October 23, 2013

My Best Writing Tool

By C.L. Roth

As the mother and caregiver for a disabled adult son, I have some unique difficulties in maintaining a writing schedule. No matter what my goals are, I always have to consider his goals too.

My son has cerebral palsy, he’s in a wheelchair, non-verbal, and needs help in all areas of his life. He’s also a talented artist. He requires time for his art with the same drive and enthusiasm I have for my writing.

In order to meet my writing goals, I have chosen to get up early. I’m usually up and at the computer by 5:30 in the morning. I am able to work until 9am. The rest of the morning I use for his needs, running errands, whatever household chores need done.

In the afternoon, my son paints. Using this schedule, I’m able to get in about twenty hours a week for my writing and my son will manage about ten hours for his painting. This works fine until I have a deadline. Deadline’s change everything.

When a deadline looms the first item I look for is the timer. I use one that I bought at the cooking section of the grocery store. The cheapest one they sell. When I need to work during the day, I set the timer for one hour. I work hard during that hour editing, revising, or whatever job is needed at that particular moment.

The bell rings and I set it for another hour only this time the hour belongs to my son. And he paints, or does whatever he chooses to do. My time and attention is his until the timer rings. Using a timer keeps us fair. It allows me to get my time in without forgetting his time.

So my how-to tools are the alarm clock that wakes me up in the morning allowing me to maintain regular working hours. Consistency gets me farther than any other tool. And the kitchen timer that allows me to divide my time and make sure I share my energy with the ones around me who need it.

There isn’t any magic when it comes to writing. You just get up, and you do it.
C.L. Roth is a wife, mother, grandmother, artist, and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, son, two dogs, and a cat. She writes Middle Grade fantasy, Young Adult paranormal mysteries and SF, and adult cozy mysteries. Website:

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