I was talking to my dad yesterday, jabbering on about how happy I was to have completed another chapter in my new book and he said something along the lines of "I don't get how writers can just sit down and start writing. How do you go from cleaning the house to just sitting down and writing?"
I wasn't sure what to tell him for a second. Because the short answer is - you just do :D I did say that I try to treat writing like a real job. I'm on summer hours now, but once the kids are in school, I'll have a more set schedule of hours that will be exclusively for writing. But that still doesn't answer his question. Because he wanted to know how I could look at the clock, say "time to write" and just sit down and do it. How did I flip the switch mom/wife/whatever else to writer?
After I thought about it longer, I think it's because my stories are always bubbling right below the surface. I don't ever stop thinking of storylines and plot twists and characters and settings and scenes (or new chapters or tips or sections or books for NF). Even when I'm thinking of or doing other things, my projects are still there, just waiting for me to pay attention to them.
I don't ever stop being a writer just because I'm also being a mom, a wife, a pianist, a tutor, a referee, a maid, a nanny, a chef (albeit a bad one), a Sunday School teacher, an editor, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, or a friend. The writer in me never goes away.
So when I sit down to write, no matter what else I've done that day or just finished doing, it doesn't take too much effort to get back into the project at hand. Sometimes it needs a little coaxing, a minute or so while I reorient myself. But generally I find, even if I'm not in the mood to write, if I sit down and just start reading what I've already written, the project comes alive again. I find an error that needs fixing or a new scene or solution presents itself and I get sucked right back in.
It's not so much flipping a switch as taking the cover off a boiling pot. The water is boiling whether I'm paying attention to it or not (p.s. boiling water and I don't get along...mostly because I do have a habit of not paying attention to it) :D
How does it work for you? Can you go from being a "normal" person to writer person at the drop of a hat? Or do you need some time to acclimate?