Monday, December 9, 2013

Help With Our Writing

We are having fun here at BRP revisiting some older, popular posts. This one was originally published in March of 2009, about the time we decided it would be fun to have a little humor now and then. Did you know how beneficial it is to laugh or smile every day? That releases a whole lot of endorphins, so let some of yours go.

Years ago when I first started writing, my children were all young and the formidable task of "writing around them" was daunting.

I remember one time in particular when one of my two-year-old twins, Danielle, known lovingly as Chicky, had just settled down beside me to help or hinder my writing. That depended totally on one's viewpoint.

She contributed a few words of dialogue consisting mainly of a few well-placed “Mommys,” spiced with a few unintelligible words of praise or criticism. Also, dependent on POV.

When she left the room, I breathed a sigh of relief and raced to get a few thoughts on paper before she came back. But alas, she’d gone into the kitchen to get the box of cereal I left on the counter and was off sharing it with her brother.

Should I have been delighted she was sharing for a change? Or angry because she snitched the cereal and hid in the laundry room and was now pouring cereal into the washing machine? If I hadn’t beaten our dog with my child-psychology book years before that, I could have looked for the answer. (A note to all the dog-lovers who are about to call the Humane Society. Our dog was much larger and harder bound than the book, and he loved the extra attention.)

That’s the way my writing life went for years. The moment I thought I had the most subtle, cynically amusing thought, matching the excellence of an Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry mapped out in my head, I was interrupted.

I remember thinking that if it weren’t for my kids, I would’ve been famous years ago. I could’ve sat beside Johnny Carson when he was still doing the Tonight Show and chatted amicably about my latest thought-provoking novel or my charming little anecdotes on life, If it wasn’t for the endless “MOMMYS”.

“Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…”
“Mom, what is…?”
“Mom, can I have a snack?”
“Mom, would you tie my shoe?”
“Mother, if you don’t keep those twins out of my room…”
“Mom, why is it raining outside?”
“Mom, where is my homework…my lunch…my shoes…my coat?”
“Mom, if you’re not doing anything important, will you…?”

Maryann Miller
is a novelist, editor and sometimes actress. Her most recent release is Boxes For Beds, an historical mystery available as an e-book. Stalking Season is the second book in the Seasons Mystery Series. The first book, Open Season, is available as an e-book for all devices. To check out her editing rates visit her website. When not working, Maryann likes to take her dog for a walk and work outside on her little ranch in East Texas. She believes in the value of a good walk or a good chuckle.


  1. That's where I am right now; trying to write around a four-year-old and two-year-old. It's a challenge to say the least, and I identify all too closely with your post ;-) (Better check the washing machine before I turn it on...)

    1. LOL, Elle. I learned back then how to write in short spurts when I had time. That has helped me even now when I am juggling busyness at the art center and writing. The other day when I was printing playbills, I got an idea for something for my WIP, so I took ten minutes to write a couple of notes and a bit of dialogue to go with the idea.

  2. Yep, laughter is good ... except when can't stop ... and they come after you with a net ... not that I would know anything about that.

    1. I certainly hope not, Christopher. I have always thought of you as very refined and mannerly. Or is that "manerly?" (smile)

  3. Ah, the joys! How well I remember those good old days -- and the reasons I didn't finish my first novel until I was in my mid-sixties. Several were started, but none completed until that age. Well stated, Maryann! I think a lot of us can relate to this realistic piece. :-)

    1. One of my writer friends and I took turns watching each others kids so we could have an afternoon free to write. That was nice, but didn't help much when an idea struck in the middle of lunchtime with 5 kids. LOL

  4. I homeschooled. As soon as school was over, the kids tended to disappear - so I had time, but no energy, for writing. It had to wait until they were older.



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