Seasons Greetings to the loyal readers of the Seven Scribes blog! Vivienne Ylang has graciously allowed me to post in her place. My name is Jamie K. Schmidt and I write romantic fantasy.
My writing career can pretty much be summed up with Tom Petty songs. “Running Down a Dream,” “Into the Great Wide Open,” “Free Fallin,” “The Waiting is the Hardest Part,” “I Need to Know,” “Breakdown,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” and “You Got Lucky.”
I currently have a paranormal romance out on submission with a major epub on an exclusive basis and an urban fantasy on submission with the Big Six. I also have two unfinished works in progress that I’d like to send out “Into the Great Wide Open” in the New Year.
I was thinking about what kind of writing tips would fit in with the season and one of the biggest things I deal with around the holidays is how to find time and energy to write. I procrastinate by doing other things, that while worthy – are not furthering my writing career. Because my writing is solely for me, I feel selfish if I set apart an hour when there’s laundry to be done.
Getting up an hour early to write never worked for me. For one, I’m pretty much a zombie in the a.m. and I’m more productive doing chores first thing.
Writing on my lunch hour is good in theory. But there’s always some well meaning co-worker who will sit next to me and start up a conversation, or I’m running errands. Sometimes, it’s just easier to work through lunch so I can get all my work done and go home at a decent hour.
That pretty much leaves night time for my writing. I have a four-year-old son that I need to spend time with and then there’s the dinner hour. Luckily, my son goes off to bed and bath with Daddy so I’m officially off the clock around eight p.m. Usually, I sit at the kitchen table exhausted from the day. I have just enough energy to play Facebook games and stalk editors on Twitter.
Here’s how I deal with the ennui: Tea.
At this point in the day, a bracing cuppa and some Sees chocolate give me a whole new outlook. I ask myself, “Will clearing out shrubs in Zynga games get me a publishing contract?” Not likely. “Will putting all the Legos back in the tub get this draft finished?” No, but it will stop me from impaling my foot on one in the middle of the night.
The only thing that will advance my writing goes is for me to put my butt in the chair and fingers on the keyboard. The house and my crops can wait an hour or a thousand words, which ever comes first. I make that time and those words the priority.
So it is with a sink full of dishes and a floor that could use a good vacuuming, I’m planting myself in front of the lap top and willing the words to flow out of my fingers like Mozart on a fortepiano. Next week, I’ll be back chatting about how to focus on your current project.
Here’s a quick salad to throw together when the family needs to be fed and you’re on a writing streak:
Salad Avec Doritos
1 head lettuce, chopped
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 lg. can kidney beans, drained
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 bag Doritos or Nacho chips, crushed
2-3 tomatoes, cubed
Catalina salad dressing
Mix lettuce and onion together. Immediately before serving, add rest of ingredients and toss with as much salad dressing as desired. Add cooked, drained ground beef and it’s a taco salad dinner!
When is your writing time? Do you grab it in bits and pieces throughout the day, or do you put in a chunk of time? Do you write every day?