Most challenging thing about your job:
This is a really frustrating part: My family, friends, and neighbors all assume that because I’m home during the day it means that I am not really working. They call me, stop by, get mad at me for not having coffee with them. In a perfect world, I’d have an office.
Some people ask me how I stay motivated when I don’t have a boss and all I can say is that fear and a looming mortgage are great motivators – so I have no trouble sitting down and working once I’ve started a new book. But the biggest problem is escaping the constant interruptions.
Also, the amount of rejection is really tough for a writer which might have something to do with the fact that I’m now working on a non-fiction book about failure. My last novel was rejected by 13 publishers before Warner Books bought it because marketing novels is really hard. That might have something to do with the fact that I’m switching from fiction to non-fiction.
As a writer, every day can bring some kind of rejection (and I have been published!) When you get your 12th rejection on a book – and you are the breadwinner – things get stressful.
What does your husband do? How do you split up the responsibilities at home?
My husband is a special education teacher. He’s a great dad and has a real relationship with our son because he’s home a lot. He leaves at 8am and then he’s home around 4pm. So if the weather is nice they usually play baseball outside with all the neighborhood kids and parents until it gets dark.
We both feel incredibly lucky to have had so much time with our son as he is growing up.
Can you talk about what that balance means for you and ways – however small or big – you’ve managed to find it?
I think about this all the time and feel really lucky because I feel like I have a very balanced and great life in that way. I am with my son, I have not missed a stage of his development, I am connected to him in every way. And yet, sometimes I’ve wondered that if it was all I did, I maybe I wouldn’t feel so balanced. I’m sure I would feel the other pressure to have a career. Occasionally, when I’m on a book tour, for example, and I’m completely consumed in my work and all the promotion that goes along with it I like having a separate life outside of being a parent. It’s fun, and since I know I get to go back home and do my usual thing after my book stuff I get to really enjoy both things.