Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What a Blessing... A Guest Post from Author Susanna Leonard Hill






Today I’m hosting Day 2 of a 5-day virtual tour (sponsored by the National Writing for Children Center) for Susann Leonard Hill’s book Punxsutawney Phyllis. In this post, Susanna tells about the writer’s life.


The Writer's Life with Children's Author Susanna Leonard Hill


I had to laugh a little at today’s topic – “a typical writing day”
My intended typical writing day goes like this:
Butt in chair at 9 AM for 3 hours of new writing.
Break for lunch around noon, check and respond to important emails.
Back to work around 1 to do revision work (I’m usually not as fresh for new writing in the afternoon, although that’s not always the case if the muse is in residence ) respond to students taking my writing class, and/or write my weekly blog posts.
Around 4, read and comment on blog posts I want to keep up with, and respond to comments on my own blog.
Stop at 5 for family evening.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pull that off?

My actual writing day goes more like this:
Butt in chair around 10:30 AM (after taking my daughter to school, mucking the barn, stopping for groceries on the way home, and taking the dogs for a run)… so, half the amount of writing time I’d really like…
Break for lunch around noon, check and respond to important emails… also throw in some laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc. which ends up taking more than an hour
Back to work whenever the emails are finished except, oops!  I have to… (insert family activity here including attending soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse games or wrestling matches, school performances in music or theatre, class trips, classroom parties, chauffeuring kids hither and yon, picking up or dropping off dry cleaning, special visits to the post office/UPS/FedEx, dentist/doctor/orthodontist/eye doctor/veterinarian appointments which are frequent with 5 kids, aging parents, and 2 dogs, etc.)
And oh, would you look at that?   It’s already 5!
So… dinner, homework, bedtimes… and then 10:00 PM – what was I doing?

I am the first to admit that I am not the most organized person in the world – something I’m trying to work on  I love that writing gives me the flexibility to be there for my kids.  I am so lucky to be able to do something I love without having to miss the important moments in my kids’ lives.  But I don’t think I can pretend I have a typical writing day.  I just try to go with the flow and do the best I can to get everything done, including some new writing most days.  I am well aware that before I know it, the kids will all be off at college and I’ll have more free time than I know what to do with.  It’s happening already – one child at a time.  So I don’t mind the juggling for now




19 comments:

  1. I enjoyed that glimpse into Susanna's day. She sure accomplishes a lot for being supposedly disorganized! I want to be just like her. ;)

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    1. You're too kind, Teresa :) If you saw the chaos on my desk/kitchen counters/dining room table you might change your mind :)

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  2. Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Terri! It's a pleasure to be here! I apologize profusely for being late to comment - I didn't know the post was up until today. I will try to spread the word, even though it's a little late :( Many thanks again - I so appreciate it!

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  3. I'm never organized. If I'm lucky, I unload the dishwasher before Hubby makes it home. Then, it's ready for all the dirty dishes I've created throughout the day.

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    1. I think we are kindred spirits, Stacy :) That sounds EXACTLY like me :)

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  4. I agree with Teresa in that I loved that glimpse into Susanna's typical day! It definitely helps an aspiring author to know that someone so accomplished has disorganized days and writing takes a back seat ;-) Kim T.

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    1. I'm so glad if you find my lack of organization inspiring and helpful, Kim :) I can actually get a lot done... just not as much as I'm sure I could if I was better organized :)

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  5. Ms. Hill, you are more productive than you give credit for. I barely have time to write my blog posts, not counting for 30 minutes of writing. :)

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    2. That may be, Erik, but you have to go to school! I think you do an amazing job of keeping up with everything - I don't know how you do it! :)

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  6. Susanna, we're a lot alike. I'm making a big effort to put off my errands and housekeeping until the afternoon and trying to get my work done during the productive mornings. But something always comes up.

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    1. I know it, Sylvia! Isn't that just always the way? But we will get it all done... eventually :)

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  7. I have to chime in and agree with everyone here. I am trying to dedicate a block of time during my day to WRITING. It hasn't happened yet- I'll let you know when it does. :)

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  8. It's surprisingly hard, Elaine, because writing is hard! We find all kinds of excuses to do everything BUT. As long as we're doing something productive, we can tiptoe around actually writing. That guy whose name I can't think of right now was totally right when he said "Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit in front of the typewriter and open a vein!" :)

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  9. Susanna, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one trying to find time to write on a schedule. Thanks so much for sharing your hectic schedule. :-)

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    1. I'm working on a schedule. Really. I'm just having trouble trying to fit time to make the schedule into my schedule :)

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  10. Susanna and I must be twins! ;) It is so encouraging to know that a successful, published children's author struggles to manage her time in exactly the same way that I struggle to manage mine. Somehow, it gives me hope... Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us, Susanna! :)

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    1. Thank YOU for stopping by to read and comment Martha :) And I'm glad my complete inability to organize gives you hope :)

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  11. Haha! I love it Susanna! It sounds very much like my "writing day", except somehow you are accomplishing way more than me. :D I enjoyed the peak into your day, thank you and thank you Terri! :D

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