From Carleen Brice's "Tips on Writing and Working Full-Time," which is linked below: "I’m a little concerned about getting back in the habit of using my time wisely (no more Real Housewives for me!), but because I wrote my first novel while working full-time I know something important: it’s not really how much time we have, it’s what we do with it."
Participating in NaNoWriMo this past November (at www.nanowrimo.org) gave me the opportunity to finally devote large quantities of time to writing fiction. I started several days into the month, naively unaware of what a difference those few days could make. I realized too late that November is an extremely difficult time to make all of that extra work fit into an already packed schedule—Thanksgiving especially threw me off track and made me feel a bit frantic. However, as is often true, being naïve was advantageous—it gave me the courage and blind determination necessary to push through at any cost and meet my goal.
I finished my word count goal on November 26th and felt victorious. That lasted about half a minute, after which I began looking into the next steps of the process. I quickly discovered what all writers know entirely too well—the writing, challenging and draining as it might be, is certainly the easy part. It’s networking, establishing an “internet presence,” navigating twitter, and being to prepare a platform and put together a query letter that are the real obstacles (not to mention revision, as I’ve discussed on here in the past). If you’re interested in reading about the art of using twitter effectively, check out http://septuagenarianjourney.wordpress.com/. Jay Squires, the author of that blog, has a series of vivid posts that detail the nuances of tweeting and twitter. I have so much to learn! Phew!
Each passing day (in the wee morning hours and in the evening), I find myself searching for more time to research, read articles, read fiction—not to mention read, reflect on, write comments for, and score the latest batch of essays for my primary job, my teaching career. The more I explore, the more time I need.
The article “Tips for Writing and Working Full-Time” by Carleen Brice offers some useful encouragement and includes links to some other helpful sites: http://writerunboxed.com/2013/03/26/tips-for-writing-and-working-full-time/. I’m working on finding a balance between the rigid schedule approach and the “drink the Kool-Aid” approach.
The truth is that I am excited, especially after the past few months of looking at all of the other aspects of writing and publication, to get back to simply writing (not that it’s simple, but it’s direct and pure and a whole lot of fun). Good luck to all of the other NaNoWriMo campers!
So here goes! Day 1 and counting…