The Perfect Author …

writer choosing

One of the foxes asked, “What one thing would you change about yourself as an author?”

I don’t think I’d change anything about what I write, but I think I’d change HOW I write. As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to get sidetracked easily. I’ll sit down to write, and then I’ll get a notification for a text, email, or other type of message. And I’ll respond, because I hate to have people waiting for me. Or I’ll have to do some research or look for information to respond. Or I’ll remember that I have school papers to grade. An hour or two later, I’ll find myself going back to my WIP (work in progress).  I’ll have to re-read what I started so I can find out where I left off.

A few minutes later, hubby will call me from the other room, asking what’s for lunch. I’ll get up, walk past him in the family room and go to the kitchen, look in the refrigerator, and tell him what we have available. He’ll decide nothing is appealing to him and ask if I want to go out for lunch. I can either go with him and lose more time, or say no and get back to work.

After I sit back down, either after lunch or after my verbal spar with hubby, I’ll write a word or two and then discover I need to answer nature’s call. Or I’ll fix myself a snack. And then I’ll spend time trying to get back into the story. Until another distraction pops up.

So now, several hours have gone by and I’ve been staring at the computer screen, wondering how I’m going to reach my word count goal for the hour/day/week/month. And my head is starting to ache from staring at the screen. I need to do something different. I’ll remember one of my many craft projects and sit down at my sewing machine or serger, or I’ll pull out my paper and card making supplies, or I’ll take out my oboe and practice a difficult passage for an upcoming concert.

Then it’s time for dinner. Hubby usually eats an hour before I do, and if he cooks, he’ll take care of the meat and some sort of starch. Vegetables don’t appear on his menus except when chopped up and mixed in with the meat, so I’ll have to fix one for myself. And then I’ll get the dishes cleaned up and put away just in time to watch my evening shows (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy). If I don’t have a rehearsal, I’ll work on getting my paraphernalia ready for the next day while bemoaning my lack of writing progress and promise myself I’ll do better the next day.

If I could completely control my way of working, I would seclude myself in a place with a nice ergonomic chair so that my back doesn’t ache, in an office where none of my craft projects are calling me. I would have staff to take care of my laundry, meals, clean up and scheduling. My stylist would take care of my appearance, and my personal assistant would ensure that no outside distractions would intrude on my creative space and time.


I don’t expect to ever achieve this lifestyle. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d want to. I get satisfaction from being able to take care of things myself, though I’d happily give some things up. But to answer Elaine’s original question, I’ll say that if I could change something about myself as an author, it would be to have the ability to shut out the rest of the world so that I can focus on telling a great story.

About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in author's life, authors, Daily life, imagination, Life, lifestyles, Patricia Kiyono, Preparing for writing, The Author Life, time management, What if, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Perfect Author …

  1. I like that I know how to take care of darned near everything and I told my grandchildren that if I win the lottery, they have to make something of themselves to get into my will! However, since life gets in the way of my own writing, I asked a famous author how she gets her writing done and immediately added that I guessed that she had help. She said yes, that she had so many people working for her that she was embarrassed. I told her not to be, that I would LOVE to be able to give people jobs. She grew up poor,and that made her feel better.
    So if you get into that position, Patty, hire whomever you’d like!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I’d love to have people to do my fact checking. So many times I’ll get held up with a question like, “Could this have happened in 1814?” And then I spend an hour or so trying to find out. It would be awesome to just send someone a text to have them find out so that I can go on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    As has frequently occurred, I could almost lift this entire paragraph, change a word or two, and make it my blog:
    “If I could completely control my way of working, I would seclude myself in a place with a nice ergonomic chair so that my back doesn’t ache, in an office where none of my craft projects are calling me. I would have staff to take care of my laundry, meals, clean up and scheduling. My stylist would take care of my appearance, and my personal assistant would ensure that no outside distractions would intrude on my creative space and time.”
    In fact, your entire blog today rang true with my own circumstances, except for the hubby, crafts, music, paper-grading, and meal-making.
    Wonder what I’ll come up with for Hound Day?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. trishafaye says:

    Oh my, I second Jeff’s comments. Almost sounds like a paste-and-copy of one of my days! And we thought we’d get more done once the children were grown and out of the house. Ha!
    Great post. I enjoyed reading about your day and your ‘Squirrel!’ moments, making me feel not so alone in this struggle with distractions. Although, you know….Tonette’s comments about the hiring help…..hmmmm (of course, first I suppose I’d have to start making some serious $ from writing!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Ha! Love the “Squirrel Moments” label! They seem to come more and more frequently. Someone told me it was part of aging, but I don’t know… maybe I ought to look it up. And yes, hiring staff would mean I’d actually have to HAVE the money to pay them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, I hear what you’re saying. I actually am able to focus very well, often at the cost of not knowing what else is going on around me. When I’m staring out the window, Rich will say, “You’re writing, aren’t you?” Yes. I am. But I’m either all in or scattered, just as you described. I’d like to find a happy medium of balance where I schedule writing time and also housework (I’d love for someone to just do my bathrooms and mop my floors), time to read, and time for fun/relaxation. “Balance” is my One Little Word for 2019 and I’ve got less than two months to achieve it LOL


  5. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I sure can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diane Burton says:

    I, too, can relate. I will be going along great on my WIP, and Hubs will turn on the TV. Sure, I could go downstairs to my office for peace and quiet. But I’d have to clear off my desk, put away the papers that need filing, move a couple of boxes (which I should empty), and so on. I can understand why some people go to coffee shops, etc. to write. Good luck, Patty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I can understand the appeal of writing in a coffee shop, too! If only they didn’t have so many non-Weight Watcher friendly snacks, and the calorie-laden drinks…


  7. Lucy Kubash says:

    I would like to be a faster writer and more disciplined. I also tend to procrastinate and put other things first. I thought when I no longer worked an outside job, I’d have all kinds of time to write. Wrong! It seems there is always something that needs doing. Either a repair man is coming and I need to clean house (haha), or we need to run errands. Today it was trim the ivy that was trying to climb up the house (yearly ritual) and rake a few leaves. Then, when I do sit down, I read blogs and emails and maybe do some promotion, check Facebook, share some Tweets, and by the time I’m ready to write, I’m too tired. Since I joined NaNoWriMo, I need to get busy writing and forget, or at least try to forget, everything else.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It seems I’m a lot busier now than I was when I worked full time. But maybe I had more energy back then. And I can certainly relate to cleaning up when a repair man comes over! We switched internet providers recently, so I had to clear out the jungle behind our TV.


  8. Diana Stout says:

    Have you peering in my windows?!? You described many of my distractions perfectly. Mine occur when I’m stuck, which I have been many times this year. I did buy an ergonomic chair, though, and can sit it in for hours, forgetting to get up every hour, which results in my hips locking up. On those distracted days, I prefer cleaning the toilet to writing, and I HATE cleaning toilets. When I’m in the zone, though, woo wee, I can speed write up to 2000 words an hour easily. Those are fun days and thanks to NaNoWriMo, I’m almost there. Great blog!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Thanks, Diana! 2K in an hour? That’s amazing! As for cleaning toilets, I can’t say I’ve ever PREFERRED it to writing, but I know what you mean. I never thought about a comfortable chair making your body lock up. Maybe it’s a good thing I have to get up every now and then. Thanks so much for your input!


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