Writing is often a lonely, isolating experience. We usually find our quiet space, fill it with white noise or our favorite music, and write characters that exist in our minds before they do on paper.
We spend a lot of time like that. Too much, sometimes.
The most valuable thing to me is my time. It is why it is a consistent theme in the Gabby Wells Thrillers. I am very protective of it. I would rather spend it with my family than at work. I’d rather be writing than watching television. I’d rather be at church than sleeping in.
I hate wasting my time. Hate it. Haaaate it. Because, once it’s gone, I can never get it back.
I write at night. I write on weekends. I write on vacation. But, I make sure it isn’t all that I do.
There have been times where I have let a daily goal slip by to spend time with my young adult children to watch a movie or sporting event. I’ll let a chapter simmer another day to have a date night with my wife. I’ll miss my prime writing time to spend an hour with God in church.
Those are good uses of time.
Another good use of time is spending it with other writers. Because so many people write something everyday they think they know what it means to be a writer. That’s not true. Being a writer is work. Another job. A small business. A marketing firm. A venture capital entity. It is all those things and more.
I am fortunate to work at a large company with my daughter and two other writers, Elise Kova and TJ Waters. Once a month we have lunch, talk about our progress, talk about our failings, set goals and laugh along the way. Those lunches are a blessing.
I have no doubt Elise is going to rocket to success. Before deciding to indy publish she has done so many things right. She’s developed a following, fans, a social presence and has a plan to release novels every three months until her first series is complete.
TJ’s previous three letter acronym government experience has inspired him to write a series of page turners, some of which have been eyed by Hollywood. He also founded a company that allows digital signatures on ebooks, so authors can have book signings, even if the fan buys an ebook. That company is making great headway with traditional publishers and a number of other entertainment entities.
My daughter, Dorothea, is penning an exciting series about angels and demons and I am humbly working on the Gabby Wells novels.
It’s refreshing to take a lunch every few weeks to spend time with these fellow writers. We’re all in different genres, but we all get the struggle. We’re each making progress in our specific areas of focus, while sharing what has worked and not worked. It’s great to share the challenge with those who get it.
So, writers, get out of your writing space and invest a little time with those around you, both at home and other novelists. We were designed as a species to interact with each other, and not just with the people we make up in our minds. Close the laptop every once and a while and hang out with living, breathing people. Do it today, if you can, because this day only occurs once in your lifetime.