Writing a Life

I have my cup of morning coffee. I’m ready to jump into my story and write the perfect ending. A happy ending, almost as satisfying as that first sip of freshly-brewed coffee. I ignore several pings on my phone, because I know they’re email pings. Not going to be pulled away from the story to check the email.

How could you say no to this face?

But then…I get that text ping. It feels like a needle prick that deftly separates my attention from the words on my computer screen. Who is texting me at this hour of the morning? It has to be work, or one of the kids is sick and needs a place to stay for the day. Grandma works at home.

The story is placed on hold, and my coffee is cold.

So how does an author deal with interruptions? When you’re in the “zone” and your writing seems inspired–it flows–it’s energetic. Then poof! Life happens.

Recently, I read a meme that pictured a harried female writer staring at the computer screen. The caption said something like, “If your house is neat and clean, you’ve probably never finished writing a book.”

The problem is real, especially if you’re a writer on a deadline. You’ll be burning the midnight oil. The family has to see to their own meals and laundry. Even when you’re with them, you’re not really with them. You’re constructing scenes in your head. Jotting notes on napkins, dictating conversations to your phone. Because we all know, you get the best conversations at times like those, amid the cacophony of a carload of quarreling children.

You finish writing your book. Time for a break, right? Ha ha ha! What a crazy dream. No. The work has only just begun. Now you have to get it ready. It has to be edited and sent here and there. Then the whole marketing scheme needs to be planned and put into motion, well ahead of the release. And then the release! You get a break, right?

No! Now the real work begins. You have to sell! Sell! Sell! You have to talk about yourself in third-person, like you’re the greatest thing since peanut butter.

But it’s still not over. Even after all the hoopla, now it’s time to move on. Write another one. Make it better than the one before. Dream up a brilliant story idea, preferably a series. Then it’s research, hunker down and write.

It never stops. Kind of like cleaning house. The work is never really done.


Allow me to introduce you to my latest effort:

Sutter’s Landing, Book 2 Kinsman Redeemer series

Any day now, you’ll be able to preorder it from Amazon.

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