Thank you for joining us as author L.M. Stull shares with us in our very first guest author post about the realities of a writer’s double life.
Right, if you came over here expecting to see a blog post on juggling and how to get into your local circus, you may be a bit disappointed. But, I digress. I’m here today to talk to you about how to make it all happen, or at least how I think you can go about doing it anyway.
I’m a writer. I’m also a legal secretary, runner, friend, daughter and well, you get the idea. Life gets hard. Life gets busy. So, people always ask, how do you find the time?
My answer? I make time. I know, I know, what a very helpful answer. Here’s the thing, there are loads of things in our everyday lives that we simply do not want to do . . . like, at ALL, but yet we do them. For example, paying bills. How many of you really enjoy sitting down and paying bills? (I swear if any of you actually raise your hand to that question, you better contact me because I have several I can share with you.) But, we make time for it, no? We find time to take Jack and Susie to their soccer and dance lessons. We find time to go grocery shopping, clean the bathroom, etc. You are probably saying “yes, but we need to do all of those things.” Therein lies the problem.
Find your priorities.
In life, I have always found it important to make sure you have your priorities straight. Obviously, your family, children and the job that pays the bills come first. They have to. How we choose to spend the remaining precious minutes of our days is what really matters most. For me, there are several things in my life that are top-shelf priorities: running, writing and reading.
This is not to say that there are many days where I just can’t fit all of them in. In fact, if I am completely honest with you, there are WEEKS that go by and I can’t fit all of it in. And, you know what? That is okay. Life most certainly can get in the way of things. The lesson to be learned is that we all need a schedule to try and help us find our way back.
This might mean that you can’t sit down and watch as much of the television as you did before. But what it may allow you to do is set aside 30 minutes to write, market yourself, or do whatever else you find so very important. That is 30 minutes you may not have been fully utilizing before.
Will this work all the time? No. Will it help you keep on track? For me, it most certainly has helped a great deal. There are going to be times for sure where this schedule is just not going to work, and others where you find you have more time than you originally set aside. For instance, although I really do love writing, there are certain tasks associated with writing (like that dreadful thing called editing…blah!) that make it hard for me to really want to sit down and do it. But, if I make myself stick to a schedule, it makes it easier. Just try and run with it, and if you get off pace remember to try, try again.
Now, has it helped me on this long journey to publication?
You see, I am still on this journey to publication. I’m nearing the end. My destination is just ahead. The biggest tool that has helped me get here has been juggling. I work all day, come home and try to set some time aside for marketing and writing (oh and that blasted editing, of course) and it works, mostly.
Whenever it gets hard and I get tired, I try to remind myself what it is I’m trying to accomplish. That thought alone gets me back on track. I think I can speak for every writer out there on this one: we love words. There really is no substitute to pouring your heart and soul out on a piece of paper (or computer screen). That is what I want to do. And, I want to do it everyday if I can.
My best advice: stay true to your heart and make time for things that matter most in your life. It may be hard some days, but having the satisfaction of writing The End or finishing the plot of another WIP will be your reward.
Originally a Washington, DC native, L.M. Stull now resides in Southern Virginia. She has always been a creative person and studied classical piano and dance from a young age.
During the day you will find her chained to a desk at a law firm. Yes, she works for lawyers. Now you understand why she writes about creatures . . . Boom! At night she channels her inner creative monster and writes (sorry, she doesn’t turn into a werewolf or anything).
Her debut paranormal romance novel, Memoirs of a Monkey, is scheduled to be released Spring 2011:
When she’s not writing or feverishly taking orders from attorneys, she laces up and runs (and sometimes drinks wine…yeah, okay maybe more than sometimes).
There are several ways you can go about stalking her on the web if your little heart so desires: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads (Hint: she’ll totally think you’re awesome if you add her upcoming books to your to-read pile) and of course her really cool Website. She also runs the Fellow Writer’s group on Facebook.