That means it's time for my.... Fail. I still don't have a title for Wednesdays. :) But you know what time it is. Indie Spotlight time!!!
And today I have Stormy Smith on my blog!!!!
Stormy is a debut novelist, releasing her first full-length this summer!!! She has some great insight in writing for the first time.
By far the most popular response I get when I tell anyone I'm a writer is that they would also love to be a writer, they just don't know how to find the time. And let me tell you, that problem never goes away! I still struggle with finding the time to write and it's my full-time job.
If you are that person that wants to write, that has a story simmering inside of you, waiting to be told but just can't seem to figure out when to put it on paper, Stormy has some great advice!!
I'm super excited to share this post with you!
So without anymore rambling... Here is Stormy Smith!!
You’re stuck with yet another of The Rebel Writers this week. Rachel is so gracious to let us take over her blog, and this week she asked me to tackle the balance between life and writing. My name is Stormy, and my first book will publish in July.
Duty Bound came to me on a drive to Omaha in July of 2013. I had never told myself I should write a book, though the thought had crossed my mind. I had actually just finished rereading Rachel’s Star-Crossed series yet again earlier that week, and was heading toward her hometown. It was serendipity!
To lay it out on the line, I’m stupid busy. But, let’s be real, we all are. I don’t have kids, but I do have a crazy life. I work full-time in marketing and when I started the book, I was traveling on average of twice a month. My husband is a full-time student, so we balance our marriage between the hours of homework we both have, my writing, and our social lives.
What I’m trying to say is that you can do this. If you’re an aspiring author with a story brewing in your brain, you can absolutely do this. What it comes down to is choices. So, I’m going to outline for you the choices I made and why I made them.
1) I didn’t work on my book every day.
I love this book. I live it and breathe it and think about it constantly. But, I don’t work on it constantly. There are “How to write a book” posts all over the internet that tell you that you need to set aside even 30 minutes a day to write. I didn’t do that. I couldn’t do that. I only worked on my book when I could set aside at least an hour. Bare minimum. Often, Sundays were my writing days, and I could spend three or four hours banging away at the keyboard. In the meantime, I recorded a lot of voice memos on my phone and sent myself a lot of emails of ideas and mini-scenes that would come to me on the drive to work. Honestly, I think my book was better for it. It gave me the space I needed to come back to it with fresh, critical eyes.
2) I basically stopped watching TV.
It’s a life suck. You lose HOURS of totally productive time to shows that don’t matter. You are not smarter for it. Your story likely hasn’t been enhanced by it (unless you’re watching something in your genre, then it could be research). The only time I really watched TV was while my husband and I ate dinner. You would be astounded how much time you give yourself back. Time you could either be writing, or reading. Because to be a great writer, you’ve got to constantly be reading. I used to read multiple books a week and I haven’t been able to keep that pace, but I do still try to read as often as I can.
3) I used my lunch hours.
Most of us get an hour every day for lunch. I made the most of it. I was either researching, reviewing blog posts on how to write better or how to self-publish or engaging with my writers group. Sidebar: I highly recommend finding a good writers group! The Rebels have been the backbone of my support system, in addition to my husband and my beta readers. Having other people who truly understand what you’re going through is priceless.
4) Most importantly, I did it for me.
I have no idea if people will read my book. I may sell 50 copies to the people I know who love me and support me, or I may sell 500. Or 5000. But, that’s not the point. I have realistic expectations that this is not likely going to by my full-time job. I’d love for it to be, but at the end of the day, I just want to know that I wrote the best damn book possible. So, I acknowledge that I won’t be able to write multiple books a year – at least not until I finish grad school. My Amazon algorithms won’t be boosted by books that come out on the regular. But, I will never publish something I’m not 100% confident in. I will take the time to produce something worthy of my name being on its cover and know that I am an author. AN AUTHOR. And that I poured my heart and soul into a story that no one could make but me.
So, my final piece of advice for those of you who look at your life and think, “I want this, but how?” is to decide what choices you can make - where your true happiness will come from. I have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours writing and editing. Using my writer group as a sounding board. Learning how to market myself. Being overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do list of being a self-published author. But every single time I finish an amazing scene, I get a new like on my Facebook page or someone tells me they love my work, it’s all worth it. Every single second I didn’t spend doing something else is worth it.
If you have more questions, or want to hear more about Duty Bound, please visit my website or my Facebook page. I’d be happy to chat with you about anything. Good luck!