One question authors field frequently is, “how do you find time to write?” When you have other responsibilities and people depending on you, fitting in an hour or two to be creative can seem like a challenge and a sacrifice. Authors Lauren Gibaldi and Christina June discuss the ways they make the chaos of everyday life work for them and their processes.
CJ: And I’m Christina June. I wrote It Started With Goodbye and Everywhere You Want To Be. Sometimes I say my brand is contemporary, fairy-tale inspired YA featuring kids with secrets, kissing, and funny grandparents.
What other hats do you wear besides author?
LG: I’m a full-time public librarian! I work with babies through adults, and it’s super fun. I’m also a mom and wife and excellent chef. (The last part of that is 100% a lie.)
CJ: I am also not an excellent chef, but I do really enjoy cooking competitions on TV. When I’m not writing, I’m working as a high school counselor. I’m also a mom and a wife and an obsessive vacation planner.
When do you write?
LG: During my lunch break at work. Seriously! I have a 5 month old, so it’s hard to write in the morning because she’s up. And after both girls are in bed, I usually just want to fall asleep while talking to my husband and forcing him to watch another episode of “Queer Eye.” Needless to say, finding time to write is…a bit hard.
CJ: Lauren’s schedule is eerily like mine. The trick is to use the small pockets of time. For me, those include before school begins, my lunch break, before I have to pick up my daughter, or after she goes to bed. Thankfully my husband is extremely understanding, and gets that there are nights when I have to bail on whatever show we’re binging at the moment.
What are the biggest challenges to being a parent, a spouse, working full time, and writing?
LG: Time management. I work both weekdays and some weekends so whenever I’m home I like to make the most of my time with my family. So my “me” time is limited. But it’s okay. I really love each aspect of my life, and I know I’m lucky to say that.
CJ: Same! There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to do. But, I’ve learned to forgive myself if the house is a mess or the laundry waits another day. I think having such limited time, though, has forced me to learn to be efficient. And it’s also trained us, as a family, to seek out time dedicated together.
What do you love about your many roles?
LG: I want to do things my daughters are proud of—that can show them that they can do anything. Though I’m clearly not as cool as, say, Wonder Woman, it is very cute when my daughter points to my books in stores and yells “It’s mommy!”
CJ: Agreed. I love that my daughter is growing up knowing that girls can be moms, and have careers, and follow their dreams, of any kind. She currently wants to be a singer and a paleontologist, so I think I’m doing okay on that front. I also love working with kids at school. Many of them are aspiring writers and avid readers, so it’s fun to share this connection with them.
Do you want to write full time?
LG: Nah, I think I’d be bored and on Twitter far too much. I love writing, but I think I’d be in my head too much if that’s all I did. Plus, I love working with people, and being at the library. And working with my teen volunteers is great inspiration for writing YA! Ha.
CJ: It feels like it would be too much pressure. I’ve heard many tales of woe from authors who’ve tried the full-time schedule and it never works out the way they think it will. And, I would also probably waste most of the day doing ridiculous and unnecessary things on social media and the interwebs. I pull a lot of my character traits and small moments from real life—mine and those around me. I think I would miss making those observations in the ways I’m able to at present.
What’s coming next for you?
LG: For the first time, I’m not sure! I’m working on a manuscript now, so we’ll see where that goes.
CJ: I’m working on my third book, No Place Like Here, which is loosely inspired by Hansel & Gretl, and scheduled for spring 2019. It has one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever written, so I’m excited to share it with readers.