MAKING A WRITER’S LIFE EASIER – REALLY?
I admire writers who produce novels while working a full-time job. I have no idea how they work their time management, but they clearly have a level of self-discipline I have never even dreamed is available to tap into. Then they come home to take care of little children, do homework, make dinner, put on a wash, participate in their marriage… and write a novel or two.
I do not work outside the home, but wear many hats from bookkeeping to overseeing a homeschool teen, to being a new grandma, to making jewelry, to providing astrology sessions. I’ve left out a few of my regular gigs but you get the idea.
I should be producing three times more finished books than I am. Although I don’t believe we are all born equal, we each have just 24 hours in a day to do with as we choose. I’m on a mission to find out what works for other authors when it comes to increasing productivity.
The latest story in my Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle series, The Sheikh’s Crowning, should be available on Amazon and other e-platforms right now. But it isn’t, and won’t be for another six weeks. It’s not the characters giving me a hard time, although Rick is a tough undercover agent who likes doing things his way, not mine. And Yasmine lets me write a scene and then tells me she’s a widow, not a virgin. Or is it the other way around? I can take things like that in my stride. My problem is time management.
For months I saw incessant ads on television that made me drool for a particular voice activation software. There was this fellow, laboring at an ironing board with kids running circles around him, oblivious to everything as he dictated his hot romance into headphones. I was convinced that if I got hold of that incredible wizard’s tool that worked like a magic wand, I could pump out a book a week. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but surely a book a month?
Lo and behold, my son called and told me I could get that very software discounted to half price, but only for twenty-four hours. So I punched in my credit card info as fast as my fingers would fly over the keys, and within about three days the coveted green and white box arrived.
My first go round with the software, I stayed up until 4am trying to teach it to recognize my accent. I am not from Transylvania, although I have a slightly unusual accent. I was ready to throw the thing across the room when it occurred to me that maybe the headphone that came with the software wasn’t working. I plugged in my old headphones to see if that would work. It did. I went to bed, still bristling.
My laptop melted and I had to buy another. I uploaded the software onto the new one but have still – one year later – not successfully used it. When I whisper sweet nothings into the mic, my words and the words that show up on the page are galaxies apart.
Noise is a big factor. With a stay at home retired husband and homeschooled teen in a small house, there is only so much concentration time available. I’ve tried coffee shops and the library, but can’t ‘get into it’ the same way with strangers surrounding me.
Back to The Sheikh’s Crowning… Rick and Yasmine are becoming impatient, as are my readers. They want their story written. I’m even considering renting a room in a sleazy motel, and taking just my laptop and enough food and drink to survive a week of nothing but writing, editing and sleeping… no car outside the door for a joy ride!
That’s an extreme measure to take, so I hope you’ll leave a comment and share some tips that work for you. If you use voice activation software, have you got a tip that might make using it feel like a natural thing to do? Is there a way to bribe it to actually display the words you said?
Please don’t tell me to just put my butt in the chair and stay there. I am in the chair probably twelve hours a day… hence I’ve got a lot of butt to park in the chair! Much of that time is spent looking for promo for the books I have finished writing. Now there’s a time suck… but that’s another blog post for another day.
Enjoy the blue sky of summer, and I’d be thrilled if you decide to read any of my spicy sheikh novellas while you take some time out to smell the roses… and chase dragons.
If you enjoy sizzling desert princes and passionate heroines in exotic settings, check out my website.
Delilah, thanks again for having me!