Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, February 24, 2007

One hour to write

As a writing parent, I've written extensively of how I've managed to squeeze in time to write. Whether it's waiting until my child is asleep, getting up earlier in the morning or writing while she plays at her friend's, there have been little windows of time I have managed to put to writing use.

Lately, it seems I have been able to find some other ways to get at least one hour of free time to write. And that's a good thing! An hour of time to write is heaven for me.

I have found these methods to work best in securing that one hour of writing time:

1. Going to the library on weekends. I have often had my child with me on the weekends, compared to when she'd spend the weekends with her dad, so we go to the local library. The library offers free parking on weekends (a bonus!) and there's a BIG area devoted to children where they can play, read and listen to stories. (A bigger bonus!) Of course, I can park myself at a nearby table to blissfully write my time away.

2. PlayLand. PlayLand is a part of a local, nearby department store where parents can leave their children for an hour while they shop, eat, whatever. I have used PlayLand many times to write for an hour while my child played with other children, colored, did crafts and had stories read to her. She LOVES it!

3. Movies. Fellow writing parent Shaunna Privratsky said in her interview that she often relied on videos to keep her children entertained while she worked. I have found this to be a great way to get the writing time, as well. In our defense, we're not parking our kids in front of the TV all day, filling their brains with eye candy. I use this trick to get one hour of writing time -- and not two, three, four, etc. All good parents must limit their child's time in front of the TV. And at least the programs they watch are kid-friendly and educational.

These are just a few ways I've been able to get at least an hour of free time to write. But in order for that hour of free writing time to be put to good use, it MUST be devoted to writing. And not reading books, chatting online or kicking back with an iPod, or something.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A few things (maybe)

Today I revisited fellow writer, April Aragam's, blog. I started reading old posts and clicking links. Reading some more. One link for The Writers' Ezine caught my eye. I wasn't sure if I knew of this Ezine or not. But, sure enough, when the link opened, I remembered visiting this site before. And thinking of submitting to them.

How come I NEVER did that?? *slaps forehead and groans*

So, yeah, I have something in mind to send to them. An article rejected by Writer's Digest! I'll send it on -- SOON!

Then I started reading other blogs. Before you know it, I couldn't stop clicking and clicking on links to blogs, reading each one. That stuff is addictive! And dangerous to word freaks such as myself. But I finally told myself "that's enough!" and pulled away from them.

Besides, I had an article open in another program to finish writing. This particular article is one I got the idea for this very morning, so of course I started writing it up.

Then I got stuck. Gah!

I sat there thinking, clicking on other things to do while I thought, and rereading what I had so far with hopes that I could get UNstuck!

This is JUST the first draft, I kept telling myself. It doesn't HAVE to be perfect.

But some part of me was too stubborn to listen to that. It HAD to be "just right" and in the exact condition it should be for when I submit it to...wherever I submit it to!

Admittedly, this was early in the morning, but I'd already had 2 cups of coffee, so I felt my brain had a sufficient caffeine dose to help me come up with three more things to include in this article!

The article ends with a list of things. I'm not getting into the details here, but the article is written for writers. And because we writers often write at the computer, I had an idea for something else to add to that list: "If all else fails, bang your head against the keyboard!"

OK That one is a joke. Haha. :)

In other writing news, I am having a hard time reaching someone I wrote an article about for SIGNews. He is not responding from his personal Email address and his work Email is over quota.

And this particular person is a police officer.

Yikes. I hope he's okay. Seriously. Yikes! I REALLY hope I hear from him soon. I'm debating whether or not I should call his work to see if I can get in touch with him by phone. I just need to ask him if it's OK for me to give SIGNews his address so they can send him the issue my story about him is in.

I worry because I once knew a police officer who was seriously injured while on duty. He did not survive. His death saddened me and I have heard so many stories of how police officers quit the job for the sake of their families (my father-in-law, for one) and of how they have something really bad happen to them while on the job.

But, of course, I worry by nature. I am a HUGE worrier! He's probably just busy with work. He IS a cop! I'm sure he's fine and I will hear from him eventually.

Now to get back to that article....