Fear in Writing: Raising your children, Raising your book

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Raising your children, Raising your book

If you have children, you'll know that there are sooooooooo (I repeat, sooooooooooooo) many things to keep track of in raising them.

Minimum time in front of the TV.  Proper fruits and vegetables.  Milk and juice and water intake monitored.  Teaching--money, time, numbers, letters, reading, writing, using scissors.  Personal hygene--bathe themselves, brush their own teeth, POTTY TRAINING!  Then add in the nurturing aspects--time together as a family, one-on-one time with each child, plenty of reading, telling stories, playing outside, learning about the environment, taking care of others.

And if you are a writer, then you'll know that creating and growing a book can be very similar.  Creating characters means taking care of them.  Creating a storyline means seeing it through to completion.  Think of all the things you have to keep up with...
Plot twists.  Character development.  Setting details. Clues sprinkled here and there.  Character emotions. Where you're going.  Where you've been.  The truth.  The lies.  The proper mixes of crime and honesty.  The right combo of dark and light.

So, how do you keep up with it all?  What tricks or programs do you use to keep yourself, and your creation, on track?  I am specifically asking about writing, but if you have tips on child-rearing, I'm open to those as well.  : )

This post was originally published on Tuesday, but a writer's realization that she was about to miss a very important date in history forced its retraction.  So, if you are experiencing deja vu, do not fear, it's not just you!  See yesterday's post for the important replacement.


  1. A routine. :) Especially for the kids. My routine for my writing is "fit it in at all costs and go with the flow!"

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Best tip I can give you is I create detailed character profiles and refer to them as I write.
    As far as kids - don't have any, so no help here!

  3. i dunno - i kind of just go wit the flow and see how it turns out. But i write fantasy so I suspect it's a different beast

  4. Elizabeth- Routine. Sounds good. That is what works with kids, too! Now why didn't I think of that for writing?

    Alex- I have heard and tentatively attempted detailed character profiles. I guess the same could work for kids! They could each have their own files!

    Falen- I suppose there is crossover, but going with the flow is a lot of the way it works in parenting, too. :)

  5. I don't think I keep up at all. I just do stuff whenever and do whatever I can do, when I have time to do it :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'll post your link up on my sidebar for the blog fest. Great to have you!

  6. Raising the kids has to come before raising your book, and you can't look away for 2 seconds, because they can always manage to do something you didn't expect in those 2 seconds. BUT there are lots of rewards.

    One of those is the strange feeling of hearing your own words come out of your kid's mouth. Or square that, when you realize that, no, they really aren't your words, but your mother's words that had become buried in your subconscious. It took a while, but I eventually realized that this was a sign of success. All the lessons I had tried to impart had taken hold.

    Another one is when you give your kid a copy of your manuscript and get cogent, intelligent, literary remarks and criticism back, together with the comment that the book helped her to understand you better.

    From the photo that accompanies this post, it looks like you've a while to go before that stage. Our daughter just finished her BFA. It’s something for you to look forward to.

    As to raising books, keep detailed notes, and character profiles. Try “taking your characters out to lunch” as a writing exercise. It helps to get to know them.

    See you on the 28th.

    T.H.E. Hill
    Author of “Voices Under Berlin: The Tale of a Monterey Mary”

  7. Thanks for visiting the blog and becoming a follower! I've done the same for you. And to answer your questions, I didn't become afraid of babies until after my daughter was born. But I am terrified of them now. Crazy, right?


  8. I've given up on trying to keep it all straight.. I just live day to day and watch all the fun things pop up later that I've somehow overlooked or forgotten. LOL... Good luck to us huh? I've got 5 kiddos... nearly as many WIP's too.

  9. Alliterative- Looking forward to your blogfest! I'll be posting about it tomorrow.

    T.H.E.- You are so right. SO. RIGHT. Thank you for stopping by--looking forward to hosting you on the 28th! And congrats on your daughter's success, which is a reflection of your own.

    Justine- A bit crazy, but I understand. I am only a little afraid of OTHER people's babies. :)

    Voidwalker- I know you have your hands full! I only have two...and about as many manuscripts. We'll get through it, right?

  10. love the smile on your little princess' face :)

  11. I've discovered that a good half-hour Wii session will get my kids sweaty and allow me to blog surf undisturbed. What? That's a writing- and child-related tip, isn't it? (They ARE writing blogs I read, y'know.)

    You're welcome. :)

  12. Ha! great advice. Sweaty kids...Then they go rest for a while, right?

  13. Er... you can hope, sure. Um, yes. Uh-huh. :)