Talking about writing with a teacher: balance and habit

Teachers make great writers for three reasons.  They love reading and writing, have blocks of time off and paid very well.   Some of my best friends are teachers who write (and writers who teach).  The two passions and talents are often intertwined.

Today, I had the privilege of having lunch with Ms. Demery Bader-Saye, teacher and writer.  She’s the author of this short story.

 Demery and I both teach at NYOS Charter School here in Austin, but she’s at the PK-3 campus and I’m at the 4th-12th campus, so we don’t see each other enough.  At the end of the school year we vowed to meet before school started again.  And since we’re on a year round schedule and will be back at work next Tuesday, we decided to have lunch.

Demery was sweet enough to drive down to South Austin, where I live, to meet me and we went to La Crema, a cute little bakery cafe close to my house.  We both had egg BLTs on croissants and sweet tea.  Delish!

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Three hours later, we realized we were very thirsty and got tea refills.  Writer/Teacher/Moms have so much to talk about.

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Novel outlining:  We’re both outlining our WIP (work in progress) in K.M. Weiland‘s “How to Outline Your Novel Workbook.”  We vowed that we would use the workbook in all of our future WIPs because it helps an author really bring out the story BEFORE we start writing.  We’ve both written several novels that haven’t had strong middles and ends because we didn’t plan it out ahead of time.  Demery writes women’s fiction, while I’m concentrating on romance.

Time to Write:  I take a week off every year just to write.  You can bet that Jackie and I don’t waste a minute.  We don’t have drinks with friendly neighbors, we don’t shop and we write from morning to night.  I’ll add a blog about this year’s retreat next.  The rest of the year, I have to carve out time to write from my demanding job and loving (demanding) family.

In 2011, I wrote in my mini-van every morning from 6 am to 10 am.  But during my “normal” life?  I need to set a schedule so that I can write a few hours a week.

Once the school year starts, I feel like I’m on a roller coaster, speeding towards Christmas.  Sometimes I don’t breathe until December 12th.

Demery has problems writing at home and isn’t a morning person.  She likes to write at Panera restaurants.

We’re both thinking about balance and habit.

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