Monday, February 23, 2009


My posting has been tardy. My writing days are down to two per week and in the evenings, after either looking after a two year-old or trying to write my novel on queue, I am just too darn tired to think, let alone come up with some erudite topic for blogging.

The writing is going well when it happens. This is my last week with an office at the university - after that I will have to put blinkers on to ignore the shambolic mess that is my house so I don't spend all my writing time doing housework. Lectures started again this week and after dropping my son off at creche this morning I couldn't find a carpark (I used to catch the bus), so I drove home again and have been trying to work in the chaos.

I am hoping that I will be back to my old blogging self one of these days. For now - please bear with me as I adjust to my new routine.

Wait - there is one thing. The lovely Vanda Symon will be in Christchurch on Monday for the Words on Wheels tour on Monday, so I will finally be doing something booky to report back on. Oh, and on Thursday I will be speaking to a class at the Hagley Writers' Institute, where I will be a supervisor this year. I plan to read something from my new work in progress as, to be honest, I am sick of reading from that book about butterflies.

There. I did find some things to post about after all. Just a place-holder post, really. An I'll-be-back sort of a post.



Mary McCallum said...

Hold on in there Rachael - juggling writing and children and household stuff is not easy, not easy at all. It can be so frustrating. I've had unemployed teenagers hanging around the past eight months but suddenly one is back at university and the other has a job. Suddenly, Monday is free for writing and I am SO EXCITED. My advice is to minimise -get rid of anything you don't need so there's less to tidy, get up early each day and spend an hour tidying so things are bearable (especially around the computer), organise the children, make a coffee and go for it. The other option - one I have used in the past - is to write late into the night and have a zzzz in the afternoon (if possible.) Another approach is to ask a friend who works if you can use their house to write. Good luck.

Rachael King said...

Thanks for all the advice Mary. I'm working on getting up early, but the downside of having children late is that you never lose that young and free habit of needing to sleep in. So I grab as much as I can get and feel slow and groggy when I can't! I'm not a morning person and I'm also not a night person. I'm a sort of a mid-afternoon person!

Jim Murdoch said...

So, what's the difference between a reason and an excuse? I've just written a post telling my lot I'm going to be cutting back for a few weeks (hopefully) and I found myself explaining in great detail (the comments are longer than the post and it's not a short post) because I felt I needed to justify my decision, i.e. these are my reasons for depriving you of one blog a week, honest, Guv, I'm not making excuses. Guilt is counterproductive so you need to get over it. You have x circumstances to cope with and I have y - simple arithmetic will tell us how many hours we have to play with so do your sums and get on with it.

Anonymous said...

My sympathies, Rachael. At one time I was writing, doing my modern languages degree and looking after three children aged 5 and under. Looking back, I don't know how I did it, but I did - and you will too.

Darian James said...

Patrick encouraged us ENGL350ers to read your blog. (Although I've had you on my RSS for months.) A classroom of viewers anticipate your next post!

Rachael King said...

Crikey Darian, I'd better come up with something good! I suggest to your classmates that they read through the archives for all my best writing tips!

Amber Lough said...

Writing with children around is hard, as so many people have already said. I don't know how anyone (including myself) does it. My two-year-old won't let me near the computer (unless we're playing an Elmo game), so my only chances are at night, when the hubby is home and I can sneak out. Or on the day that my daughter goes to preschool for 6 hours. Of course, there's always the temptation to clean house, so I have to work somewhere else.
Being a parent of small children and a writer of novels is almost like juggling cats.
I'm sure you'll somehow discover that your writing is even better now that your time is compressed. :-) You'll have another wonderful novel written before you know it, Rachael. :-)

Hannah said...

Hi Rachael,
Thanks for the lovely welcome to the blogosphere! I am still clicking my way around blindly, being led from one fabulous blog to another. I've really been enjoying yours- thanks for sharing all the writing tips! How has the Ursula Bethell Residency been? Are you based in Christchurch at the moment? I hope the writing is progressing- and the spine of the novel hasn't knitted itself back together- what a great image!

Rachael King said...

Thanks for all your encouraging comments everyone - I will get it done. The novel is still alive and well in my head - at least it hasn't been driven away!

Hannah - I wrote a whole post about how the residency was - scroll down to 'A Room of One's Own No More'. I am still in Chch, until the end of teh year.