How to have a day job and still give a hoot about writing
By Denise Robbins
Any novice writer and many established writers deal with this dilemma every day. I do! I work anywhere from eight to eleven hours, depending on the day and the fires I have to put out at work. But I still manage to finish at least one book every nine to twelve months.
There are a couple of ways that work for me. On mornings that I am not training for my half-marathon, I get up in the morning and write. Or at the breakfast table, I carry a pen and paper around and write paragraphs or scenes when I can.
In the evenings, if I have an appointment outside the house like getting my hair cut, I again carry pen and notebook with me to work on my novel in progress.
You scoff at my use of pen and paper, but remember, this is how we all started. Plus, it’s not always conducive to carry a laptop around and open it up at will. Every story that I start I go out and buy myself a new notebook that is dedicated just for that novel. It’s kind of a celebratory treat to help kick off an new adventure.
Beyond squeezing in writing wherever possible, I plan a certain day and time that is dedicated to my writing. It’s only fair. If you dedicate eight hours a day to your job, shouldn’t you dedicate some amount of time for your writing passion?
I personally find I am at my best writing on Sunday mornings. Every Sunday, I pack my bag with laptop, a FLASH drive, my notebook and of course my wallet. Then I get in my car, drive twenty minutes north from where I live and go to Panera. I like Panera because they have free Wi-Fi and because there is no waitress who is going to stop by my table and ask me several times if I need anything else. I order a sod and cinnamon roll and then I curl into a booth at the back of the restaurant, pull out my little netbook, and write. And write!
I do not edit on Sunday mornings. I do not review what I had previously written. I write the next scene or the next chapter and I don’t get up and leave until I do. There have been days that I can whip out three full chapters sitting there and then there are other days where I can get one good one. It doesn’t matter how much, just that I make progress.
Another way that helps me keep myself motivated on my goal to write my novel is to set a self-imposed date. For example, last year I flew to Ireland for a vacation. On the flight back I was so inspired by everything I had seen and done that I could not stop writing. Since I don’t want to take forever to get a book out, and I have readers who complain (in a nice and loving way) that they just finished one book, when will the next one be out, I have to get a novel done close to the time the previous one was released. I started writing my Ireland novel last March and I finished it this March. I gave myself no more than one year.
Giving yourself a date to be completed by, give you that extra oomph to keep on writing.
My motivation may not work for you, but adapt it. Think about what will incent you to come home after a long day and write for thirty minutes or an hour. Maybe you have to set your alarm clock one hour earlier.
Do it! Go for it! The rewards are amazing on the other end.
All she wanted was to find love. Was that too much to ask? How difficult could it be to find one man, the perfect man for her?
After dating the losers of the century, Jane decides there has to be a better way. She turns to an online dating service. After all, they guarantee a ‘happily ever after’ or your money back.
Jane East, CEO of Not-So- Plain- Jane’s organic cosmetics wants to fall in love with a man who makes her toes curl when he kisses her. Unfortunately, the one man who makes her toes curl also wears ladies’ pink underwear and a badge. The pink underwear she could probably deal with, but the badge is a different story.
Ever since seeing her mother and granny Pearl murdered by men with badges, Jane has a fear of cops and anyone who carries a badge. Especially, because the killers are still on the loose and searching for her.
Former FBI Cybercrime special agent turned small-town Chief of Police, Cooper Chance, gets caught with his pants down and his family jewels tucked in pink ladies’ underwear with lacy frills when he meets the woman of his dreams. That’s not his only issue. The woman has a fear of cops. If he can get past her guard, maybe he can save her life.
Denise is offering one paperback to a lucky reader (U.S. and Canada only)