Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Writing as a Single Dad

I'm a single dad this week. My wife, Almudena, is an astronomer, and right now she's at a conference in La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, discussing the new Gran Telescopio Canarias. We both travel a lot for work, and so I'm periodically left alone at home caring for my two year-old son Julián. (No cute baby pictures, sorry. Too many freaks on the Net)

This isn't the obstacle to my writing that it could be. I get back home at about 9 a.m. after dropping him off at daycare, and have to leave to pick him up at 4 p.m. This gives me seven hours to work. I don't try to write while he's around (nor should I) but I usually stay up a couple of hours after he goes to bed. If I have enough energy, I can write then too.

While some of this time is taken up eating, doing the shopping, cleaning the house, etc., I still can get in nearly a full day's work. I just have to be disciplined. As I mentioned in a previous post (A Thousand Words Before Email) writers are their own worst enemies when it comes to discipline. We blame everyone and everything but ourselves for why we don't get enough work done. Don't let that little liar in your head fool you. You are responsible for both your success and your failure. Well, you and those pesky acquisitions editors, but there's nothing we can really do about them.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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