Amy, what is your typical day like?
Mine is not the day of a full-time author, but rather of a full-time mom (of a small army).Â My day begins with some qi gong and stretching, followed by meditation, then pondering my day over a mug of hot lemon water.Â Depending on how much sleep I got the night before, I might eat and get ready for my day next, but with a new baby â€“ school time can often find me still in my pjs.Â I am currently homeschooling five of my children, with one preschooler, one infant and two graduated and on their own.Â Regardless of the subject, we do a lot of reading â€“ together or alone.Â I answer questions, discuss assignments, put out fires, and keep everyone off the fridge.
School time is over by 1 pm where we all grab a quick bite, then I am off to house cleaning and management.
My kids cook dinner, plus play and look after each other so I can usually have from around 3 until dinner time for writing, projects, business management and my own education.
The evenings depend on the day, ranging from family night to date night, church responsibilities, working on projects, laughing as a family, watching Netflix (Iâ€™m a Food Network junkie, with a restricted IV drip) or reading for fun.
Nighttime is where it can get interesting.Â I keep a notebook with a light-tipped pen by my bed, because when the house is quiet, thatâ€™s when my mind can run wild.Â Sometimes so much comes through that I justÂ haveÂ to get up and hope I get it all down before the baby wakes up around 4.
Not a typical authorâ€™s day, but like with any passion, writing finds its way in where it can for joy to be complete.
Do you write with music or not?
I seldom write with music because music is just too powerful for me to block out.Â I canâ€™t focus my own thoughts when I am continuously drawn into the emotion and message of the songs.Â About all IÂ canÂ write to is Pachelbel.Â I prefer curling up quietly in my backyard swing or in my easy chair (where I am right now).
Do you outline your manuscript first?
I do with my non-fiction.Â I really like using a note-card approach so I can arrange and rearrange until it feels right.Â It is very visual and hands-on, which works really well for me.Â I have used it for one of my fiction ideas, where a lot of scenes and details were coming through before I could set it aside to resume my current project, and it worked very nicely.
What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
On a personal aspect, for me, it is getting the chance to write down all my ideas.Â I am seriously considering getting a â€œspeak and typeâ€ software program and hope my ideas can then at least make it from my mind to my mouth.
On a public aspect, what has been the hardest had been being perceived as some kind of superwoman.Â It was bad enough before â€“ what with having nine children and homeschooling and all â€“ but heap writing a book on top of all that â€¦ it has bordered on unbearable.Â But my writing a book is no different than Jan crocheting hats and dresses for the neighborhood, or Lynette making amazing quilts, or Lisa going back to school for her teaching degree.Â If we are wise, we always find a way to do what we love.
How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
I guess I use two key indicators.Â The first is how IÂ feelÂ about the project.Â How high is my desire and drive levels?Â What kind of change could it bring to my life and the lives of my audience?Â And how much is the topic – or the characters/story – speaking to me?Â It sounds kinda silly saying it out like that, but itâ€™s true.
The second is my family.Â I usually share my book ideas with them, and they with me.Â The more people I get excited to hear more, the more I know Iâ€™ve hit on something good.
What is the title of your book?
The Guilt-Free Guidebook for Moms: Releasing the Death-Grip on Guilt to Fully Embrace Joy
What inspired you to write this book?
It started out being just for me.Â I wanted to put down on paper all that I have learned over the years about being and staying effective (and sane) as a mom.Â After all, just because we know how to counteract it doesnâ€™t mean we suddenly become immune to guilt.
But then last Motherâ€™s Day, I noticed all these moms complaining about how bad and guilty they felt about their efforts as mothers.Â And I realized â€“ I didnâ€™t feel that way.Â Not because Iâ€™m anything amazing, but because I had learned principles that helped me accept my efforts as the best I could do – and that it was enough.Â I knew then that I had to share what I knew with others.
Tell us what itâ€™s about.
Guilt-Free GuidebookÂ is a compilation of effective principles and simple action steps that help moms let go of guilt, perfectionism, comparing themselves to others, and viciously running headlong through endless To-do lists.Â It is filled with stories and examples that get pretty real (and kinda vulnerable) so that mothers know they are not alone in their struggles, and it is okay to be human.
What genre does your book fall under?
Non-fiction, parenting, (mommy) self-help
Where can we buy a copy of your book?
(I am still waiting for links.Â I will get them to you as soon as I possibly can.Â Thank you for being patient.)