A lifestyle choice . . .
Recently Rachelle Gardner (http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com) talked about writing and being a writer. She said: “It’s a lifestyle. It permeates your life, even if your life is already full with a career and a family and whatever else you do. Authors need to educate themselves about publishing (by reading agent blogs, following Twitter, reading books about the industry) because today, it requires that kind of savvy. It also helps if you network with other writers, because it puts you in touch with others going through the same frustrations, people who understand what every little victory means in a way that a non-writer simply can’t. There’s so much to learn about writing great books and crafting effective queries and marketing yourself via the Internet.”
And I reflected on how much my own life is dominated by writing. Firstly it is something I think on constantly. Whether I am in the bath, cooking meals, doing housewifely things, I am thinking about the next stage in the WIP (The Shifu Cloth).
The only time I don’t think about it is when I am walking the dogs (I am very much in the moment then), when I am gardening (ditto) or generally in the outdoors. Husband and self have a farm and when we are busy with stock, fencing or whatever, my mind is a long way from the WIP, which is just as well as accidents do happen.
The promotion of current publications has, as Rachelle also says, taken masses of my time. Facebook, Twitter, blogging. A blog event recently swallowed me whole!
Then there is reading. I love to read. I enjoy detailed historical fiction, even though I am a fantasy writer. I read a number of books on the craft of writing but I don’t read as much as I would like. At the close of a day I am tired, any spare moment is used to sculpt and create my own work and when I crawl into bed, I can barely read two lines let alone two chapters.
When I do have time in the ‘office’, I do any number of things. Perhaps I read what I have written. Perhaps I edit a manuscript that is in the process of assessment in London (A Thousand Glass Flowers). Perhaps I note down more in my file on the world of Eirie, the fantasy world I have created. Perhaps I add to my character files. The best days are the days I just write free-form. Letting the WIP move on toward a conclusion. Inevitably the week is over and being a writer HAS dominated my life. I think it, breathe it. Gad, I even sweat it . . . so much sweating. Hoping, praying, waiting . . . so much waiting!
Rachelle finished her blog by saying . . . ‘the fact is, the way to succeed as an author is to make it part of your daily life, part of who you are. It really does take that kind of mindset.’ Well I have certainly made it a part of my daily life. But success is a whole other issue and perhaps success is a relative term anyway.