So you have this idea for a Great American novel. Great. So do millions of other people. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard “I’m writing a book.” Great. My response is always “contact me when you’re finished.” Probably about 90% of the people that I talk to who are “writing a book” will never finish. Other things that I’ve heard: “I’ll finish it when the kids are in college,” “I just don’t have time,” “Don’t you want to hear what it’s about?”
My answer is generally the same. “Contact me when you’re finished.” It’s not that I don’t believe the writer will finish the story, and it’s not that I can’t sympathize with the lack of time. The fact is, each person has his or her priorities. We have college, we have children, we have to work overtime, basically, life gets in the way. Here’s the thing: We make time in our lives for the things that are important to us. We prioritize. Food, shelter, clothing, luxuries we didn’t have when we were kids, money to buy all that, it all comes before writing the Great American novel and signing that book deal. After we’ve put in eight hours or more at work, eight hours of sleep, the prerequisite 1 to 2 hours of television per day, homework or children’s homework, time with the spouse or significant other, time put in for friends, social networking, and mundane tasks, who has time for writing? This is one question I recently had to ask myself, because running my own business, working full time, being a mother, editing, all of that got in the way of writing and I kept telling myself I would start writing when…
“When” started two weeks ago when I realized that I would always be filling the time I had with things other than my writing unless I made it a priority. That has made all the difference in the world. I consciously set aside an hour per day to do nothing but write. My mantra during that time when I get distracted by the myriad of other things that happen, is “Just write.” I sometimes have to repeat myself over and over in an hour, and sometimes, I don’t say it once.
Now, that’s not to say that I have a bunch of ideas pressing in on me in that one hour and I can’t stop writing. Some days, I stare at the computer screen, and my mind is blank as the page. Other days, I write stilted sentences that I will later delete or correct on one of the stories that I’m currently writing, and yet other days, the words come easily. Since I started, I have missed a few days, felt that I had betrayed myself for missing the commitment, then started up again the next day. Among other things, I’m learning that taking time for one’s self is a process just like every other. It’s as necessary as getting up in the morning, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing your teeth all of these are learned behaviors that eventually became habits and once they became habits, we feel weird when we don’t do them. It doesn’t come easy, but nothing worth having ever does.
I will be in Columbia, South Carolina at the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop, speaking about getting published, and common writing pitfalls. Please come join us!
Aurelia’s interest in the written word began at a very young age. For as long as she can remember, she was writing stories and dreaming of the day they would be published. She wrote her first full length novel at the age of 21, and after more rejections than she could count, she decided to start her own publishing company. In 2005, she started off with one book, one author, an editing certificate, and a business license. Since then, she has slowly built her company. She has added more editors, multiple authors, and multiple books. Her passion for the written word continually evolves as she learns new writing techniques and marketing strategies. She loves to find new talent with nontraditional story ideas and enjoys seeing what the final outcome will be. She enjoys publishing everything from horror to science fiction to romance and specializes in Southern fiction. As an author, editor and publisher, she understands the amount of work that goes into taking a book form idea to published work. The unique perspective she has because of her experiences helps her to connect and empathize with her authors.