I actually love when I have a deadline looming... when my husband calls on his way home from work and doesn't ask, "What's for dinner?" but rather, "What should we order for dinner?" When the kids watch too much TV and play too many computer games because I don't tell them to turn it off. When I say no thanks to lunch dates, let my hair go curly, only do the laundry when everyone is totally out of underwear, and basically live inside of my head.
I feel like a real author then. Like it's my full-time job. Like I'm on my way to writing a bestseller, a Newbery award winner, a break-out novel that will propel our family to a life of luxury and leisure.
Of course, those little spurts of creative mania only last a short time. Then it's back to the balance of my real life. And I'm not complaining. I have a pretty amazing real life. But it's invigorating and validating to focus 100% on being an author.
These next few days I get to do just that. Even though I won't be writing much, I will be doing authorly things. Tomorrow I'm doing a school visit at Ludwig Elementary School in Lockport, Illinois. Saturday I'm going to Prairie Writer's Day, where I'll get to connect with my fellow SCBWI-Illinois authors and illustrators and learn from industry professionals Cheryl Klein, Harold Underdown, Caroline Meckler, Martha Mihalick, Sharon Darrow, and Jennifer Rofe. Then on Sunday I'm presenting at a mother-daughter book club in Northbrook.
I'll just leave the take-out menus on the kitchen counter.