Saturday, November 24, 2007

Day 2 With Bestselling Author Shirley Jump!

At some point, a lot of us realize that being a mom isn't about sipping cocoa by the fire and watching the kids peacefully playing together. And by the time you’ve extinguished Johnny’s hair and removed cocoa stains from the carpet, the job of finishing even ONE novel seems pretty enormous.

Bestselling author and mom of two, Shirley Jump, has written and sold 29 books. I know I can’t be the only one who wonders...

2. How are you able to write so much with kids and a husband who has his own business???? Do you have a maid, a nanny, and a personal chef? An assistant who handles all of your accounting? A ghostwriter?

Oh, how I wish I had ANY of the above! I have no ghostwriter, no nanny, no personal chef, no assistant. Once in a while I hire someone to help with major mail drives, but that's about it. I do have a cleaning service that comes in twice a month and does the big stuff in the house, but otherwise, it's just me. I keep saying I'll get an assistant, but honestly, I don't like having anyone underfoot. When I worked 70+ hours a week at home (just before I sold my first book and I was doing a LOT of freelancing), I had a maid three times a week for about six months and hated it because she was HERE. She didn't bother me, but she was HERE. It drove me nuts.

I write fast. I type at some ungodly speed, and can write a lot of words in a short period of time. Then I'm spent, and just kind of play for the rest of the day, answering e-mail, sending out mail, doing marketing stuff, business stuff (that means all the accounting (UGH) falls to me, too, except the corporate filing; that a pro does) and any other miscellaneous business things. I write between 5 and 20 pages a day, depending on whether it's a good day or a bad day :-).


I like how she says she just kind of “plays” by doing accounting and marketing stuff. I never thought of those as recreational pursuits! (Answering emails, yeah - that can be fun. As long as they aren’t about accounting or marketing!)

Now before I run off to sign up for a class to improve my typing speed, I want to leave you with an extra-credit reading assignment. ;-) Here's another great interview where Shirley answers this question. (I imagine she gets it a lot!)

Have fun! Tomorrow we’ll ask her to tell us more about how she squeezes in writing time.


Serenity Now! said...

Shirley has done a great job managing her time and doing what needs to be done (butt in chair, hands on keyboard). She's an inspiration in persperation. I love how she never really dwells on being inspired or finding your muse... it's "sit down and do the work" but said in a nice way. ;0)

Carolyn Erickson said...

That's right, like she says: Just Write It! :)

Deborah said...

I wish my day looked like that. Good for her!


Carolyn Erickson said...

Yes, 5 to 20 pages per day would catapult me into workaholic status. :)

Shirley Jump said...

LOL. You know, it didn't start out that many, at least on the fiction end. I was working full-time at the magazine and marketing writing, so I had to fit in what fiction writing I could in the beginning. The more you do this (as with anything), the easier it gets (or it does with most books, not all...some are stubborn!) and so you can write more. That's not to say I don't have pages I throw away entirely, but I do get a lot more accomplished in a day than I used to.

And it's truly as simple as just getting it done. When I was working full-time I just got up earlier. I learned to get up at 4:30. It was a question of "How badly do you want it?" and that's the message I had taped on my alarm clock so I touched that paper every time I reached for the snooze. :-)