Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding a Writing Routine


Some people have the darnedest time finding a writing routine that works for them. I understand completely. Over the years I’ve struggled finding time to write.

Years ago I tried to juggle writing books between a part-time accounting job, being a Mom and wife, and my church callings. Writing was pretty much out of the picture during tax time (January-April, but also July and October—quarterly taxes). Still over the years I was able to write four or five novels, but I didn’t seriously send them out. With each rejection I blamed not selling my books on not enough time to write.

And then to make matter worse I decided to go back to school and earn my BA. My writing came to a screeching halt for three years. But that didn’t mean I didn’t keep thinking of stories, jotting down ideas and such. Then I graduated and landed a full-time job writing and editing small concept books for children. I was writing every day!!! I should have been happy, but my novels at home nagged at me. Every time I passed by the computer or glimpsed my filing cabinet I could almost hear my stories crying for attention.

And then all of a sudden my full-time job came to an end. I was at home. The kids were grown and I finally had time to devote to my neglected stories. But first I needed to revamp my writing. I devoted months to reading young adult novels and as many Newberry winners as I could. Then to shake things up I decided to write a different book─a young adult, time-travel in first person. A writing routine suddenly took root. I was writing in the morning and editing in the afternoon almost every day!!! I finished one book sent it out to publishers and started another. Then my routine hit a snag. Researching publishers, writing queries, and searching for contests to enter began to eat away at my writing time. When I realized that the business end of writing was stealing writing time, I started doing business on Mondays, leaving the rest of the week for writing.

And then, I sold a book! Wow! Now there were edits to do and proofing. Promotion of my book became a concern. How in the world would I get the word out about my novel? Enter another distraction…the internet. Blogging for writers is a must for promotion. I set up a blog and started writing even more, but not on my stories. Again I found my time being zapped away. Retooling my thinking, I returned to Mondays as my business and blogging day, leaving the rest of the week for writing my books.

I guess what I’m trying to say is finding a writing routine and sticking to it is a constant battle because life is a constantly changing. Things come up…important things we don’t want to miss out on. But the point for a writer to remember is to keep writing. Oh, and be flexible. So there’s two things. Oh, and family comes first…then church…then your writing. And then there’s… Anyway you get my point.

6 comments:

  1. First the apples and now this. We really do seem to be going through the same things at the same times! I completely identified with this post.

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  2. Cool! I'm glad I'm not alone. :) I'm canning apple pie filling Saturday. Have a good recipe?

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  3. I use the Betty Crocker recipe, but I don't can it. I line a pie pan with foil and plastic wrap, add the pie filling, then wrap it all up tightly and put it in the freezer. When it freezes, I lift it out of the pie pan and keep it in the freezer. It's all shaped nicely and ready to go. So in January, you can make crust and ease in your frozen pie filling and have fresh apple pie. This really works...better with apples than peaches since peaches are so drippy. Although I have tried it with both.

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  4. I'll have to give this a try. Never thought about freezing it. Thanks for the tip.

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  5. Kathi, I'm running a contest on my blog if you want to stop over and check it out. Leave a comment if you want to enter!

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