Ever wondered what it’s like to be a children’s author? Judy Carey Nevin, author of ‘All Kinds of Kindness‘ and ‘All Kids are Good Kids‘ talks us through what a typical day looks like for her (in the middle of a pandemic!).
“I wish I could say I have a regimented part of my day set aside for writing, that I write 20 minutes a day no matter what, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
My days start and end with our daughter. She wakes up around the same time I do—sometimes earlier, to my husband’s chagrin. He’s an early bird and enjoys his time alone. I enjoy staying in bed to eavesdrop on them chattering away while they have their breakfast.
Once we’re all up and dressed and the grown-ups have had our tea (strong black tea with sugar, please), we go our separate ways, so to speak: me to my computer in our sitting room, our daughter to school, and my husband to his basement office. I sometimes work a full day out of the house. Then I’m a harried mess, always running late, looking for my keys, my glasses, my phone—you name it, I have misplaced it. And I always seem to be almost out of gas on those mornings as well.
A lot of my work as a library manager is problem solving, which means emails and meetings—a lot of meetings. And there are webinars I sign myself up for—half of which I miss, but promise myself I’ll watch the recording later (how many of us really do that?).
And then…(insert ominous music here) there’s my email inbox. It seems like every email mentions an intriguing topic that requires further investigation. I’m a librarian—I’m inquisitive by nature. Before I know it I have 10 tabs open with articles to read later. And then it’s back for one more email…
My lunch break often involves chatting with my agent—we chat about our lives…and sometimes about publishing. I’m very lucky: Teresa and I are good friends besides working together professionally. When we’re not chatting, I’m usually watching a program of some sort and knitting or doing a crossword. When I’m feeling inspired, I use the time to write or update my website or check in on Instagram—productive, author-related things.
My afternoons are the same as my mornings—until work ends and playtime begins. My husband cooks dinner while I fill the role of playmate. I’m not sure which one is more work! Much to our surprise, our daughter recently created a family rule: no electronics after 6:30. We’re happy to comply! We typically play a family game before her bedtime. Her current favorite is a fast-paced card game called 7, 8, 9—it’s math mixed with speed, two of her favorite things.
My husband and I take turns reading at bedtime—we each have a favorite picture book that seems to lull her to sleep within a few pages. She has also moved to chapter books, but lucky for us, she likes to repeat books. It may be a bit monotonous to read Mia Mayhem for the 50th time, but if it gets her to sleep before Chapter 3, we’re all for it.
Once we have time to ourselves, we’re an old married couple—we sit and watch TV until it’s time for bed. I’m a multitasker, though, so when a show is on, I’m also checking social media, reading email, and sometimes writing. When I’m feeling inspired, I focus on my writing while my husband watches our program. He makes a good sounding board and makes really good suggestions. In fact, he teases that he should be listed as the co-author for What Daddies Like because we brainstormed so much of it together.
When do I actually write? After my husband goes to sleep. Being an early bird means he’s ready to collapse hours before I even think about sleep. When I’ve got an idea, I get stuck in and often send a first draft to Teresa in the wee hours of the morning. I have a lot of ideas that don’t always come together, but I file them away for later. I’ll take time to revisit some of those in the future—time can give a new perspective on old material.
Welcome to my world—I’m a mom, a wife, a librarian, and an author. And I’m pretty happy with the life I’ve got.”
You can read our reviews of some of Judy’s books here.