How We Do It

Readers and writers alike have asked me, “How do you do it all?” Well, I don’t. Our homeschooling, writing, working, parenting…our breathing are blessings from God. Outpourings of our faith. And the end of our day never looks like its beginning. Yet, there is a method to our madness. But enough about me. This is about YOU.

This month, we’re talking to: Heidi Chiavaroli

Describe “a day in the home life.” (family size, routine, etc.)

I’m usually up by six and I spend some time reading and in prayer, followed by some yoga (spending all day at the computer is physically hard!). After my hubby is off to work and my two teen boys are off to school (or these days, off to their rooms for classes), I get to work either writing, editing, or marketing.

On afternoons that I don’t work, I will try to be done writing by four to make supper. I love it when the four of us are home together for dinner, even if my kids only like what I make half the time! Family games are fun, and it’s always super fun when we find a TV series we all love (our latest was “Once Upon a Time”).

 

Describe your work schedule.

The word schedule seems so formal to how I do things! It seems there’s always different things to do—writing, marketing, editing—that I tend to hold my schedule loosely.

I have a trusty calendar with tasks to accomplish, and so I try to get something from each category accomplished each day, though that doesn’t always happen. Thursdays are designated cleaning days. I actually don’t schedule any writing-related things on Thursday so whatever I get done feels like a bonus! I also try to make time for a walk or hike at some point in the day to get away from it all.

When I’m on deadline, I will add in a word count for each day, and that always gets done first. (At least that’s the goal!) Before email, social media, etc.

The planning and calendar are definitely vital in getting things done.

How do your family and work life affect each other?

I don’t have an office and actually write at my kitchen island, so I’m right in the heart of a busy place. Serious writing gets done while hubby’s at work and boys are at school, or if I’m desperate and on deadline, at 4AM. When my first couple books came out, the feeling of never doing enough marketing-wise took over. Every night, I was in front of my computer. I realized some time ago that had to stop. I also got serious about getting organized and grasping a better idea of what absolutely had to be done and what needed to be let go for the sake of my family, which is so much more important than book marketing.

Regarding what you do and how you get it done, what makes you bite your nails? What makes you shout hallelujah?

I remember being on deadline for The Orchard House and having almost nothing done. I’m always biting my nails, wondering how I’m going to write an entire book in a reasonable amount of time. But I’ve never missed a deadline; God’s grace just keeps on coming and definitely makes me shout a hallelujah!

Any final takeaways for the reader?

As far as The Orchard House, I’m hoping the themes of forgiveness, friendship, helping the oppressed, and finding a place to belong will resonate with my readers as these are all aspects found in Little Women and all things I’ve wrestled with over the last couple of years myself.

Share a scripture that encourages or inspires you.

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear,

for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I’ve struggled with fear my entire life, so I cling to this verse—and Jesus’s sufficiency—a lot. He will help me to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.

Heidi Chiavaroli’s Bio

Heidi Chiavaroli is a writer, runner, and grace-clinger who could spend hours exploring places that whisper of historical secrets. Her debut novel, Freedom’s Ring, was a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist, a Romantic Times Top Pick, and a Booklist Top Ten Romance Debut. Her latest dual timeline novel, The Orchard House, is inspired by the lesser-known events in Louisa May Alcott’s life. Heidi makes her home in Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.

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