Write From Home
P.O. Box 4145
Hamilton, NJ 08610
E-mail: kim @ writefromhome.com
by Dana Mitchells
is a freelance writer with more than 120 articles published on the Web and in
print. She is the editor and publisher of the e-mail
newsletter, The Writer Within, and the author of the books
Bypass Blunders, Improve Your Prose and
The Silk Robe. She lives
with her husband and two young children in Fargo, North Dakota.
Question: What made you decide to write a book?
Privratsky: I had a great idea that just wouldn't let me rest until I wrote
Q: What about getting it published?
Privratsky: First book: I went all out--over 30 publishers. Second book: I
was more selective-about 15 publishers. Third book: I sent
proposals to 8 publishers and received 6 favorable replies. Two
are still pending.
Q: Was it a challenge to write while caring for your children? If
so, what did you do to keep the peace?
Privratsky: Bribery. Lots and lots of renting movies.
Q: But what do you do if you are going through writer's block or if
you get stuck?
Privratsky: I suffered two months of writer's block immediately following
September 11. At the time I did not realize that I was depressed,
and so I thought I was a failure as a writer. How I got through
it was to just keep plugging away at submitting what I'd already
written, TRYING to write and following up on markets. I used the
time I'd normally write to search for new markets on the
Internet and in magazines.
Q: Did your children understand what you were doing as you worked?
Privratsky: Yes, although they didn't like the time it takes.
Q: Because of your busy life both as a writer and a parent, what
writing schedule worked best for you?
Privratsky: I write mostly in the morning, when I'm fresh (and so is the
Q: Was there anything you had to sacrifice in order to get your
Privratsky: Just television. I cut way down on my viewing time.
Q: Is it harder to write fiction than nonfiction while you are also
being a parent?
Privratsky: They are equally challenging at times, relatively easy at others.
Q: Did you at any time ask for help so you could get some writing
done? If so, do you regret it? If not, do you wish you had?
Privratsky: No--I just worked when I could and snuck in extra time when I
Q: What surprised you the most as a parent while you were writing
Privratsky: How fun it is.
Q: In the face of any problems with parenting, what helped keep
your confidence in your ability to juggle parenting and writing
Privratsky: I just did it. I was (and am still) so passionate about writing
that I made time for it and worked around the parenting issues.
I had to sacrifice some things, like a perfectly clean house and
most of my TV shows.
Q: How did you manage to juggle promoting your books with
Privratsky: I brought my kids along to my book signing and The Write Event,
an evening presentation at our local library.
Q: What did you learn about yourself as a parent while you were
writing your books?
Privratsky: I can get a lot done in the time it takes one video to play.
Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given?
Privratsky: Just do it.
Q: What’s the best advice you have for other writing parents?
Privratsky: Prioritize and take advantage of every second of free time you
Dana Mitchells is the online pen name of the writer and poet Dawn Colclasure,
who writes for both print and online publications. She is also the author of a
Take My Hand, available from Amazon.com. She has been published on sites
such as e-fido,
Absolute Write, The
Writer Within and Writing
Etc. She’s also had poetry published under her real name in the newsletter
AIA and Chris Lindsay’s
Page. She has a book review at
Blues E’Magazine. While at work on rewriting one of her three unpublished
novels, she lives in California with her husband and daughter.
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