Monday, July 16, 2018

3 Tips for Write at Home Moms with Katie Salidas

I’ve got three awesome kids, and since they were all very little, mommy has been an author. My oldest, now in her teens, has grown up with mommy clacking away at the keyboard as I’ve penned more than twenty novels. I’ve always written stories, but I haven’t always been a published author.

It’s a different sort of writing when you know there are deadlines and readers waiting for you to finish that next work. And kids, no matter how many times you try to make them understand that mommy is working, will always demand mom’s attention. Especially my littles (4 and 6).

I wish I could say that in the eight years since I transitioned into being a published author, I’ve got this time management thing figured out. I don’t. I still scramble for quiet space and stay up well beyond my bedtime to work on these books.

But, all that said, I do have 3 tips to share today, that I use, to make the process feel like it is going smoother.

1.    The kids are day shift. Writing is night shift.

When you work out of the home you have defined times to clock in and out. The same applies to writing as work. You have to have dedicated time for it, like a job.

Do I always clock in and out on time? No. But the act of setting myself that schedule helps me to remember where the balance should be.

During the day, I’m mom. That’s a full-time job already. It starts, despite all my protests, at sunrise, so in a perfect world, bedtime is 8pm. Once the kids are washed, read to, and tucked in, I clock in for work. Because I look at this as work, I’m pretty militant about clocking in on time. During the normal school week my writing hours begin at 8pm (kids bedtime), and I block out a four hour shift for this work. That means a midnight bedtime if all goes well. Weekends are my off days (but I still write then too.)

In a perfect world I could count on a guaranteed 4 hours of daily writing time. More often than not however, my two shifts bleed into each other. That’s life. I’m lucky that, right now, I’m able to be here with the kids, and write. When life gets too hectic I remind myself of this.

Hectic as it may be, using this scheduling template, I’ve been able to write at least 3 books a year.

2.    It’s okay to write bad…sometimes.

I know what you’re thinking. Hold on. Why the hell am I going to read an author’s work when they just said they are okay, and even admitting to writing bad?

Let me explain. First drafts are where most people get stopped up during the writing process. They want to write perfectly. Well that ain’t how this writing business works. Perfect writing is the result of revisions, editing, and final proofing. Multiple eyes have looked at the book by the time it reaches readers.

But we’re jumping ahead of ourselves here. The first draft should be the easiest thing to write. It’s where creativity gives birth to new characters and worlds. It is the place where an author can play with ideas. It’s often the place where would-be writers give up, because they demand perfection from something that cannot possibly be.

Allowing yourself to write a bad first draft is a simple way of saying, “Just get the story out of your brain.” You have the freedom to create during this phase.

You can’t edit what hasn’t been written, and you can’t find a plot hole in a story that doesn’t exist. Trying too hard on round one to be perfect is impossible. By accepting imperfection, and allowing yourself to put pen to paper, ensures you can complete a draft. Once that story is written the real work begins.

When I block out a 4 hour shift for my writing work, I don’t have time to stare at a computer screen all day. I have a limited amount of time to work. By letting myself free write I maximize my creative time so I can get the words in to meet story goals.

3.    Set easy to reach word count goals.

When I’m in story writing mode, especially at the beginning of a new book, the 80k word count goal can sometimes feel like staring up at a mountain I know I’ll have to climb. Most novels in my genre Urban Fantasy range between 70-90k words. That’s a lot of words, and looking at it from that vantage point feels impossible. But, a change of perspective can make all the difference. If I set myself smaller goals the pressure disappears. My regular word count goal, during the story writing phase, is 1k words per night. I set different goals for the revisions and final editing phase, but for the purpose of this tip, let’s just stick with the words.

One thousand words is easy to accomplish (I usually write more than that.) By setting the smaller goal I no longer have to look at the huge 80k word target; reducing that initial pressure. It also has another effect. By reaching daily goals, I can feel accomplished each time I sit down at the computer, and I can also pat myself on the back for going over it. Everyone like to feel like a winner. That small perk can motivate you more than you realize.

So there it is, the three sanity savers that help me through the crazy that is trying to make a career of writing while being mommy at the same time.

How do you manage work/life balance as a WAHM? Post your tips in the comments below. I’d love to learn a few new tricks myself.

A Taste of Your Own Magic
Agents of A.S.S.E.T.
Book Two

Katie Salidas

Genre: Urban Fantasy – humorous

Publisher: Rising Sign Books

Date of Publication:  7/17/18

ISBN: 9781732101449

Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 78k

Cover Artist: Molly Phipps  
We Got You Covered.

