To coincide with my review of her second book, Almost True (link to be added late Monday), I invited Keren for a guest blog post and she very sweetly obliged.
The rest of this post is written by Keren.
Write about your routine as a writer, says Nayu, ‘what your weekly routine might be, how you juggle thinking of new WIPs while editing other ones, how you felt about being picked for the Carnegie thingy, that kind of thing?’ Nayu adds: I was very brain-tired when I write this, it is the Carnegie Award, not a Carnegie thingy.
Right. Well. My weekly routine starts on a Monday morning, when I see everyone off to school and work and start thinking about what I want to achieve in the week ahead…
‘MUM! Look at the guinea pig’s nose! It’s got something white on it!’
And then Monday morning’s the time when I volunteer at my daughter’s school, helping kids who have problems with reading. It’s fascinating as a writer to find out what helps gets children enthusiastic about reading –
‘MUM! I’ve got a problem with my homework…the internet’s not working and I can’t do anything without it….’
Anyway. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are nice free days when I can write and most importantly think about what I’m doing next. At the moment I’ve just finished writing Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery and I’m waiting to copy-edit it, while thinking about the plot for a possible sequel to When I Was Joe and Almost True…and maybe even some younger children’s books as well…It’s really essential to make time for just thinking and day-dreaming without any interruptions.
‘MUM! The guinea pigs are filthy! Can we give them a bath? Now!’
Although this week I’m very excited to be going away Tuesday and Wednesday to speak at a Librarians’ Conference in Northern Ireland. I’m doing a joint event with the amazing MG Harris, so I’m reading her compelling Joshua Files thrillers beforehand…
‘MUM! I can’t do this Maths homework! I can’t! I can’t! –’
One thing I hadn’t expected when I became a writer was that there’d be travelling and speaking involved. I come back from Northern Ireland and at the weekend I’m going to Winchester for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ conference in Winchester.By the way, I'd recommend any aspiring writer to join SCWBI, it's such a supportive organisation. I’m going to be chairing a panel about the state of the children’s book industry, running a workshop about writing contemporary fiction and –
‘MUM! Can you come and blow-dry the guinea pigs?’
I’m on another panel about social networking for authors. About whether it’s essential for networking and promotion or totally distracting. Have not quite decided what I think –
‘MUM! Freddie’s under your bed!’
Anyway, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal was amazing. Really wonderful. One of those moments which makes all the hard work worthwhile. I don’t expect to be on the shortlist, it’s just fantastic to have got this far.
‘KEREN! There’s a rodent on the loose in our bedroom! You know I’m allergic to fur! Do something!’
All the good stuff, like nice reviews and emails from readers,and comments on my Facebook page and getting onto long and shortlists are incredibly helpful encouragement when I’m trying to find time to concentrate on writing and thinking of ideas and believing that I can actually write more than two sentences at any one time.