Since The Dragon and the Turtle came out in August, Mom and I have been concentrating a lot of energy on marketing. We’ve done interviews, booksignings, school visits, and readings. Those events—especially the ones with kids—are a lot of fun. But they’re also time-consuming and exhausting.

More than once I’ve found myself wishing for a quiet day at home, and the longer I ignored my WIP, the crankier I got. But trying to grab an hour here and an hour there in between other commitments didn’t exactly produce fresh-squeezed creative juice.

I know many authors struggle with balancing the creative side of writing with the business side. I certainly don’t know all the tricks. But over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered a few ways to snatch some writing time even while marketing our new release. Here’s my list of helpful hints:

1. Fast food. The health nuts have given this convenience a bad name, but when you need to spend the afternoon writing—not planning a balanced meal—Pizza Hut is your friend. Besides, tomato sauce is a vegetable.
2. Wear your clothes more than once before washing. Admittedly, this is easier for me since I spend a lot of time sitting at my laptop, not getting dirty. It can be a challenge for young children who tend to spill three of their three meals a day on their clothes and for husbands who cycle on their lunch hour. But as long as you don’t have to actually be around your family, the Wear Twice method works just fine.
3. Just say no. Yes, we all know it’s hard to refuse that PTA member or Sunday School committee organizer. But I find if you scream, “No, no, no, no,” while looking around wildly as if expecting a monster, alien, or IRS agent to materialize behind your shoulder, people stop asking and start to avoid you in general.
4. Cultivate free-range dust bunnies. If you don’t have time to clean your house, why not consider raising free-range dust bunnies? I really think this market is going to take off. I mean, everybody loves the organic, free-range, hormone-free chicken they serve at KFC, right? Why not bunny?
5. Finally, if your family simply won’t go away, try ignoring them. I’m good at this, apparently. Below is a picture my son took of me working. I have no recollection of him snapping this photo.

Like I said, I’m no expert. I’m relatively new to this writing business thing. I’m sure other authors have developed their own strategies. And I have the feeling I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to time-saving methods. Next, I intend to explore the possibilities of espresso combined with No-Doze.

So, writers out there, how do you balance the business of writing with the creative side? Does anyone have any tips for me to add to my list?

Evangeline Denmark has co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle (available now) and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (available 1-11-11) and also writes adult fiction. Her ability to take things seriously was severely impaired by an accident in college, despite this, or maybe because of it, she leads an almost normal life. You can find Evangeline online at and