Well, in some ways I always feel like I'm failing at something. Some days I don't write. Some days my kids watch TV. And most days, my house is a mess. But I do place a lot of priority on writing time. It helps keep me sane. If I've gotten a good writing flow going, I never feel awful about the day.
How does your hubby support you in your writing endeavors?
First of all, he takes my dreams seriously. It's always been a matter of "when" with him, not "if." But obviously, I need his help to write. He watches the kids. He forgives me when he walks through the door and I'm at the computer and only realize then that I should have made dinner. And he reads my stuff and tells me I'm awesome.
When did you first decide you wanted to write for young adults?
I think that writing for young adults is a product of the fact that I started writing when I was a young adult. I wrote for teenage-me and I still do. I took a break and studied playwriting and screenwriting in college. When I took my first stab at a novel, my critique partner was the one to point out that it was young adult. Then I started reading young adult voraciously and fell in love with it!
How do your kids feel about mommy being a writer?
Well, my daughter is still a little young to totally get what I'm doing. (She just turned two.) But she has sat down at the keyboard and mashed at it and informed me she was "working." A proud moment was when my son (who is turning five next month) answered a survey about me for mother's day and when he was asked what I did as a job he said "writing" and when he was asked what I like to do, he said "writing." He wants me to write books he can read. So I've started doing just that. I will say, one of the joys with my son is that he writes books too. He dictates them, we print them out and he illustrates them. I love fostering his imagination.
Do you have any writing friends who are also stay-at-home moms? If so, how do you support each other as writer-moms?
Yes! Thank god! My critique partner and dear friend is also a write-at-home-mom. She's the one who encouraged me to take a stab at writing a book. I was sort of bored being a stay-at-home-mom; I needed some mental stimulation. It was easy enough to do while my son played. And pretty soon, the two of us would get together a few times a week. Our kids are the same ages so they play while we work, or talk publishing, or gossip. It's basically the ideal situation.
Olivia Hinebaugh is a write-at-home-mom with a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. Along with parenting articles, she writes young adult novels. This means a) she writes whenever the kids are sleeping and b) her house is often messy. Some people can do it all. Olivia is not one of those people. Recently she's been writing about: hippies, a teen midwife, a theater prodigy, and night club D.J.s. She's on the fence about the Oxford comma. (Put down your pitchfork!) Olivia can be found online at oliviahinebaugh.com and Tweeting at @OliveJuiceLots.