When the real world interferes with writing
In a perfect world, an author’s desk is organized, their chair is comfortable, the only sounds in the room are soft and soothing and their muse is sitting by their side whispering the perfect story. For many of us, most of us…okay 99.9% of us that is a bigger fairy tale than the stories we are writing. The majority of authors I have spoken with have day jobs, families, commitments and a hundred other things that keep them from their keyboards. They are lucky to get a few minutes to jot down some notes while waiting in the doctor’s office, in the car while the kids are at band practice, or as dinner simmers on the stove. After a long day of work, coming home and caring for their families, they might get a few minutes to sit down and enter those scrawled notes into their computer. Just don’t let it happen every night, lest their significant other gets upset for being neglected to often. ~sigh~
My dear friend, Scotty Cade runs a successful business, has a social calendar that is a full-time job in itself, and his husband needs and deserves attention. I am always amazed how he finds the time to write, but he does. In fact, his fourth novel in just nine months will be released later this month from Dreamspinner Press. When deadlines loom, sleep becomes a rarity and his husband takes on much of the daily operation of their business. And therein lies the most important element – a supportive person in your life.
Whether it’s your husband, wife, partner, friend, or relative, we all need support from someone. It’s about finding balance. We write because we love telling stories. We give up sleep, time with loved ones, spend hours alone at the keyboards and overdose on caffeine. (Lots and lots of caffeine!) How we manage it all is as personal and as unique as the stories we write. There is no easy button or advice that will work for everyone. The only thing I can say is be sure to thank those in your life that make it possible to do what you love. Whether it’s the supportive person in your life, your beta readers, proof readers or a loyal fan’s encouraging words, they all make all those sleepless nights worth it.
(I asked SJD Peterson to write a little blurb about pursuing a writing career while trying to maintain a semblance of a normal life. Her first response was a little too sweet for me. I asked her to dig a little deeper and expose some of the marrow that makes her such an excellent new voice. This is an addendum, of sorts, to the previous post. It also includes a bit of bio, for those of you who are not familiar with this relatively new author. P)
I am the type of writer that gets an idea in my head, sits at the keyboard, and writes for hours on end. Often times its rambling thoughts that are hard to read, but I just keep writing, leaving myself little notes in highlight, until the story is done. I then go back and try to make sense of it all and add the “meat” and the specifics. I don’t plot, don’t do an outline, I just type what all the voices in my head tell me to write. I’m fortunate enough that I have the opportunity to write every day often times well into the night.
Often times I will have two or three stories going at the same time. Whichever character yells at me the loudest that day gets my attention. I hate deadlines and would never be able to handle proposing a novel and then given a deadline. I don’t submit stories until they are completed; well at least I try not to. Quinn’s Need, the second book in the Whispering Pines Ranch series was one in which I had a huge amount of writing to do in a very short amount of time. Lucky for me he yelled loudest most days and he still does!
I hold two college degrees, one in nursing and the second in history. No, the two do not go together, but I have a thirst for knowledge. If I could afford it, I’d be a professional student the rest of my life! Writing is much cheaper than going back to school and I love researching and learning new things with each and every story.
I don’t have childcare or a day job like many of the authors I speak to. I’m fortunate enough to be able to take a year off from work to commit to my writing and see where it will go.
My first published work was Masters & Boyd, a short story written for Goodreads M/M group and is part of their free anthology, Stuff My Stocking, that came out December 2010. My debut novel Lorcan’s Desire, the first book in the Whispering Pines Ranch series, was published by Dreamspinner Press in May of this year. My second book, Simple, came out with Silver Publishing in July. Also in July was another short story called Innocence to the Max, which was part of the Goodreads M/M group as part of their “Hot July Days.” Future books are:
Quinn’s Need – book #2 in the Whispering Pines Ranch series to be released November 2011
Ty’s Obsession – book #3 in the Whispering Pines Ranch series to be released February 2012
Masters & Boyd – Long novella, release date to be determined
Leon – Release date to be determined
Innocence to the Max – full length novel, release date to be determined.
I also have plans to co-author a couple different series in the very near future and a host of other story ideas in the making. Most important of which is an accurate depiction of Vikings, just for my sweet boy Jase.