A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER
THE LIES I TOLD MYSELF - PART II
A slightly humorous look at the journey.
By Patty Wiseman
My dream came true. I retired six years ago and now pursue my lifelong passion of being an writer. My original goal was to be disciplined, dedicated, undistracted, patient, creative, and productive. In the beginning, I tried to establish these rules for that new chapter in my life. I remember the excitement as I faced the endless possibilities shining before me like glittering stars in the sky.
Let’s take stock of where I am compared to six years ago.
First – DISCIPLINE – MY INTENTIONS
Rise at 5:30 a.m. each morning, and eat a hearty breakfast. Dress and prepare as if going to the office.
One hour for social media, shut down the internet, and proceed to tap out pearls of wisdom and passages of literary brilliance.
Lunch precisely at twelve noon and back to the composition of the next great novel.
My evenings would be for family.
I did manage to get up two mornings in a row at 5:30, had a piece of toast and a cookie, dressed, spent three hours on social net-working (after all, you need followers, right?), ate lunch, watched a segment of Dr. Phil, (for inspiration), managed to write 250 words before I realized supper wouldn’t make itself… so much for discipline.
Second DEDICATION –
I have three WIP’s in the works, a few reviews to write, a blog to think about, a couple of book trailers started. If my discipline is in place, my dedication should follow suit, right? I love what I do. It’s what I live for…
Let’s talk about the discipline that is in place— uh, not so much. When I finished social networking, I’d whip out my current manuscript and pound out two or three pages. Well… lines then. The plot bogged down, so I rationalized the best thing to do was pull out the second manuscript. Do you see where this is going?
Third – DISTRACTION –
I wanted to treat this like any other job. Eight hours a day. I intended to line out the day as I described above and stick to it, no matter what. Just because I didn’t have a boss standing over me, didn’t mean I couldn’t be self-disciplined. I was my own boss and a tough task master.
I couldn’t think of the word I wanted to use in a sentence. I reached down to pick up the Flip Dictionary I discarded on the floor and noticed a few lint balls from the towels I folded earlier. Well, what would visitors think of my housekeeping skills? Which reminded me of the dog. Had he been walked today? His pen was a mess from all the rain. Those weeds needed to come out before…
Fourth – PATIENCE -
I told myself I write romantic historical mysteries. Yes that is what I am, a romantic suspense author. Shouldn’t be hard. I am a woman; I’ve had experience in romance. I like to read historical romance novels. I write in the 1920’s era, and I listened to both my grandmothers tell stories. But sometimes I used expressions which did not fit the time period. So, I stopped and looked up those key expressions, the fashion, the entertainment, the mind set of women of that day. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Really? I’m an independent thinker, so while I do enjoy the historical aspect of the research, I find myself exasperated after I’ve written a scene, only to find out, women didn’t act or talk that way in that era. At certain points, I was tempted to leave it. The reader won’t notice. Yeah, right. The reader DOES notice. So back to the research to get it correct. Didn’t I see a bag of popcorn in the cupboard? I didn’t water the plants, did I? And so we go…
Fifth – CREATIVE -
How can I not be creative? I write, therefore, I am creative. Especially when it comes to romance and mystery. The words should flow as we spend hours at our craft. We tell ourselves, we are published authors. We, of all people have that gift.
Just how many ways can you say ‘They gazed into each other’s eyes, and her heart skipped a beat.’?
Sixth – PRODUCTIVE –
At the end of that first week of retirement. I was heady with accomplishment. I looked back through my notes, recounted the many tasks and goals I set for myself, eager to see the results of all my hard labor.
One full page. I wrote one full page in a week. This ‘be your own boss’ thing was not what it’s cracked up to be. I listened to all the advice, set my goals, but alas, things were not as they seemed. This is really a lot like, well…work.
Lest any should become discouraged with my journey after retirement to full time writer, let me assure you. I adjusted to being my own boss.
I still write and love it, but I’ve branched out to so many other things retirement has allowed me to pursue. Admittedly, I don’t spend a lot of time on social media anymore. Only to check in when I have something to say to lift and encourage people and to support those who support me. What I found on this journey is the many exciting things writing has brought to me. And so, I branch out, enrich my life, encourage others, and get the most out of every drop of life I am given. Life is truly a gift. Give it all you’ve got!
NEW ENDEAVORS -
I’m learning to be a voice actress
I’m writing a screenplay
I’m writing a children’s book
I’m making lampshades again
I’m learning to make jewelry
Every day I find something new to learn.
Diversify! It’s easy to burn out on writing, even if you love it. Try something new. Learn! It’s amazing what doors will open to you!
Coming soon! Book Four! An Unlikely Deception. I’ll be announcing soon!