious or tormented and deep. And I’m sure it will reduce the amounts of edits. See HEMINGWAY.
-Oh, speaking of edits. Only use spell check for edits. It catches everything, right? Just select all and move on.
-Reduce the amount of time you spend querying by creating one letter that reads:
Dear Every Agent Out There-
Please consider my book GREATEST STORY EVER WRITTEN. Better than Twilight or that Dan Brown guy everybody raves about. I didn’t read his work, only watched the movie. He can’t be that great if he did that to Tom Hanks's hair.
Love – Me

Then email to all agents at once and rest assured that you will be represented. 

Writing is hard, and it’s time consuming, but we do it because we love it. Or at least we should. If you don’t’ love it, don’t do it.  With the exception of paying bills. No one love paying the bills, but if you don’t they’ll turn off your electricity. And it’s impossible to blog stalk without the interwebs.

Seriously though, to answer the question of how we do it all… I do it because I can’t not do it. It’s like breathing.

Please read this with the humor with which it was intended. And for the love of Twain, do not follow any of the advice on this post. (Although I have used my steering wheel as a desk at red lights, I am a trained professional stunt driver. Do not try this at home.)

Please feel free to play along by adding your own time saving techniques ;-)  Have a great weekend!!


  1. Create minions. And by that I mean, breed. Kids are perfect slaves to our will. I haven't done a dish for three years:D

  2. LOL! I have minions in training. The seven year old has graduated to dishes, but mostly just cups - so I still have to hit the pots and pans. :) The three year old, well, he's part of the demolition team.

  3. This is hilarious, A! You have a great humorous tone. I can't wait to read more posts.

    "Kids are perfect slaves to our will."

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

  4. My kids were untrainable while I was in social worker school. It became a real bad habit to let the dishes pile up until I needed something to eat off myself. Now all but the youngest (11) is moved out. And he's no more trainable than the others were. But he's basically an only child so I guess he's excused.

    I don't sleep either, and I also avoid the sun. I start writing about 9:30 at night (when I write that is, I'm not very disciplined lately) and go to bed around 2. I drag to work the next morning and everyone asks if I'm getting sick.

    But Hemingway might have had something there on the drinking. It lets the creativity flow (until you sober up and read what you wrote) and helps you get to sleep. Both benificial, right?

    A very funny post Aj.

    Good luck with keeping it all together.


  5. Thanks all! I was having a bad day, and the sarcasm was the only thing still working. Write what you know, huh?

    Donna- I'm with you on the mini-break. I've been on a mini-hiatus. My day job has been so demanding that when I get home I just drool on my keyboard, and then go read other people's genius words because mine seem to have evaporated. The ideas are there, but no prose. Eh, just write down the idea - and prose it up at a later date. Sometimes it's all you can do.

  6. Awesome post. I know I'm coming in late on this one, but I laughed my ass off... and yes, drinking does help. ;)