Tagline: Everything You Know about Magic is Wrong!

Book Description:

Just when newly minted ASSET agent Sage Cynwrig thought she was getting the hang of this whole magic thing, a smooth-talking Djinn moves in next door. And he's got more on his mind than making her wishes come true.

He'll have to take a number. Between her sharp-tongued, machete wielding partner Grey, and Zack the flirtatious vampire-for-hire, Sage has enough magical men making her life hell. 

And then there's the new job. It's all hands on deck at ASSET. Magical creatures are disappearing from the Las Vegas Strip. Rumor has it, the missing creatures are ingredients in a forbidden magical recipe. Someone's attempting to recreate the lost Amulet of Emmuri, and gain power to rival the gods.

Because of course Sage's first official assignment as an agent would require her to, you know, save the world!

To accomplish that, however, she'll have to cross enemy lines and break the very magical laws she just swore to uphold.

Author Reading Sample:

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A Taste of Your Own Magic
Sample Chapter 1

Zack launched himself forward with impossible speed, closing the gap between them before she could register the movement. His hand found her mouth, preventing her shocked gasp from escaping. Zack stood nose-to-nose with her, so close she could feel the heat from his breath. “Sweet girl. So naïve to the dangers surrounding you; innocent to the true nature of the world.” His eyes grew darker, choking out all of the color that gave them their unnatural beauty. All predator, ready to strike, he pinned her against the apartment door. “Words lose their meaning with creatures like you. Headstrong. Impulsive... The only thing you learn from is failure.” The timbre of his voice deepened; his breathing slowed to a determined rhythm of raw desire. “A tempting target, giftwrapped for anyone willing to snatch you up.”
Zack let his hand fall from her mouth but kept her pinned to the door with his body. Close as he was, his eyes weren’t the only thing Sage focused on.
Those teeth.
Sharp as daggers. She’d experienced the sting of a vampire’s fangs once before, and that memory made her scars itch. “You’re acting like a real jerk right now, Zack.”
“I know.” He flashed those teeth at her again. “And don’t think I can’t hear how excited it makes you. Admit it. You’re more than a little turned on right now.”
A knot formed in her throat. She swallowed hard, forcing it down so she could speak. “Excited is not the word I would have chosen.” Her voice cracked, betraying the panic she was so desperate to hide. This wasn’t the Zack she knew; he’d morphed into something dangerous, and she couldn’t tell how real his threats were.
“Pick a word then,” he taunted. “Make it a good one.”
“Stop.” She pushed against him, but found his body an immovable wall. “You’re creeping me out.”
“Fear, is it?” Zack laughed coldly. “Good. You should be afraid. Most don’t survive being bitten.” His breath blew against her skin, surprisingly warm, but the effect chilled her blood.
“The last one who bit me didn’t survive.” She attempted again to mask the tremble of her voice with the threat.
“Grey, your great protector, was there to save the day. Where is he now?” Zack’s words struck her like a slap to the face, but before she could respond, he bent his head to the crook of her neck.
She cringed, expecting pain that did not come.
“I could have you right now.” Zack’s lips hovered, tantalizingly close to her throbbing pulse. He inhaled slowly as if savoring every note of her scent. “But the real question is, could you” – He lifted his head and met her eyes once more – “would you try and stop me?”
Zack’s words implied so much more than a simple threat. …. She couldn’t let that happen. But, being pinned against the door severely limited her options. Sage scrambled for the right words to stall long enough to find a way out. “I thought Terras were an acquired taste?” She reached down, toward her pocket.
Before she could dig for the knife she kept folded there, his knee came up, forcing her legs apart, and he growled possessively in her ear.
“One taste of you was such a tease. I need more.”
More than just a bad boy, Zack was pure sin wrapped in a taut body with maybe centuries of experience. A very small part of her, welcomed the excitement, but self-preservation trumped desire. “Get used to disappointment!”
He nuzzled her neck and pecked a kiss at her racing pulse. “Don’t pretend you aren’t thinking about it. I can smell your arousal. I can see the way you look at me.”
Her legs nearly went out from under her.

“You’re going to get yourself killed. I would be disappointed if someone else got to the prize before me.” Zack pulled back enough to meet her eyes again. “Rather than fall victim to the wrong sort,” he whispered, “let me have you.”

About the Author:

Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style.

Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.

Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

1 comment:

Katie Salidas said...

Thank you so much for letting me stop by to post today!