Thursday, March 4, 2010


A survey came my way today, asking, "What obstacles stand in the way of your writing efforts?" I looked around at the laundry I'm planning to do at three, the dishes I need to get to before supper, and the other household chores that piled up because I dedicated an entire day to "book stuff", and then, just coining the phrase "book stuff" gave me my answer.

If writing were just about typing out a story, I could get up at seven, type for three hours while my thoughts are fresh, maybe get 2000-3000 words in and set the project aside while I attend to the other of life's demands. But the truth is, writing is the gravy part. The other "book stuff" is what gobbles up your time.

There is the business stuff which includes all the taxes and recording of expenses, the research which can require a few minutes or a weekend, and the marketing and promo work which is really demanding if you are a small potato like me. If you belong to a writer's group, you probably critique and review other people's work as well.

By far, the best part of marketing and promo stuff is connecting with your fan base. One sweet note, one positive comment is nuclear in its power to energize an author and keep the creative mojo fired up. Conversely, one negative letter or comment can set me off writing an ad to sell my computer. I usually get over it fairly quickly, but it requires a hug, an atta-boy from my writer buddies, and something decadent from the bakery.

Deadlines are the guillotines that send your world into a tizzy. Sickness, blizzards, your Aunt Tillie's graduation from Pinochle School--these become stressful developments if they fall on or near an impending deadline. I try to plan the release of books and the impending book tour around the births of grandchildren, weddings, family celebrations and holidays. For a former stay-at-home-mom whose family is was and will ever be the unchanging center of the universe, this is tough stuff. Fortunately my editors have always understood.

BUT I LOVE TO WRITE! After spending months marketing and promoting "Dawn's Early Light," editing "Awakening Avery" felt like dessert--a full-on decadent chocolate volcano kind of dessert. And getting back to a daily writing schedule is a sweet release for me. All in all, I'm trying to carve out two hours a day just to get my story down, and at that pace I should be able to hit my tentative deadlines. The house? It hardly ever looks as tidy as it once did. Maybe if I land a bestseller I can hire some help!


  1. I love you! You inspire me! (I think I might take up some old stories I started years ago and finish them - I've not wanted to bother with them in ages - but not the characters are whispering to me again!)

    PS. I swear, only a writer can say that and NOT sound crazy.

  2. I totally understand about the voices in your head thing! Write-on, Heather! Thanks for the happy thoughts!

  3. I took February off from cleaning house so I could finish a couple of writing projects. Now I'm faced with giant dust bunnies and things that refuse to be vacuumed.

    I'm looking forward to your new book, Laurie.