Ad Astra, Day 1: Writing when you have a day job

Panelists: Marie Bilodeau; Karen Danylak; Ada Hoffman; Joel Sutherland

AH: Scheduling your writing is like another job in itself.

JS: Now that I have kids, I use my time more efficiently. I writer on my lunch hour at work.

KD: I’m in a similar situation, but I can’t write at work. I have to carve out time elsewhere. I can’t write every day either. How many of you manage to write every day?

JS: It’s not always a possibility.

AH: Some authors say that you must write everyday, but I find that advice can’t apply equally to everyone.

JS: I get depressed if I can’t, though.

AH: I think the advice might be meant to counteract the people who claim to be writers but never actually write.

JS: I commonly do what I can do. I ignore everyone else while I’m writing. I once attended a reading by a single mom with seven kids who wrote her first book on her bus commute. [Mel’s note: Joel later supplied the author’s name: Martine Leavitt.]

MB: You do what you have to, especially when your publisher has a contract for two books with six month deadlines. I did my research. I used to write in the morning. Life changed and now I write in the evenings. I do write every day. It may not be much, but I write something every day.

AH: If I’ve been away from writing for a couple of days, it takes a while for me to get back into it. I try to write every day and I find I miss it when I can’t.

KD: I beat myself up for a while. Ultimately, you have to be accountable for your choices.

MB: I burned out after Heirs of a Broken Land was complete. I couldn’t write for a while after.

JS: Full time writers often have a rich spouse or some other financial supports to rely on. A friend of mine got a $25,000 advance and I was jealous until I realized how far $25,000 goes.

AH: And what about health insurance?

KD: So the plan is to marry rich. Bose noise cancelling headphones really help me to focus. I put them on while my three kids are in gymnastics. Yes I’m that person. You have to learn to write anywhere. Don’t let Mom Guilt get you. That’s the worst. I have to leave the house sometimes, or before you know it, I’m doing laundry. I made up a Tuesday night course so I could get out of the house and write.

AH: I set myself a goal. I have to write so many words before I get to do the laundry.

MB: Writing in the evenings is more difficult than writing in the morning.

KD: “Who dropped you on your head and broke your ‘NO’ button?” You have to learn to say no.

JS: It helps if you don’t have friends.

KD: What’s your Kyrptonite (outside the day job)?

MB: Zombie novels. Netflix. Anything shiny. I write by candlelight so I don’t get distracted.

AH: I’m in a long distance relationship. When my boyfriend comes over nothing gets done.

JS: Relationships. Kids, I love reality TV.

KD: Sometimes I binge-watch something, but I have given up TV in general.

MB: What about binge writing? I’ve written for three days straight before. You get ridiculous word counts. I go to a convent, a silent retreat. They provide you with meals but otherwise leave you alone. I talk to Giant Jesus. And one time, one of the nuns scratched my ass.

KD: Sometimes I binge write, like when I’m away a cons. I’d recommend Sherry Peters, author and coach. She has an ebook: Silencing your inner saboteur. Stay off social media.

[Mel’s note: After the session, I approached Marie, whom I’d met years earlier when she came to Sudbury. We reconnected and she said the nicest thing, that she was fascinated by my journey (!) Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet up with her again before the convention was over. Online stalkage begins!]

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Sundog Snippets: Renny DeGroot launches Family Business in Sudbury

Renny reading

Renny reading from Family Business

After the Tweet chat and HVC, I shot downtown to catch what I could of Renny’s book launch for her novel Family Business at the Fromagerie Elgin.

I managed to be in time for her reading and to purchase a book and get it signed.

Renny signing a book for a fan

Renny signing a book for a fan

The afternoon also included performances by one of the tenors Renny manages, and a classically trained pianist.

Music feeds the writerly soul.

Artisan cheeses, fruit, and baguettes were provided.

Though smaller than her Toronto launch, the afternoon met Renny’s expectations and generated additional publicity for her novel.

You should really check it out.

 

 

 

 

Here’s what Amazon says:

Family Business

Family Business

Set in the Netherlands against the backdrop of the Great Depression and through World War II, Family Business follows the story of Agatha Meijer and her sons, André and Johan, as they build their textile business, a business Agatha is determined her sons will carry on, regardless of their own desires. Family tension comes to a head when the boys each take a stand, sending all their lives spinning in directions none of them would have ever anticipated, and making each of them question the true meaning of loyalty, love, and freedom.

 

Sundog Snippets: Workshop with Roz Morris, part the first

Yesterday was a busy day.

First up, I had a Tweet chat, followed by a Google Plus hangout video call (HVC), with Roz Morris, Lori Sailiata, and Amy Pabalan for @M2the5th.

This was the first in what will be monthly workshops which will lead up to the release of Roz’s next Nail Your Novel.

Here is the Storify of the Twitter portion: https://storify.com/LaraBrittWrites/mto5-tweetchat-roz-morris-hel?awesm=sfy.co_jg2A

RozMorrisStorify

I’ll let the Storify speak for itself.

We did adjourn to Google Plus, but were unable to lure more than our core into the video chat. This was not recorded, because we want to invite newer users into a friendly, non-threatening space 🙂

For those of you who may not know, an HVC is much like Skype, or Facetime, if you’ve used either service. All you need to participate is a video camera, microphone, and a Google Plus account.

Many manufacturers now produce video camera and microphone in one, specifically for this kind of situation.

I have a Microsoft unit, and it’s worked swimmingly so far *looks for wood upon which to knock*.

The next events will be set up for the first Saturday of the month, the next one being May 3, 2014. The time has to be early enough for Roz in the UK, and late enough for Lori in Hawaii. So we’ve set it for 6 am HST, noon ESDT, and 5 pm BST.

It’s difficult to set a good time for everyone with a 12 hour time difference and daylight savings time complications.

We’re just happy that Roz has agreed to continue her involvement. She’s a busy author/entrepreneur, but, as you may be able to tell, so generous with her time and talents.

To stay in the know, please join us on the @M2the5th Google Plus community (linked above).

Please join us for the next @M2the5th Tweet chat and HVC. I’ll probably post something to get the newly initiated started with HVCs later this month. Yes, more writer tech commeth 🙂