Clearing the Cheerio-Strewn Decks: Ten Jobs I Have to Do Before I Can Write
In an ideal world, I would write five to six books a year alongside bringing up my kids, doing my day job, keeping up with the housework and swimming three times a week.
Theoretically, it’s possible: I wrote my five-book Ceruleans series in nine months, after all, while juggling a five year old and my busy business. I just about stayed sane. I don’t think I made it to the swimming pool once, though – but in my defence, I was pregnant and far more interested in sitting about and drinking iced coffee.
Now that my daughter is two, I’m ready to write again. But before I can even think of setting pen to paper, I have to do the following ten jobs:
- Make a very large coffee – with chocolate sprinkles if the kids haven’t scoffed them. Then clean the coffee maker.
- Notify everyone in the house that I’m about to write and would like to be left alone. Wait patiently while my son draws a sign to that effect and sticks it to the door.
- Clear my desk of work – and invariably end up doing some.
- Clear my desk of household papers – and invariably end up paying bills and filling out school permission slips.
- Clear my desk of assorted toys and a lone sticky Cheerio – and invariably end up cleaning the desk, the bookcase, the entire room.
- Haul the desk over to the patio doors so that I can write with a view over the garden.
- Shut the blinds on the patio doors upon realising my view is in fact of the kids running riot in the sandpit.
- Answer a knock at the patio door and mediate between two sand-covered children warring over a spade – then gently close the door on them.
- Return to the laptop, launch the book’s mood playlist, navigate to the writing folder and begin reading notes.
- Hear an alarming bash on patio door, and open the blinds to reveal two cheeky faces squished into the glass, grinning at me. Smile, kiss the kids through glass, close the blinds.
By then, of course, most of my allotted writing time is gone. Sometimes I write for the time I have left. Sometimes I give up, go out to the garden and make sandcastles. Because just as no (wo)man is an island, no writer is only that, a writer. I’m a mum, a wife, a homemaker and a businessman too – and if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have nearly enough energy, humour and inspiration for my writing. Put simply: a writer must not only clear the decks to write, but must in the first place have decks covered with the accumulated clutter of a life well lived.
Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.
Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.
Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in the village of Standish, Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.
ABOUT THE CERULEANS SERIES
The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint?
The Ceruleans is a young-adult paranormal romance series set in a world in which angels walk among us. The Ceruleans don’t think of themselves as angels, though – just ordinary people who happen to have a most extraordinary gift. And certainly few of them behave like angels. Because as it turns out, humans don’t handle well the reality of playing god…
The story of the Ceruleans spans five books