Tuesday, November 27, 2007

4 Days and she's still here! Shirley Jump, NYT Bestselling Author

Yesterday's post was a nice diversion, taking a peek at two of Shirley Jump's latest novels and easing back into the work mode. But today we're fully back into how to get more writing done when you're a Mama.

I’ve heard Shirley rave about her Alphasmart Neo on the JustWriteIt Yahoo Group. She says she takes it everywhere with her. (It’s lightweight and indestructible because it was made for kids.) Other writers use similar tools (including – gasp – pen and paper) to write, write, write – everywhere.

That sounds great, but I’ve always wondered if writing in bits of time like that would work for me. Of course, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it, because at the pediatrician’s office, I flip through magazines as my dd keeps up conversation (if “I Spy” and “Hey MOM, look at me!” count as conversation). But I hear that one of these days I won’t be so cool, and I’ll likely find myself with a lot of quiet time to write. Which brings me to the next question:

4. When you write *in the car or at the doctor’s office or soccer practice, is it difficult to tie what you’ve written in with what you already have on the hard drive at home?

Not really, because the book is almost always "cooking" in the back of my head. If I know I'm going to have those few minutes coming up, I let the book percolate while I'm heading over to the doctor's office or wherever. That way, when I get there, I know what scene I am going to write, and I can dive right in for those 20 minutes. Do I get blocked? Sometimes, yes. But I force myself to write anyway. I'll do something like have the character open a door or a box or find a picture and see what unfolds from there. Most of my books have a "secrets" theme and when characters find something, there's always a secret unearthed.
*I should note that when I asked this, I was thinking that she must sometimes wait in the car for her kids, and not, as one might think from the way I worded the question, that Shirley zooms down the freeway with one hand typing furiously on her Alphasmart. I'm sure even the busiest authors would advise against that! LOL!


NeuroticFitchMom said...

That's the key I think, getting into the mindset. I so easily get off track and I want to work on that. Great post and thanks Shirley!!

Shirley Jump said...

You're welcome! Glad it could help, Tiff!!