Most of us have two jobs-writer and our regular job. At times that can be overwhelming. Today I’ve got someone who has more than that going on in her life. I’d like to welcome Captain Jessica Scott, USA to Murders and Mysteries. And let me tell you after reading what she wrote I’m not going to complain anymore about my regular, bill paying, job and writing, both at the same time.
Jessica, the floor, or I guess I should say, the internet is yours.
First, I’d like to thank Lindsay for having me here. It’s always flattering to be invited to blog somewhere else in cyberspace and Lindsay was very patient with me as I’ve had one heck of a week. I can’t go into details yet, but it’s an exciting time for me.
Anyway, Lindsay asked me to talk about life as a company commander, a mom with a husband deployed to Iraq for the first time and a writer. That’s a massive subject list, so I’ll stick with a day in the life of, if that’s okay.
My days always start at 0450. I really get about ten minutes to myself before I have to turn on the kids’ bedroom light and start getting them out of bed for daycare. People always stare in wonder when I tell them my kids have to be in bed by 730, lights out by 8 but they’re still young and they need their sleep. Which is tough because I don’t get to see that much of them but I’d rather the time I do spend with them not be interrupted by overtired tantrums.
I get the kids to daycare about 545 and then its into work for PT, shower, chow and the rest of the duty day, which involves planning meetings, sync meetings, calendar hunts and paperwork. Life as a company commander is the most exhausting, rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’m so incredibly fortunate because my team is amazing. Everyone is rowing in the same direction. I can’t remember the last time I was part of a team where everyone said yeah, I can do that. It’s pretty powerful to be part of.
I try to get out of the office between 530 and 630 at night. Some nights are easier than others. By the time I get through the door, my babysitter has usually got the kids homework done so I take a few minutes to go over it with my girls, then its dinner for them (which is a whole lot of breakfast for dinner, chicken or steak, all food that takes only a few minutes to prepare). My kids are notoriously picky so with my husband deployed, the strain of cooking something he’ll enjoy isn’t there. The kids are bathed and in bed between 730 and 8, with stories and then lights out. Only after they’re in bed and lunches are packed do I have time to sit down and take a breath.
That’s my writing time. I won’t lie and tell you I have insane word counts every night. I’ve taken some of the pressure off myself and there are some nights where I don’t write at all, I’ll just catch up on a good book or with fellow writers and friends on twitter. But every night before I go to sleep, I email my husband and tell him about the cat’s latest stunt or something the kids did to make me laugh. He doesn’t need to hear how the dog ate the cat litter again or the cat puked on the kitchen floor. He just needs to know that everything is okay back here.
Truthfully, its exhausting. I would die without caffeine and that’s only a slight exaggeration. But we get through it and the kids are doing pretty good, overall. I pretty much turn into a pumpkin every night around 10 pm and it all starts over the next morning.
That’s my life. There aren’t many extra curricular activities. Weekends are for sleep and grocery shopping, honestly and an occasional trip to a fellow writer’s book signing in Austin. My writer time is precious to me and I don’t get it nearly often enough.
So it’s not very exciting and there’s no real secret to getting words on the page, except that when I don’t write for a long time, I start getting antsy. I’ve found it’s good to let my subconscious work on book issues before I start putting words on paper, so to speak. But I love it. Writing is my sanity saver and I’d be lost with out it!
I’m happy to answer any questions anyone may have about army life, company command or military mom stuff. Fire away!
Thanks, Lindsay for having me today!