If you’re a mother and a writer, you know how hard it is to make the writing happen. Some days, I’m lucky to get the skeleton of a story down on paper. Other days, I’m grateful to rewrite my to-do list. Plenty of those days, I’m up until midnight. Because balancing motherhood and writing is a daily challenge for me, I love to hear from successful authors who accept that challenge head on. And, win.
Ilie Ruby is one such author. Her new novel, The Salt God’s Daughter, has received lots of praise and attention. I’ll post my review of her book next week. But for now, Ilie stops by here today and shares with us how one mother writer makes it all happen.
You know those color-coded schedules for families? Those charts that hang on the walls of people’s kitchens? Those have become our saving grace. I’ve had to become a very organized person, which is not at all the way that I used to be.
Internally, I was always incredibly organized in my thinking, for example when creating a novel it was easy and natural for me to remember where all the pieces fit. But externally, I was always very free-flowing and spontaneous. Three little kids later (with myriad activities and educational requirements)—I don’t have a choice but to become organized in my life as a mother.
The only way I get any writing done is to schedule my writing time in some rather strange hours—at night. I just love to write at night and I start after the kids go to sleep and then I write for four hours or so. This works for me because I am a natural night owl. 9pm has always been the high-point of my day and when I’m the most energetic and creative.
Now, I bet you want to know about sleep—when do I sleep? I’ve learned is that I don’t require as much as I thought. I’ve learned that my body is stronger than I ever knew. I always thought that as you got older, you became more frail. For me, it has been quite the opposite. In many ways, I feel younger today than I did ten years ago—healthy, strong, creative, and yes, organized!
Thanks for having me on your blog, Christi!
Ilie Ruby is the author of The Salt God’s Daughter and the critically-acclaimed novel, The Language of Trees, which was a Target Emerging Author’s Pick and a First Magazine for Women Reader’s Choice. She is also a painter, mother to three, and teaches writing in Boston.
About the Book
Set in Long Beach, California, beginning in the 1970s, The Salt God’s Daughter follows three generations of extraordinary women who share something unique—something magical and untamed that makes them unmistakably different from others. Theirs is a world teeming with ancestral stories, exotic folklore, inherited memory, and meteoric myths.
For more on her book, read Stacy Bierlein’s review and interview with Ilie at The Rumpus. You can also visit Ilie Ruby’s beautiful website, follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her Facebook page.
Interested in Mother Writer swag? Click the Mother Writer image above (and thanks to E. Victoria Flynn for providing the link).