Now, Where did I Hide That Time?#writing #multitasking

A full time job. Four kids at home. A supportive husband. Writing and publishing since 2010. How do I find the time to write? I find that doing one thing AND doing everything while also delegating household tasks. That is how I am able to balance my day job with family life with my writing life.

Let me explain what I mean by doing one thing AND doing everything at once. Please keep in mind, this is the routine that works for me.

How about we start off with doing EVERYTHING at once? What I mean by this is multitasking. For example, I will listen to podcasts on the writing craft and marketing when I’m looking through stock photo sites for my next book cover image. I’ll also toggle to my other computer screen and check sales of my books at the various vendor sites. I will also open another tab and get on the various Facebook groups I am in to see what others are posting. I have learned so much from other indie authors. They are a truly supportive and knowledgeable group of authors!

Now, I can only multi-task like the above if there is no reading or writing to be done. If I’m writing, I like to listen to music or have the television on for white noise. My favorite channel to watch is HGTV. I love home shows that focus on remodeling, buying, selling, decorating, etc. If I’m reading my book on my phone (I send my work in progress to my Kindle and read and edit it that way using the notes app on my iPhone), I normally do so in bed when there is nothing but quiet in the house. It’s the best way to focus and concentrate on the storyline. I usually don’t read my manuscript on my computer screen. I find it is easier to get a feel for dialogue and character/story arcs when I read it straight through on my phone.

As you can imagine, reading a full book at the end of the process takes time. I usually spend about 2-3 hours reading it straight through then sleep in. It’s a good excuse to sleep in, lol.

I also find more writing time by having my kids (they are older now than when I started in 2010) help with the household chores such as vacuuming, dishes, laundry, chopping up veggies for dinner, and helping with our two big dogs. My husband also helps with dinner. He loves to BBQ and we love when he does!

When the hubby and I are too tired to cook, we will order out or we’ll tell the kids it’s “fend for yourself” day. They either have leftovers or will make Ramen (who doesn’t like Top Ramen?) or microwave chicken nuggets (who doesn’t like chicken nuggets?).

Focus. Multi-task. Those two words, in a nutshell, help me find the time to write.

In my newest release, Beautiful Defiance, my main characters, Leigh and Seven, focus on one word, DEFIANCE. Leigh is the new girl at Seven’s high school and he does not like her attitude and defiance. Leigh grew up in the foster system and defiance is how she stays strong.

Title: Beautiful Defiance: Cambridge High Mayhem

Series: Kiss Starter: Cambridge High Book 1

Author: Ashlyn Mathews

Publisher: Commencement Bay Publishing

Cover artist: Melissa Gill

Pages 364

Genre/heat rating: new adult/mature high school romance; steamy

Blurb: She’s no damsel in distress.

I’m not an optimist. Or a pessimist. I’m a realist. After catching the unwanted attention of Seven Shanahan, the school bully and jock at the upper echelon of high school royalty, I prep for a battle of wills and aim to win, even at the cost of getting my heart broken.

He’s the wrong guy to mess with.

The new girl, Leigh Kim, should cool her temper. Be less defiant and a pain in my ass with this push-pull of me saving her life and she evening the score by stealing the things that matter to me.

Because the more Leigh challenges the status quo, the hotter I burn with the need to bring her to her knees. For her to worship me like the other girls do. For her to be mine and no one else’s until I’m done toying with her.

I expect this and more. I am the almighty ruler at Cambridge High and won’t be overthrown by a girl with enough attitude to light up a stadium. What I’m not expecting is for Leigh to threaten the one thing I’m unwilling to give to any girl—my damn heart.


So as not to wake her, I skim my fingers down her neck. She’d taken off her sweatshirt, leaving her in her tank top. Her skin is warm but not overly feverish. I stop touching her and inch back. The tattoo at the base of her neck catches my eye.

It’s a heart spliced in half by a solid black line, the line extending above and below the heart. I trace the outline of the heart and the intersecting solid line.

“Symbols of my life.”

Leigh awake doesn’t catch me off guard. The moment I touched her neck, she’d awoken. The nerves on my fingertips were aware of every hitch in her breathing.

“I only see a heart, Leigh.”

“Look closer.”

I do, and it hits me what they are. “Backward Ds.”

“Dismay. Disloyal. Destruction. Disillusioned. I’ve been and seen all that and more.”

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Meet Ashlyn

Bio: Ashlyn Mathews is a registered nurse with an overactive imagination. Her interests and activities include taking a lot of pictures of her golden retrievers and flowers and posting them on social media (occasionally she’ll post pictures of her kids and hubby), binge-watching funny and romantic Netflix shows, reading books and magazines of various genres, eating a lot of carbs, and drinking A LOT of coffee. Hot, iced, blended… it doesn’t matter as long as it has coffee.

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For more on my standalone contemporary romance books, click here.     

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