Thursday, July 19, 2012

Writing the Fly Lady Way

by Maria Geraci

I have a confession to make. I'm probably one of the most naturally disorganized people you'll ever meet. Oh, I can fake it pretty well, but beneath my iPhone's carefully filled calendar is a field of chaos so large I can barely wrap my arms around it.

This is something I've always known about myself, but it's really struck home lately. You see, I'm in the process of filling out various Q&As for my upcoming blog tour to promote my August 7 release of A Girl Like You. One of the most common questions has to do with my writing process/routine. I shudder at the real answers to most of these questions.

Q: What is your writing routine like?

A: Oh, I like to get up in the morning, drink a cup of coffee, then get in 2 solid hours of good writing time before I start the day.

REAL A: I get up in the morning, drink a cup of coffee and immediately start looking at my email, which then takes me to a plethora of other sites that seem sparkly and distracting and before I realize it, 2 hours have gone by! 

Okay, sometimes I really do write for those 2 hours in the morning, but most times, not. My writing routine is all over the place. Sometimes I write for a couple of hours straight, but most times my writing is done in fifteen minute intervals because I have the attention span of a flea. But that doesn't mean my writing routine is wrong. It just means that it's the way I think and the way I create a story.

I guess I'm the Fly Lady of writing. Never heard of Fly Lady? Fly Lady is a fantastic site that stresses decluttering, destressing and organizing your life in Baby Steps. Awhile back it occurred to me that Fly Lady's cleaning tips could also be applied to writing. Fifteen minutes here, Fifteen minutes there, and eventually, you have a manuscript. Believe me, it works!


  1. Yes, Marie, I've heard of the Fly Lady. As a matter of fact, once I finish the first draft of this book I'm on, I need to go back to her site and her routines to clean up the mess my house has fallen into. I love her definition of CHAOS--Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Unfortunately, that's where I'm sitting at the moment with all my dust bunnies eaten by the dust gorillas.

  2. I pay someone to do my house work, one of my daughters who is a preacher's wife and hasn't time for a real part time job (being a preacher's wife already is a big job), but she needs the money and I don't care when she comes.

    And yes email and Facebook distract me too.

  3. This reminds me of some author discussion or interview I heard once that said that during the 19th and 20th centuries especially, American and Western European women writers were very well represented in the short story format because in great part of the limits and pulls on their time not allowing them to work for hours and hours straight. Short stories were more manageable for a writer who had to get up over and over to wrangle kids, do housework, cook meals, etc.

    And, the time frame of this rise was notable because it coincided with a period of history when women were also starting to take on more outside of home and family duties, but we weren't quite there in a broad way in terms of help and practical support (not so many nannies or house cleaners or grab-and-go meals, etc.).

  4. Maria,
    I used to be Miss Organized. Always.
    Now, I'm more along the lines of what you described. I wish I could change back...and I try...but I think this new me is here to stay.