If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sacsser Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Really, Who Has Time to Write?

By Carla Damron www.carladamron.com
Writers get this question all the time, but I tend to think it’s not a matter of finding time, but making time. We are all crazy busy in this life. Family responsibilities, work, etc, etc, are all distractions that will thwart our writing project if we let them. For me, the question is really about how I keep my writing alive while going about the business of living my life. I don’t get to write every day, and if I let too much time pass before returning to a project, it’s almost like having to start over.
Another thing that happens (though I doubt some writers will admit it) is this: we let life keep us from writing. This is more likely to happen when we reach a bumpy part in our process. The story line feels flat. The last scene died an ugly death. We have no clue what should happen next. It feels boring to write so it will be surely bore the reader. Suddenly, vacuuming seems like a GREAT idea, and we always meant to reorganize that closet, and shouldn’t we balance the check book and see if those boots we like are still on sale?
Really, who has time to write?
The relationship with our writing becomes dysfunctional. I’ve broken up with my writing a time or two, but now I understand that weathering these rough patches is important—in fact, it’s critical-- for the success of any writer. What I’d like to offer are a few pointers that might help get your relationship with your writing back on track.
1)      Keep going. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard that one before. But do it.  Plod, crawl, kick and scream, but keep going forward. If every word sucks, keep going. Sometimes I think these patches are actually necessary; they help us peel back a new layer in our work. We may scramble for days but then suddenly it comes to us—in a flash, in a meeting, in a dream—and we figure out what we were missing. The joy of writing comes back.
2)      Even when you can’t sit down at the computer and don’t have even a few minutes to jot down a paragraph or two, keep your writing with you. Make sure you think about it four or five times during the day. When you have insomnia, ponder a character who has been troubling you. That boring meeting you have to attend? Imagine you’re sitting next to your protagonist. What would he/she whisper to you? What would he/she have to say about what you just read in the morning paper?
3)      If it feels like you’re at a dead halt, take a step back. Print out the manuscript or load it onto a tablet, Nook or Kindle and give it a cover-to-cover read. What stands out as its strength? Where is it faltering? Are you clinging to a storyline that isn’t working, when another is clearly taking focus? Time to regroup!

I have another trick that keeps my project well woven into my life. I send it to my Kindle and have the Kindle read it aloud to me when I’m commuting home from work. This works with the older versions of Kindle that have “text to speech” activated. The voice isn’t perfect, but it does use phrasing, and listening to the words allows me to hear problems like repeated sentence structures or overused words. And, of course, I can hear where the suckage commences, though y’all probably don’t have a problem like that.  Once I get home, I’m usually eager to sit down and get to work, even if just for a half hour. I think this habit has prevented many a divorce between me and my writing projects.

Don’t have time to write? Sorry, but I don’t buy it. Make time. The story is in you and it’s your job to give it life.


Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Carla. This is a message I needed to hear today. I'm going to follow your good advice.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

To find out what is really important in someone's life we need only review their checkbook for how they earn and spend money and calendar (real, not imagined) for how they spend time.

So, I think you have nailed in Carla: if writing is really important, people will find the time--and if they can't perhaps something else is more important to them.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

I've taken to placing my work on the coffee table by my sofa. If I want the table and the room to look neat--I have to slog through my revisions and my writing partners' critiques to get rid of the mess. Every time I lay on the sofa to read, I bump into all the stacks!

You're right, Carla, and thanks for the suggestion of sending it to Kindle. Now that will be an eye opener. Not sure if I have text to voice capabilities. I'll check it out.

Alyx Morgan said...

This has been a theme for me lately, Carla, so thanks for writing this. :o) I'm currently slogging through a rewrite that's daunting, ugly & part of me doesn't want to do it. But I've signed a 3-year lease for office space, so I need to get my money's worth.

Gloria Alden said...

Great blog, Carla. I'd be feeling even more guilty as I saw myself doing all that procrastinating you mention if I hadn't picked up that short story started several weeks ago and finished it this morning before going online. Such a sense of satisfaction I get, and probably all writers, when we've put in at least a few successful hours writing.