Life of a Writer

Note: The following resulted from a few days of introspection, but is largely unedited and may be a little disjointed. I prefer to keep it that way, for now, because I feel like that’s truer to whatever it was I was trying to convey. Also, this is my blog and I can do what I want, including post inane rants. So there you go.

Writing is what I love to do. Everything from an idea’s inception to the formation and the crafting of that idea into something fun and exciting to the completion of that idea and typing the words “The End” onto a page to feeling the satisfying weight of a finished manuscript in my hands is glorious to me. Admittedly, editing is not my favorite, but even that is an illuminating endeavor.

And I have tried to make writing my life. Not just something I do as a hobby, not just something I do in my free time, but something that is part of me every day.

The thing is, however, that I haven’t been writing lately, not how I’d like to anyway.

I think that part of the reason I haven’t been writing is because I’m afraid that I won’t be able to write in the future. I know I have things to write down, that’s not the problem. What I’m afraid of is getting stuck doing something else that is NOT writing.

In essence, I would love to write full-time, don’t get me wrong, but the financial necessities of life may preclude that possibility for a bit. That’s just a reality.

What I’ve feared is that I won’t have the time to write.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that this is a lie. It’s a lie I’ve been telling myself, and I’m ready to let it go.

I took a look at one of my blog posts from several months ago about why NaNoWriMo was useful for me. One of the biggest things was that it taught me that I could write no matter what, under any circumstances. That was particularly useful for me to reflect upon because, while my life is crazy, it isn’t anywhere near the level of craziness that it was just over a year ago. I’ve learned a lot since then too. I’ve completed a project that I was proud of, I’ve honed my craft. Since then, I’ve also learned that I really DO have the time.

So why haven’t I been writing?

The simple answer is “school,” and really, that would be a legitimate answer in a lot of ways. Still, it isn’t the real reason.

The real reason is that I’ve been afraid to give up the things in my life that have been getting in the way of my writing. We don’t have cable, but we do watch TV series on DVD or the occasional movie. We also play video games once in a while too, and I must admit that sometimes I need it after a long day of school and parenting.

Still, I’ve realized that I NEED writing more.

So I’m making some life changes. I’m cutting out television, cutting out Twitter (my greatest nickel-and-dime vice time wise) and anything else that keeps me from doing my homework, being with my family and doing my writing.

No matter what else is going on, I can still find time to sit down at my keyboard and click away as ideas flow in a molten stream from my brain to my fingertips. I can still find quiet moments to spend with my story, my characters, to see what each of them want and need.

No matter what else, I can still have the life of a writer.

LTUE 2014 (and Kudos to a few of the attendees)

I went to LTUE (Life, the Universe and Everything) 2014 this year and aside from some sleep deprivation, it was excellent for me. There were oodles and gobs of interesting and educational panels and I learned a LOT. Most everyone was gracious and informative, especially Anne Sowards (an executive editor with the Penguin publishing group), Johnny Worthen (whose book, Beatrysel, I am not familiar with, though I will be sure to rectify that mistake soon), Michaelbrent Collings (who writes all around the map, but tends to stick with horror, I believe, and YES, his name is Michaelbrent, one word) and finally, Sandra Tayler (author of the “One Cobble at a Time” blog and some excellent picture books).

I asked Anne for about five minutes of her time, and she ended up giving me ten, talking about the publishing industry and some of the new things in the genre that Penguin (under ACE and ROC) has coming out. She was easy to speak with, and treated me like a professional even though she’s never read a word I’ve written.

Johnny was not only informative on whatever panel he participated in, but he was entertaining as well and made mingled with people at the conference easily and personably. On Thursday, I’d been sitting in the lounge, checking my phone, when he came up and introduced himself, asked a bit about me, and was wholly agreeable. Kudos to him for being awesome. Also, his book and upcoming series both sound very interesting, so go give them a read.

Michaelbrent was pretty awesome as well, if I’m going to be completely honest. Every panel I attended that he happened to be on delivered, both in terms of humor and useful content. In addition, I spent some time talking to him at his table in the Dealer’s Room about his books, which ones were his favorites to write and so forth. I told him to give me the book that he thought would lure me in and make me read the rest of his books. After a bit of discussion, I ended up buying Strangers, a book about a family who gets sealed into their house by a serial killer. Yeah, it’s gonna be creepy, but I expect it to be good. Also, his website is a great read. Go there.

Finally, Sandra Tayler, whose work I had only been marginally acquainted with up to this point, gave an excellent reading on (I think) Friday. Her picture books were stunning in their story and art, her blog collections were simultaneously humorous and inspiring, and her novel excerpt moved me nearly to tears. On the whole, it was an excellent experience, and I can’t wait for her to finish the novel and release it. I’d recommend you all go get her books. Nay, I’d tell you that you were doing yourself a GROSS disservice if you didn’t…. Nay, NAY, that you were verging on inadequacy and incompletion in LIFE if you didn’t go get her books NOW! Too much? Okay. Suffice it to say that her books were excellent, and you should buy them.

There were a multitude of other great people doing presentations and panels, but these were the individuals with whom I had personal interactions and was most impressed.

I may have more thoughts later, but these are the things I have most on my brain at the moment.

Ciao,

Branson