Hello friends! Today I'm happy to share a guest post with you from Sara Drake , author of Family Heir ! Today she talks to us about her schedule for writing. I've often wondered how many authors who also have other jobs manage to find the time to write us these fabulous books!
by Sara M. Drake
Publication: May 30, 2014
Length: 310 pages
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Kelley longed for a normal life – to go to college, to have normal friends, and to work a nice desk job. When an unknown predator starts a killing spree, she finds herself drug back into a world that includes vampires, werewolves, and her ex-husband. Kelley agrees to lead the small team to find the murderer – which consists of one uncommunicative ex-hubbie and an inexperienced federal agent. Only shots in the night prove that Kelley has become a target and her training as a Hunter does nothing to prepare her for being hunted.
I’ve often wondered if all writers might be a touch nuts. I’m sure the people in my life wonder about my sanity when I pull out my smart phone to jot down a few notes (because the greatest idea hit me). For me, the key to maintaining a writing schedule stems from always being an author in my approach to life.
For example, I just got back from weekend visit with my brother and his wife. We’d get back from whatever we were doing and I’d grab my notebook and start writing down all the ideas I had while we out. I’ll overhear a conversation or see something and get an idea for a book (one I’m writing or haven’t written yet). In that sense, I’m always busy with writing.
However, I still need to find time to put the ideas into words—to write it all out. I work full-time as a civil servant and juggle two part-time adjunct faculty jobs. It’s not easy to find time to sit down with the computer. I found a need to compromise with myself. I do editing, research, and general background tasks after work or between jobs. I set aside time on my days off to write. Each week. I set a writing goal for myself (normally 6,000-10,000 words) based on how much free time I have. Yes, that does mean I don’t have much of a social life!
My biggest problem stems from reaching that point where the novel seems to write itself. I just can’t stop! I wrote most of Family Heir during the government shut-down in 2013. It kept me busy while waiting to get called back to my full-time job. Only, when I got the call, I was near the end and on a roll. I went to my office the next day and told my boss I needed another day or two off to finish my book. He looked at me like I’d lost my mind but agreed.
I do have days when I don’t want to write. Some days, I don’t even want to look at my computer. I set myself small goals that day like write just 1,000 words. Sometimes I get that done and still don’t want to write. I’ve learned it’s okay to take breaks or a day off. As long as I’ve done a little work on my book, I give myself permission. Most of the time, I’m fine once I get started.
The other thing I’ve discovered: writer’s block leads to a very clean apartment! I’ve found cleaning works better than anything for breaking through writer’s block. Yes, you can tell how much I’ve struggled by the gleam of my kitchen counters! It may take my longer to reach my writing goals on that day but I do end up with fewer chores to do later.
So—my writing schedule developed in ways that meet my unique needs and personality. The key take-aways: it’s okay if people think you’re weird, don’t give up on your writing, and do a little bit every day.
Sara developed her book addiction as a young child. Her concerned parents attempted an intervention and cut off her supply. These desperate times called for desperate measures forcing her to write her own stories. Since a human being cannot live on books alone, she has worked as a stage hand, care giver, active duty Air Force, college instructor, mental health counselor, and civil servant on the theory that more pay equals more books. Outside of that, she spends time developing a reputation as a crazy cat lady and irritating introvert.
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