I like to think of myself as a businesswoman. I have a lot of things to manage. Being a writer isn’t just hiding in your office, eating marshmallows straight from the bag while wearing your husband’s Angry Bird PJs and listening to Adele. (Oh, sometimes I wish it was…but it’s not.)
Being a writer means sending important emails very quickly, getting in alterations to a MS that need to be done YESTERDAY, taking phone calls that are extremely important and career changing no matter what is going on around you.
I’ve mentioned before, I am an expert in the haphazard, and there are times when I’m grateful for that. Thanks to a little thing called time zones and the fact that my editorial office is based in the UK, I’ve had to learn to hop out of bed at five AM and be taking editorial direction by 5:30 over the phone. I can practically send emails in my sleep. This is one area where being a mom has better equipped me to handle work. All those 3 AM feedings? Yeah, baby. They were training! Training for my career. Who knew?
Of course, while motherhood has helped strengthen my ability to deal with a career that is always in flux and never, ever dull or what I expect, there are times when trying to conduct a career from my tiny little house has been a…challenge. To say the least.
I’ve taken calls from my editor while the husband and I did our best to get a kid on the bus for school. I’ve taken calls from my agent while we were driving our mini-van through a dead zone with kids screaming in the back seat and lightning McQueen jabbering in the background on the van’s (pretty freaking awesome) tv. I’ve done revisions in the hospital after giving birth. (true story)
My most stellar moment came when I was firing off an email to my editor and my oldest son started shouting, “THIS IS REALLY SCARY. I AM SO SCARED.” I looked over to see Diva baby standing in front of the table. There was a pair of pants on the table. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal except there was also a lit candle on the table. And the pants had fallen into it. Pants on fire indeed.
I put it out, and no one was harmed except what were a very cute pair of skinny jeans.
It can all be a little overwhelming sometimes. And I can start to wish for a quieter, more organized way to do business. (And long for RWA Nationals, which I’m currently chomping at the bit to get to!) Ultimately though, I find some comfort in the fact that things can get done, even in the midst of all the chaos. (there’s a theme to my posts, I think. I’m Manic Mama, remember?)
I think it can be easy to slide into fantasies about silence and organization. To think that if I have all that THEN I can get things done. But honestly, if you wait for that, you could wait for a long time. Or in my case, forever.
I think the memories of those important phone calls are more meaningful in a lot of ways because…my family was there. Even though it was insane at the time, the thought of them is even sweeter, and makes me smile more, because everyone I love most in the world was nearby to be a part of it all.
I treasure the days where I can go to my office and close the door. But I wouldn’t treasure them quite so much if there wasn’t all THAT going on in the house to make me appreciate the moments where I just HAVE to go work in solitude. I also wouldn’t appreciate my time away from work so much if there wasn’t all THAT in my house.
Seriously though, I can’t wait for RWA. And then I’m taking my kids to Disneyland right after.
Maisey Yates is a USA Today Bestselling author of sexy, angsty, funny romances and a terrible housekeeper. When she’s not writing books, you can find her reading them. If you CAN find her beneath the massive pile of unfolded laundry. Maisey has three kids (5, 4, & 2) one husband (who is a much better housekeeper than she is) and not a single dull moment. You can find her on twitter, Facebook and her website.