Behind the Screen

There have been many changes in my life over the past few years. As most of you know, I had taken a three-year hiatus from writing. Between selling my home in New Hampshire and moving to Tennessee, starting a new job and grad school, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Last November I released a new book for the first time in three years. It felt great to be back to writing. So, with my coming back into the writing world, my website has been given a new look and Iā€™m going to be doing more blogging and getting out a regular newsletter.

You will get a glimpse into the life changes that have brought me to where I am today and all the wonderful changes that have gone on in the past year or two. Stay tune for the first installment of my journey back to writing.

Writing Schedules

How important is it for a writer to have a schedule?  In my opinion, extremely.  If you plan to make writing your career and want to write full time, you need to treat it as a full time job.  You need to work set hours and put in the effort and time into what you plan for your career.  I don't know how many times I heard my grandmother say "You get what you put into it".  How true that is especially with writing.

If you follow my blog, you will know that I have a very set career path of writing full time within the next year or so.  In that vein, I need to set my writing work hours and treat my writing as if it was a job that I had to answer to someone else for.  I set how much time I spend a day writing, and although I love the flexibility of changing the hours if I need to day to day depending on what is going on in my life, I have to remain rigid in the fact that I need to have at least three to four hours set aside each day for writing.

As I progress further into my writing career, I need to also set time for marketing and updating social media.  And let's face it -- social media is a necessary evil for writers.  It helps us connect with our readers, other writers and gives us the opportunity for networking, however it can be a huge time sucker from your day if you get caught up in it.  I have found that I need to allow myself so much time in the day for social media and I use it in small chunks.  Morning with my coffee -- check social media.  After a writing chunk and I need a break -- I allow myself another social media check in and then again in the evening when my day is winding down.

What kind of writing schedule do you have and do you struggle with sticking to it?

Another Step Towards the Future

Two Fridays ago I went to a writers conference hosted by one of my writing groups, MCRW in Nashville, Tennessee. It was on plotting and Cherry Adair was there leading away with her color coding in her writing and plots.  It was very good, however the one thing it reiterated for me -- I am NOT a plotter and will never be one. Plotting a book for me is a huge source of stress. I much prefer to sit down, open a blank document and just start typing. When I sit down, I do have character sketches and a general idea of what needs to happen with my book, but I allow the characters drive the story. To me this is much more enjoyable.

Although I don't plot the story, I have new ideas (with character sketches) planned out for another three books to write.

However, one thing that did become very clear to me. The plan I have set in motion for my future is a good one, financially and career wise. So I look forward to changes coming, excited about a career in which I will be able to write full time, and anticipate an exciting move to a new city, new state and be surrounded with writers that get the craziness of this business. Once I made the decision and put together a plan, the stress I had been feeling just lifted.  Sometimes half the battle is just making a decision.