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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Make Time to Write!

Being a full-time author this year is full of new and exciting challenges, but probably the greatest challenge of them all is also the most ironic of them all - it's really, really hard to find time to actually sit down and write! I don't know how it is for other writers, but I'm kind of a get-in-the-groove-and-don't-stop sort of girl. Once inspiration strikes, I can write for hours on end, and even when inspiration is fleeting and illusive, I can still keep writing as long as I have the time because I am such a meticulous planner (ie. my stories are planned out well enough so that I usually know where I'm going, even if I'm not "feeling it"). But if I'm interrupted for days on end with countless other tasks, or if I have said other tasks hanging over my head, I find it very difficult to write.

Now, I actually have much more time on my hands this year than in previous years. I'm no longer teaching full-time, which frees up an enormous amount of time, energy, and brain capacity (really), but when I was teaching full-time, prioritizing writing to the top of the to-do stack was actually easier. Think about it this way - with writing deadlines hanging over my head, I really had no choice but to use my limited free time to write. Neglecting the extra stuff was a necessity. What I'm finding now, about one month in to being a full-time author, is that it's much more difficult to prioritize that writing time. My tasks this week have included: filling out a marketing form (still not done with this - they are a beast to complete!), signing and organizing and mailing book orders, working on my website (still in construction), blogging (ha), corresponding with a variety of different people about a variety of different necessary things, and cleaning and organizing our home office into a usable space. Finally, three days ago, I threw up my hands and said, "That's it! I have to write!" Having my surgery a month ago, followed by a family-wide stomach bug (which I got twice - yay), followed by traveling to the Decatur festival last week and all the work that came with that, really meant that I hadn't truly written in over a month, so getting back on the proverbial horse was a challenge. But the moment I made myself sit down and DO IT, the juices started to flow once again. The next day I wrote 4,000 words, which is a really good day for any writer. Long story short (pun intended), I have learned a very important first lesson about making this full-time author career work. To be an author, you have to write books. Yes, all the other marketing and corresponding stuff is also important, but writing absolutely has to be my priority. Every day, without excuse, I must make time to write!

And now I'm off to take my own advice...

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