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Balancing act

Posted on June 22, 2015

balancing actPeople often ask me if life is different now that The Mapmaker Chronicles has been published. The answer is no… and yes. Mostly, on a day-to-day basis, life goes on as always. I spend my days walking Procrasti-Pup, writing features, marking assignments for the Australian Writers’ Centre, podcasting, blogging, wrangling kids and fitting in the fiction writing, just as I always have. But there are other obligations now, and the balancing act becomes even more precarious – and also inspiring.

I spent much of last week in Ipswich, Queensland, visiting schools and being the Quizmaster for the regional Readers’ Cup Challenge. I’ve always enjoyed taking part in quizzes (my whole family are mad Trivia fans), but now that I’ve actually been in charge, life will never be the same again (she says, angling for Eddie McGuire’s job…). The Readers’ Cup is a terrific initiative and I wish that it had been around when I was a kid. I’ve always thought I could read for Australia, and the Readers’ Cup is the place to do it…

Let’s introduce it nation-wide!

Other things I’ve been doing include livestreaming myself wandering around my house and backyard for the Where I Write campaign – check out the website for lots of Hachette writers internationally sharing their writing spaces and processes, or you can see my version here:

If you’ve ever wondered how to write a series for children, this post I wrote for Kids’ Book Review gives an insight into my process. I think, as with most things writing, everyone will approach a series in their own way, and you never really know how to go about it until you try it for yourself, but if, like me, you’re not a plotter, you might find it reassuring to know that it is possible to write a trilogy in your own way.

The other, best and possibly most exciting, thing that happened recently was that I received my first honest-to-goodness fan letter. It nearly floored me. When you sit alone at a computer writing stories, you can sometimes forget that people will read them. When those people are 11 year old boys, who go to the trouble of writing you a letter, well, I think that might be the biggest thrill of all.

The Mapmaker Chronicles fan letter

 

And all the balancing is worthwhile.

[image by Julia Caesar, via Unsplash]

8 Comments

  1. Rae Hilhorst

    I had to stop listening to your reading as I didn’t want any spoilers, though I did hear that Quinn was rescued and Thomas was still with them. Your writing space is very organised, I am one of those that spreads out, ends up in a pigs mess and then has to clean up before I can go on. Such is life, I love your open green garden. Thanks for Sharing Allison x

    • Allison Tait

      I confess I *may* have tidied up for the ‘cameras’… 🙂

  2. Rae Hilhorst

    I’m half way through the second one and am loving it. I have the two books packed to take to my nieces I am hoping they will let me read it to them x

    • Allison Tait

      I see why you didn’t want spoilers!

  3. Kelly Exeter

    Still smiling over your fan letter. Spent my morningreading all the Amazon reviews of my book and, of course, getting a little huffy about the one-start reviews. And then a really simple ‘thank you thank you thank you’ dropped into my Facebook messages this afternoon. Such a few words can make such a difference

    • Allison Tait

      If you have one-star reviews you are a real writer – didn’t you know that rule???

  4. Bren Murphy

    Hi Alison,
    Great post, Looks as though you actually do have plenty of competing priorities for your time. It is a real testament to your focus that you are so productive! Personally I don’t work late, I prefer starting very early whilst the house is in calm and very quiet!
    Thanks,
    Bren Murphy

    • Allison Tait

      I’m always impressed by people who can get up early because I am HOPELESS in the morning!

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