Refueling

Posted Mar 20 2013, 8:00 am in , , , , ,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcarlosn/3714372436/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcarlosn/3714372436/

I’ve been crazy busy for a while now. Such is the life of a debut author. For all of you who picture authors sitting around in PJs eating bon-bons and tapping away on the computer, hold onto that dream. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a writer. It’s hard work, harder than most people expect, but I do love it. There is no real preparation for being published, though. Before getting a contract, you write and query and write some more. After the contract, you have to write and instead of querying, you’re editing, and going over page proofs and trying to figure out promo, while still trying to write your next book under deadline. Again, it’s not a complaint. It’s just reality. 

In addition to working on some non-O’Leary things, I know within the next month, I’ll get copy edits for A Good Time. I’m preparing for RT at the end of next month. I’m presenting at my RWA chapter next Monday (with a presentation that I just created – trial run! They get to be my guinea pigs). I’m also still working my part-time job and I start teaching a new college class for the next 5 weeks. I love my jobs and being able to work from home is the best. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And even with all those things piled onto my regular person life (i.e. MOM), I still wouldn’t trade it. I thrive under pressure.

But sometimes we need to step back and refuel. 

I was reminded of that tonight. I went out to dinner with my critique partner. I haven’t seen her in over 4 months. We used to meet up for lunch ever week or two. Sometimes we’d just talk about TV and regular life crap. Other times, we’d plot and brainstorm and critique our stuff. She’s had some family problems (hence the 4 months of not hanging out) and she’s going to be moving out of state. Of course I knew I missed seeing her, but I didn’t know exactly how much until dinner tonight.

We caught up on personal stuff and I offered her ideas to get back into the groove of writing in light of her family situation. Then she helped me brainstorm my next O’Leary book. Before dinner, I had nothing more than a general idea about the characters. Now, I have the basic plot and some of the points. I’m totally energized about a book I don’t even plan to start until next month at the earliest.

And I’m not a plotter, not really. But this will be the first book that I’m truly writing under deadline. I have to have it ready to go by November 1st and until tonight, I had nothing.

It was an excellent reminder to me how important it is to be around other writers, other people who get it. It’s why ‘mommy and me’ groups work so well for new moms. You adore being with your kids, but sometimes you need to chat with someone who gets it, who understands not only who you are, but what you’re going through. I don’t know how I could’ve forgotten how powerful a simple meal could be.

So this is your reminder to take a step back and find someone to talk to about your writing, your job, your kids…someone who will “get it.” Absorb it and enjoy it.

What’s your favorite way to refuel?

1 Comment

Comments

One response to “Refueling”

  1. RB Austin says:

    Refuel? What’s that? 😉 I, too, have many projects going on at once. I just realized this weekend, with the help of my sister, that taking a break now and again is necessary. Not just for me or my family, but also for my characters. Great post.