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The Full-Time Dream

I think just about every author, and really any creative person, has the dream of doing what they love full time. I’m no exception. Ever since I dreamed of being an author, I was 10, I wanted to do that as my job. Over the intervening decades, I’ve had grand fantasies of being able to write full time. (I have a very, very active imagination, which is why I can come up with stories in the first place.) When romance consumed my life, I knew, logically, that probably would not be the case. But that doesn’t stop the dream, you know?

The evil day job pays the bills and gives me health insurance, both of which I need it to do. And in truth, my EDJ is not as horrible as some others, and I definitely have some good people to work with. Of course, it also always seems like something crazy and insane is going on, it makes me want to pull my hair out and scream, so it definitely has evil tendencies. But I do it to the best of my ability, and then go home and be an author on nights and weekends.

I’ve spoken before on several occasions about my writing process. Sometimes I get into the groove and am able to write each night. Sometimes it’s better for me to put it away and write for ten hours straight on a Saturday.

I’ve often said that if I don’t make enough writing to have it as my full time job, because I don’t have enough out there, but if I didn’t have a EDJ then I’d be able to write more and would therefore make more money but I can’t quit the EDJ because I don’t make enough and how it’s a vicious cycle. It is certainly that.  But on some recent introspection, I had to stop and make myself really think about it. If my writing process sometimes means no words for weeks, how could I justify saying that I’d write more if I didn’t have an EDJ?

Truth is, if my brain power wasn’t being used up by the EDJ, if it wasn’t occasionally soul crushing and frustrating beyond belief, if my entire focus was on the words, I know I’d be able to write every day. Here and there throughout the day, interspersed with other things, and into the night, and on the weekends….I would get so many more words on the page while sitting in the writing nook in my jammas and with my coffee.

So it’s still the dream. I know it probably won’t ever happen, not for me. And though I’d still love for it to be that way, though I still fantasize about what it would be like, I’m mostly okay with droning on as I’ve been. Because the wonderful truth is, because I don’t rely on writing for my primary income, I can write what inspires me. While I’m conscious of what sells, and what readers want, I’m not wholly limited by it. Fortunately, my stories have an appeal. But if I want to take a different turn, a twist, then I can. And there is a goodness in that all its own.

The dream will never die, but I’m pretty okay with things as they are.

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The Home Stretch

This weekend I was determined to make some inroads on my WIP.

I didn’t get as far as I wanted. I mean, really, I had some grand delusions I’d be able to finish the whole thing. And honestly, perhaps I would have been able to. Because I made a lot of progress, despite taking a time out to go to the movies, on Saturday. Three chapters written and almost 7k words. That’s a pretty dang good day (though the niggling voice in the back of my brain says I’ve written more in a day before) and I’m certainly happy with those totals. And when I finished the day, I had two-three chapters left to write (depending on how it all laid out) and the epilogue. I could have definitely done that on Sunday.

Except I didn’t.

I was sitting there, and I managed to write about 8 paragraphs in the time it usually takes me to write 1500 words. When I’m in the groove, my words fly. And even though I know exactly what the scenes need to be, and are going to be, I was still having a hell of a time getting words on the page. I get ridiculously frustrated when this happens, especially when the flow was working so well for me before. But I also know I can’t force it or I’ll hate every word I put on the page.

It’s taken me a long time to accept my writing process. I’m the type of person that is constantly comparing and listening to what “they” say. But I know me and my authoryness very well by now, having done it professionally for more than three years. I need to have the right words on the page at the beginning, because I’m not the person that can take crap and make it gold. I have to be working with almost gold, and then polish it until it shines. That’s just how I work. So while I’m more than happy to tweak and fix things with the help of my betas and editors, I need to have something solid to work with at the start. Point is, if I’m not feeling it, if the words aren’t right and flowing, I can’t force myself to put just anything down. So because yesterday I was pulling teeth instead of floating down the river, I had to step away.

At any rate, I do only have a couple of chapters and the epilogue left (this one definitely has a epilogue, I see the scene quite clearly).  It’s going to be a weird week, though, as I both have some time on my hands but also need to fill it with some things that are other. But I very much want to finish this story. I want to get these boys to the end, and see their HEA. But I also have time before it needs to be done and off to the editor (which is my current deadline that I’m working to).

So basically, I’m in the home stretch with a pair of guys I love a lot. I can’t wait for their story to be finished. With everything else going on, I’m going to devote as much time to them as I can, but I’m setting the goal of having things finished within the next two weeks. Which gives me plenty of time to polish and tweak before sending it to the editor, who will help me make it even better.

And if all goes according to plan, Something Like Want will be out at the end of October.