Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Who, What, When, Where, Write

Haven't used one of these since college, but I
still think they're pretty cool. If only they
came with a delete key.
(Photo: Pixabay)
I have been writing professionally -- or endeavoring to -- for more than 25 years. In that time, I've been a school counselor, a fiancée, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a cast member, an adjunct professor, an almost-empty nester and probably a few other things as well.

I wrote at the dining room table in our first apartment and at a roomier dining room table in the house we've lived in for 25 years, as well as three different spaces in my home that we've classified as offices. I've written in my car, while waiting for my daughter to finish a class or a practice, at a table while eating lunch at Subway or Panera and in a wide array of Starbucks cafés, including the time I spent a couple of hours on my laptop at the Starbucks at the beach while my husband went to outlet stores that would have bored me silly.

I've written on our back patio and -- my favorite spot -- the screened-in porches of many condos at the beach. As I was editing a scene in the latest Marita/Angel/Charli book, I was reminded that I've also written in hotel lobbies. Insider info: when you read the celebratory Italian restaurant scene in the latest book (when it comes out later this year), picture me sitting in a hotel lobby in Connecticut trying to get the details just right.

I've written by hand, on a word processor, on several PCs, on my iPad and on my MacBook Air, the last of which is by far my favorite. I've written in snippets of time from a few quick notes scrawled in the dark when ideas pop up as I'm falling asleep to writing conferences and weekend writing retreats.

My output has been as varied as my roles and my venues. I started out submitting articles to magazines "on spec," sending self-addressed stamped envelopes along with my submissions and hoping my postage would be spent on good news, rather than paying for the delivery of a rejection letter. I still write articles but, these days, everything is submitted via email, including the invoices that ensure I get paid for my work. I've written both fiction and non-fiction, and don't foresee a day when I'll choose one over the other. I love my characters, but I also like writing about topics like organization and assertiveness, and I love it when people tell me my books have been helpful.

And then there are the blogs. Four days a week, I share my thoughts and organizational ideas.

Although this is my story, it's not entirely unique. Many writers write in multiple genres, and most juggle "real" jobs and families and, when they succeed in getting a book out into the world, find they need to ad promotion to the calendar as well. It's all in the job description.

Right now, I'm spreading the word about my latest book while making plans for another non-fiction book. In addition, I'm working on a new cover so I can re-release Casting the First Stone, while simultaneously revising the third book with the same set of characters. On deck are two more novels, along with the middle grade novel that's in the drawer, trying to snag a spot on my to-do list.

I'm not the same person I was when I started this journey a quarter of a century ago. For a writer, this
is an advantage. Every word, every day, every adventure sparks new ideas and new connections so that, with any luck, the writing stays fresh. Because inspiration is everywhere, I can stay in the same genre every time or take the leap to something new, forging new paths to keep things fresh.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

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