I am excited to have Children’s author, Aleesah Darlison, guesting at my blog this week.
I first met Aleesah when I spoke at Manly Library several years ago and more recently, when we both spoke at the Gloucester Writers’ Festival. (http://www.gloucesterwritersfestival.com)
Aleesah’s latest book is Ash Rover, Keeper of the Phoenix, which I have just finished reading. It combines fantasy, adventure, and humour along with a rollicking good story complete with wizards and mythical creatures. Sure, I’m not the target audience (8 years +), but I loved it!
In one word, Aleesah is AMAZING!
With TWENTY books published in three and half years and about to have her fourth child, I asked Aleesah how she does it all and still manages to presumably eat and sleep!
Over to Aleesah!
In the immortal words of John Denver, I consider that in life, some days are diamonds, some days are stone.
Some credentials first, if you’ll allow me please … I’m a children’s author with twenty books published in the last three and a half years. And yes, it’s been a rollercoaster ride. A fun one. Most of the time.
Besides being an author extraordinaire, I’m the mother of three young children (hold onto your hats) soon to be four.
I’m also Vice-President of the Northern Sydney Sub-Branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) and Director of the 2014 NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & Young Adults Festival, two roles I absolutely relish.
Wow! That’s a lot to take on!
Yes. It’s a lot to try to juggle and coordinate.
On good days – the diamond days – I have loads of energy. I feel like I’m flying because I’m achieving so much and my writing is going well. I’m satisfied and happy that I’m moving ever-forward. The endorphins are doing their job!
Then there are the other times. Those days of stone when I feel like I’m getting nowhere, when I’m exhausted from pushing myself too hard or when I receive (another) manuscript rejection. Some days there are simply too many balls in the air to juggle and as I come crashing to the ground I realise I’m not Superwoman.
Needless to say, I don’t like those stony kind of days. Who would? The only way to fix them is to have a lie down or a cuddle and a laugh with the kids or a Crunchie chocolate bar. Or all three.
Do you think you take on too much?
Sometimes, I think yes but at other times, I know I’m doing what comes naturally. I don’t like being busy and challenged. I thrive on it.
People often say to me “I don’t know how you manage it all.” Well, I have a little secret to tell: neither do I.
What’s your secret?
I don’t have one. I don’t analyse what makes me like this … and I’m not the only person like me, there are many of us out there juggling loads of things every day. Every multi-tasking woman, mother and housewife knows what I mean. Not just authors.
At the end of the day, I simply try to make the most of every minute I have at my desk because being an author and all that it entails is pure joy to me. It’s not like work at all. I always try my best and keep in mind that I should never give up, that fresh opportunities are forever around the corner. It doesn’t mean that the disappointments won’t be there also, but hopefully the wins will outweigh the losses.
What do you think are the key characteristics that busy or successful authors need to possess?
Ability to work independently
Ability to work in a team
A Super Thick Skin
Excellent Time Management Skills
Did I mention Insomnia? The less you sleep, the more time you have to write!
I love this list, Aleesah. All of those characteristics are vital…the determination, passion, focus and especially, the super thick skin!
This list certainly isn’t exhaustive, but if you have some of these characteristics, then you’re on your way to becoming a juggle-all-balls author. But a warning – even juggling authors need to take days off. So I do. And so should you.
Here’s wishing you all many diamond days to come.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Aleesah – and I love the super cute pic of you, the kids and your adorable pups!
Aleesah Darlison writes picture books and novels for boys and girls of all ages. Her story themes include humour, courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship and teamwork. Aleesah reviews books for the Sun Herald and is also Director of the 2014 NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & Young Adult Festival. When Aleesah’s not writing entertaining and inspiring stories for children, she’s usually looking after her children and her frisky fox terrier, Floyd.