We’ve officially survived the first month of a new year. Everyone make it through? All limbs attached? *two arms-check, two legs-check, head-little wobbly, brain—-brain? BRAIN? Great we have a runner!*
We’ve settled nicely into the new shack. Enough so that I’m finding it easier to write at home, rather than ditching the males and heading to a coffee shop. It’s keeping my caffeine spending down, which is a plus. Of course, my coffee maker is working overtime.
Shadow’s Curse, the fourth book in the Kyn Kronicles, is now out and ready to be taken home. Just be careful, Natasha can be a bit…um…difficult, even if Darius is trying to keep tabs on what she’s up to.
I’m happy to share that the second book in the PSY-IV Series is well underway. I even gave my ever patient editors a *gulp* deadline. Word counts are being pounded out, almost daily, and the struggle to keep the job that pays the bills to a low 45 hour week, seems to be working.
Of course to accomplish that feat, I had to put my foot down. Especially since directly after the holidays my work week spiked to 60 hours. Part of it was I had this very nifty, very complex report I was creating from scratch. Not just the data, but how to represent it, and Excel and I are not besties. However, after weeks of slugging through COUNTIF formulas and repeatedly telling my sons, “You know how I said you won’t use Algebra later? Um, yeah, I lied. Go do your homework!”, the report emerged in all its beautiful splendor to many accolades. And I was only a little battered and bruised.
You think it would be easy to set some boundaries between your professional and personal lives. Well, unless you’re like me. I’ve been holding a job since I was fourteen (twelve if we start with paid babysitting) and the work ethic I had drilled into my psyche meant you did your job in such a way you exceeded expectations. I don’t think back in the semi-stone ages, anyone had a clue how we’d be electronically linked to our jobs 24/7, 365. Maybe then the ethic would be “Do your job, then unplug”. Now, it’s more common clock out, be home with family, only to have to answer the email/phone call that interrupts family time or personal quiet me time after seven.
That’s not an easy thing to break. Even harder when your position used to be done by more than one person, and now it’s all you.
Now toss in something, like say, writing, and boy howdy you better watch out. Writing, even though it’s a joy, it still requires a dedicated time commitment. One you have to carve out of an already limited clock. I’ve had many people ask how I get two 300 plus page books written a year, hold a job, and my family. And more importantly, why do it in the first place?
My answer: Because for all the sacrifices, I love writing. I sit my ass in a chair five nights a week while my boys (hubby and sons) venture off into their virtual worlds on epic journeys and I create my own adventures. For roughly two hours. I won’t let myself read a book or watch any of my favorite shows until I have pounded out my words. I’d love nothing more than to curl up and read for hours on end after work, but it’s just not going to happen. Not if I want to tell the stories in my head. I make myself stick to my schedule, get two books into my two editors each year so I can release one Kyn book and one PSY-IV book each year. If I do well and time it right, I manage to get a month off in-between. Then it’s all about the stuff I’ve put off or the shows crowding my DVR. Much like others will go train for that marathon, or play with a band on their weekend nights, I write.
So how do you all do it? Are you creatures of routine or have you found the magic formula that let’s you do it all?