Monthly Archives: May 2012

Staking out Time

I used to wonder why I couldn’t write fiction in the evenings.  I had free time, the house was peaceful, the kids were in bed.  For years I berated myself: I call myself a writer and yet I’m not using … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Staking out Time

  1. “The most important thing is to claim your time, and shift around until it works.”

    yes, Yes, YES!

    I’m an ALL or NOTHING writer. I have three possible days in a week when I can write: Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. In advance (pre-planning) I pick one or all of them and then ONLY write. I sit for 6-8 hours at a time and simply let it flow.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Great discipline! Love your approach to all or nothing, Laurie. Other writers – take heed.

  2. I’m a Mon-Fri. long lunch hour writer. Usually from around 10-2. For some reason I can’t bring myself to do any writing on weekends. Ocassionally I’ll get an idea and write some in the evening, but midday seems to work fairly well so far.

    I also have to write outside of my house–usually at a coffee shop or the library–because there are too many distractions at home (self-made, unfortunately)–and making the trip downtown and buying a cup of coffee commits me to actually writing, not goofing around. It’s almost as if I’m paying a certain small price for the privilege of writing, so I make it worth the expense to write. Oh well, it works for me. 🙂


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Oh, a lunch hour writer. My hat’s off to you! Glad you found your time and space. I know lots of people share your views on coffee shop writing. Paying to write is a GREAT motivator!

  3. You’re so right, Heather! I’m actually writing all the time, preparing for lectures, etc., but now my trick is to find the time to write fiction. It’s strange to have to set aside time from writing (for my day job), so I can write (for fun). But I would say, don’t completely rule out the possibility that sometimes being tired allows you to turn off the pre-editing function of your brain and get some pretty creative stuff. Once in a while, everyone should change it up, step outside the writing comfort zone and see what happens! – JP

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Good point, Jim. Shaking things up can produce some interesting work – so maybe writing while tired has its good side, too! Best of luck making room for your fiction writing.

  4. Vicki says:

    I’m a playwright and mother of a toddler. I write when I can at this point. I know my writing would improve with daily and/or habitual practice, but it is what it is for now. The upside is that when I do have free time and creative energy at the same time, writing feels like such a treat!

    I found your blog through Mark Rigney (I am a former student of Diane’s). I’m eager to read your parenting book! I love and abide by the title!

  5. Heather Shumaker says:

    Glad you found the Starlighting Mama blog, Vicki! You fit right in. Ah, yes, writing and toddlers – a challenging mix. Enjoy the treat times you have to write. I think parents with young kids make some of the BEST writers because they are some of the most motivated writers. No endless time stretching out before you. Young kids take lots of our time, but they also give us the gift of motivation – making every minute count. I’ll let you know more about the parenting book when it comes out!

Happy Mother’s Day to Starlighting Writers

Happy Mother’s Day to all!  Kids take up heaps of time – that’s why so many parents who write are forced to starlight.  If you want your kids to grow up believing in their dreams, remember to act on yours. … Continue reading

Posted in Starlighting Tips | 3 Comments

3 Responses to Happy Mother’s Day to Starlighting Writers

  1. “…but I also want my kids to see me as someone who has her own dreams and follows them. That’s a powerful message to send.”

    Amen siSTAR!

  2. You’re right: it’s so powerful! Hope you had a very happy Mother’s Day!
    And… I LOVE the new title & cover of your upcoming book. Can’t wait to see it.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Thanks! The book is getting very real now. Mother’s Day was my best ever – homemade poems and songs from the kids, a hike and campfire, AND I got to write!

Filling our heads with books

I was at a potluck dinner not long ago–a gathering of local writers–when I asked around the table: what are you reading?   To my amazement, many people weren’t reading at all. “If you don’t have time to read, you … Continue reading

Posted in Good Reads | 7 Comments

7 Responses to Filling our heads with books

  1. Heather – Right now I’m reading, “The Virgin Blue” by Tracy Chevalier.

    • Greg Renz says:

      I am reading “Lucy in the Sky” that I purchased from the author, John Vorhaus, at the Unitversity of Wisconsin Writer’s Institute. Some of the scenes are hilarious.
      Favorite book lately is “Corrections” by Jonathon Franzen. What a phenomenol writer.

      • Heather Shumaker says:

        Greg – Enjoy the set-in-Milwaukee read! Glad you’ve been reading Franzen, too.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      I’ll have to put it on my reading list.

  2. I finished “Lucy in the Sky” a few weeks ago–this baby boomer enjoyed it immensely. I’m currently reading “The Writer’s Journey” by Christopher Vogler (finally!). Some other recent reads were “The Cradle Will Fall” by Mary Higgins Clark and “Knockout” by Catherine Coulter.

    If you count audiobooks as reading, I’m currently listening to “The Pawn” by Steven James. Recent listens have been “Kill Shot” by Elmore Leonard, “Dark of the Moon” by John Sandford, and “The Bad Place” byr Dean Koontz.


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Wow, Chris! You’re certainly a writer who’s reading! Fantastic.

  3. Zane says:

    Heather, your blog looks great! I love how you’re writing about useful writing topics in manageable bits. And I love to hear about what other people are reading!

    I like to take pictures, periodically, of the books next to my bed. It helps me to look back and visually see what I was reading at a certain point in time. Right now I’m reading:

    An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler
    As Easy as Falling off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins
    Playful Learning by Mariah Bruehl
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (love this one!)
    The Hidden Gifts of the Introverted Child by Marti Olsen Laney
    Being Martha by Lloyd Allen