Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Writing 101: Confessions of an Absentee Author

In a perfect world, I would write every word of my books from the proper typing position, in a comfortable room all alone. I would have an endless supply of coffee and Mountain Dew. And I would type on my laptop, watching the story unfold before my very eyes. This is not how I write my books. I’m about to tell you the truth of how I manage to write books while working an 80-workweek. The truth is, I almost never type books on my laptop. These are the confessions of an absentee author.

To Tell the Truth

Last Thursday, I worked for 16 hours straight. I do mean straight. I don’t take breaks to eat, because clearly I haven’t got the time for that nonsense. I eat one-handed and drive the mouse with the other so I can still get some work done. The Wednesday before last Thursday, I worked for almost 14 hours. Every day, I work all day. When I get finished, I want to sleep. It would be ideal if I could just go ahead and crash then and there with the laptop still on top of me. That way, when I wake up I can just get right back to it. But that’s not very practical, because I still have to brush my teeth. So I don’t go immediately to sleep when I finish working. I may have to fold laundry or clean something up. I’ve got to wash my face and floss. And here is where I find the time to write my books. If you can call it that.

Sometimes, it only takes one hand to fold the laundry (you need a flat surface to work with, however, that’s important), and I have an electric toothbrush. This means I only need one hand to do that as well. So while I am doing these other tasks that must be done, I write books. This is not an ideal situation. I can’t stress that enough. But it’s what I’ve got to work with, and I don’t know any authors who are in an ideal situation of any sort. When you’re an indie and you’ve got to write and you’re going to write, you find ways to make the craziest things work. And I can probably help you with that.

For starters, I keep my books in clouds. I do this so that I may access these files from any device at any time. If my tablet’s losing power, I can pull the same manuscript right up on my phone. It fits quite nicely behind the faucet when I’m brushing my teeth, though the plumbing does make it hard to type. Keeping my files in the clouds allows me to get some writing done if I’m standing in line, waiting for my name to be called at the doctor’s office, or whatever. I fill up any free moment with writing, and in this way slowly eke out books.

There are lots of ways to make writing work, if you’re creative and you’re determined. These are two qualities that all authors must have just to get to the end of the manuscript, so I’m sure that you’ve got them, too.

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