Since the inception of this blog, I’ve always confined my topics to writing. The intent has been to show the trials and triumphs of the professional aspiring author. The hope is that I can not only educate budding authors of any age, but I can also serve as a source of inspiration.
Though it’s rare, once in a while, I may include a personal note on this blog. However, my Face Book posts and tweets on Twitter are a little more liberal with this type of information. That being said, I’d like to take a moment to address a topic that’s part personal and part professional. After all, regardless of the old adage about leaving your personal problems at the door of your job, you can’t help being professionally influenced by personal factors.
If you recall, a few weeks ago, I was a bit concerned about my third and final installment in a rather popular trilogy I’ve been sharing in an online writer’s community. To recap, fans were clamoring for the story, and I had some reservations about being able to live up to their expectations. While I’m pleased to report they’ve embraced the novel and are giving it rave reviews thus far, I’ve run into a new problem; something I never considered would happen.
Fans are so rabidly enjoying the work that they devour my chapters in short order and quickly ask for more. In the past, I could meet this demand and was good to upload a chapter every few days. As S.E. Hinton pointed out in the title of one of her lesser known novels, that was then, this is now. I don’t have the same luxury of time I had in the past, which I’ve been upfront in sharing with fans each time I post. Still, I get the tongue in cheek threats to discontinue following me if I don’t post faster or the outright refusal to read any more of my work until I’ve uploaded more. Each time this happens, I have the urge to reach out to each of these people to explain the cause of the delays. Seeing as how that could be rather time consuming, I thought I’d do a one size fits all post. So, here goes.
Writing is not my full time career, though I’d love it to be. Instead, it’s a hobby that’s slowly been blossoming into a secondary career. My proverbial day job is a supervisory position with my local government that requires I be there for the standard eight hour a day forty hour week. I wish I could say I run right home from my job and go straight to my computer to bang out my latest literary creation, but I’m lucky to see the computer on weeknights. As the mother of two daughters, both of whom are active in extra curricular activities, I’m often shuttling them to practices. Days that aren’t devoted to practice are dedicated to competitions in their respective sports which I make every effort not to miss. And for the record, I’m not a single parent. I have a husband who takes an active role in our children’s lives, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have parental obligations to fulfill. With a full weekday schedule, you’d think my weekends were my time to pursue my passion for writing. This is true to a small degree. My children have weekend practices and events that my husband and I have to drive them to and then attend in support of them. Weekends are also the time I set aside for grocery shopping, housework, laundry and other domestic tasks.
With this many demands on my time, I’m forced to budget time to write. And you know what they say about the best laid plans. I had a very fine plan to get in a few hours of writing yesterday that was unwittingly sabotaged by a surprise visit from the in laws. Because my time to write is few and far between during this busy season, I guard it greedily. Rather than spend all of my time uploading chapters of a novel that’s already written, I like to work on new offerings as well. After all, when this trilogy comes to an end, fans will be expecting something new that lives up to the standard of this trilogy.
To be fair, I could be in worse predicaments than having my work adored by impatient people. It could be panned by them. Worse, no one could have any interest in it and then my demanding personal life would be moot.
In my day job, I tell my subordinates you can only do what you can only do. That’s advice I need to apply to this situation. I can only do what I can only do. Hopefully my fans will understand.