Guest Blog: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, aka Cherish D'Angelo

 Ten Tips on Writing Through Chaos

Alison, thank you so much for having me on your blog during my Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour, which launches my romantic suspense, Lancelot's Lady. I'm sure I'm not the only one who experiences the challenge of chaos, so today I'll be discussing something not so romantic―writing through chaos.

I usually work out of a nice, quiet office, with the door shut. But in March, we sold our house, moved into a rental and are awaiting completion of our new home, which is being built by Coventry Homes in Edmonton. Half my house is still in boxes, and what is now my office in the rental is actually the family room, a cramped room that is open to traffic and jam packed with stuff. How does anyone work (write) in all this chaos?

Here are ten tips that might help you:

  1. Write early in the morning before the chaos starts. If you're a morning person, this will work well for you. If not, try tip #2.

  2. Write late at night. Write when everyone is either sleeping or preparing to go to bed. If you're not a night owl, try tip #1.

  3. Set up a special area of the house, whether it's a spare room, corner of your bedroom or the garage that is all yours during your writing time. Find a place that has good energy. Then place an invisible cone of silence around you and write.

  4. Make time to write and let everyone know that's YOUR time. No interruptions. Put a sign up so that people in your house know not to disturb you unless your house is burning down.

  5. Be realistic. How much can you really accomplish? How much time can you really devote to writing? How much can you do with whatever is going on around you?

  6. Set smaller goals. Smaller goals are accomplishable. Don't set yourself up for failure. Start small and work your way up to medium goals when you can.

  7. Don't be distracted by the little things. Dishes can be done later. So can the vacuuming. And the dusting. Really. I promise it'll still be there when you're done writing.

  8. Assign others the responsibilities of the household while you're writing. Do it before you start writing.

  9. Be as organized as possible, knowing your limitations. If you know you have to get laundry on that day so that your husband or kids don't have to go out in dirty clothes, put the laundry on first thing and set a timer. Write while the washer is on.

  10. Always ask, "What is really more important at this particular moment―that I do _____ or that I write?" The answer will vary, and that's okay.

I avoid my upstairs "office" at all costs, preferring instead to sit in the living room with my laptop. This room is more spacious and calm, though it is the hub of the house. With the kitchen behind me, everyone passes through, thumping and clanging and talking. Once everyone's gone though, I can settle in to a productive day of writing, while listening to music. It's the best I can do at this time.

That's the key to writing through chaos―doing the best you can do with what you've got.

Lancelot's Lady ~ A Bahamas holiday from dying billionaire JT Lance, a man with a dark secret, leads palliative nurse Rhianna McLeod to Jonathan, a man with his own troubled past, and Rhianna finds herself drawn to the handsome recluse, while unbeknownst to her, someone with a horrific plan is hunting her down.

Lancelot's Lady is available in ebook edition at KoboBooks, Amazon's Kindle Store, Smashwords and other ebook retailers. Help me celebrate by picking up a copy today and "Cherish the romance..."

You can learn more about Lancelot's Lady and Cherish D'Angelo (aka Cheryl Kaye Tardif) at and Follow Cherish from September 27 to October 10 on her Cherish the Romance Virtual Book Tour and win prizes.

Writers: How do you get through the chaos so you can write?

Leave a comment here, with email address, to be entered into the prize draws. You're guaranteed to receive at least 1 free ebook just for doing so. Plus you'll be entered to win a Kobo ereader. Winners will be announced after October 10th.

Lancelot's Lady is also on Nighthawk Radio Blog

Lancelot's Lady reviewed on Out of the Mug


  1. Just curious: is this just an e-book or is there a hardcopy published as well? (Yeah, of course I'm old -- what youngster would ask?)

  2. oh yeah, that's something I can relate to. You gotta Cherish the chaos, 'cause if it bothers you you're never gonna get anything written!

  3. @ John: It's an e-book so. FYI, when you left me at Starbucks the other day, I went back to reading Lancelot's Lady while I waited to meet Alix with my jacket. I almost missed her because I was in another world and I was late getting home for lunch.

  4. PS: That was a random "so" that just crept in there (the so-and-so).

  5. Thanks for dropping by and leaving comments here. I really enjoyed writing that post.

    John, Alison is right. Lancelot's Lady can be read in ebook only, via your PC, laptop, and select smartphones and ereaders. No word on a paperback at this time.

    Tim, so very true. Cherish the chaos and try to ignore it. That's my motto. Right now we're building a new house and should be moving in next month. Talk about chaos! :-) We've already sold our old house and moved to a rental--6 months ago. Ugh...

    Alison, I chuckled at your story of waiting for Alix at Starbucks while reading Lancelot's Lady. I do a lot of writing there--in fact probably 75% of LL was written there. :-)


  6. What kind of music do you listen to when you're working?

    jmfictionscribe at

  7. If I'm doing marketing related stuff, I'll listen to anything on The Bounce radio station--pop music.

    If I'm writing, then I usually listen to instrumental music only--Julie Blue especially.

    When I wrote WHALE SONG, I listened to Hennie Becker and some instrumental whale music. When I wrote THE RIVER I listened to a great tribal drum instrumental CD, I forget the name, but it was perfect.


  8. Great tips Cheryl!

    I need to clear up some of clutter - not literal as in mess, but cluttered schedule.

    I think your tips are good for working in the important things in life or things you want to do - even aside from writing.

    Pam S
    pams00 @

  9. I am playing catch up!! I had a wedding to go to and got behind. Sometimes even stalkers take a break!!!

    sarahcoulsey03 at gmail dot com


Post a Comment