Friday, April 20, 2012

When writing and life collide

Writing is one of the loneliest jobs that any can choose to have. I don't care if your PR PERSONALITY TEST says you are an introvert or extrovert. We spend countless hours. . .ALONE!

We do this because it takes hours upon hours honing our craft. No one can help you hone your craft but you, and in order to make it as a writer, you have to get better. The only way to get better is to write, write, write. Are we really ever seen without a pen/pencil, notebook, or laptop in our hands? RARELY....not even in our sleep! I keep my journal on my bedside table when sleeping because sometimes my characters start talking to me in the middle of the night. My dear husband has learned to accept all the people that share my head.



Writing can be a bitter/sweet job. We have our happiest moment when we write. We get to create the world of our dreams. Go places that we never knew we could go. Create characters that can do anything we want them to do. BUT writing can be so bitter. We get stuck. We sit in front of our computers for hours with nothing coming out. We try to make things fit into our story when they just aren't going to fit.

A lot of times we have to stop our REAL life for our writing. We have to pull ourselves away from our children, our wife, our husband, or our four legged creatures in order to get those words written on the page. We open our writing door to come out to go to the grocery only to get an idea in the cereal aisle and root for a pen in our purse to jot down notes on the Cheerio box you just pulled off the shelf. And you don't even eat Cheerios, but it was the closest tablet to write on when you got that amazing idea that couldn't wait or that you'd forget by the time you got to the end of the aisle.

When we've had enough of the negative, or the daily grind of regular life, we seek solstice at our writing desk. Or when we've fought with our muse, our characters, we will do housework, laundry, pick up dog poop, anything to get our hiney out of the chair.

Sometimes we just want to stop writing for a little while, but writing refuses to let us put it down.

Tell me, how do you balance life and writing? To show you how much I want to help you, I'm giving away a copy of my non-fiction novel, The Tricked Out Toolbox to one lucky comment!!

Be sure to take a look at becoming a member of Tonya Kappes STREET TEAM! It's free and you get prizes!!

25 comments:

  1. I have really been struggling with this recently, Tonya. I have come to the conclusion that balance is a myth; the only way I'm going to get my writing accomplished with all the other things I have going on in my life is to make it my first priority. Now, to write!

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    1. Pam, it's so hard to make time. I discovered that writing had to be incorporated into my regular life. I don't do one without the other.

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  2. People who read (and don't write) have NO IDEA!! That will be a truly lucky commenter. GREAT book!!

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    1. Thanks, PJ!! You so rock!! Yes, non-writers don't really understand our obsession:)

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  3. I find it goes in waves - when I'm writing hard that's all I want to do, and when there's a lot of real life going on, it's almost impossible to write! Found you and followed via the Author Karma link.

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    1. Hi, Deborah!! I'm so glad to connect with you here!!! Real life issues that are on the positive side can really get you down. And getting into the writing mode when you aren't in the right frame of mind is so hard! Check out my blog on emotional baggage.....
      http://tonyakappes.blogspot.com/2012/04/writing-through-emotional-baggage.html

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  4. I *try* to balance the rest of my life and writing by saying this to myself "You need family and friends in this life to stay sane and normal."

    I'm paranoid enough as it is so whenever I feel like I've been too much of a hermit, I emerge to block out writing for a while and return to Earth.

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    1. Rebecca, without our friends and family to keep use sane we would really be lost. It's always great and refreshing to come up for air.

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  5. Awesome post. The wee hours of early morning are almost the only time that someone or something else isn't pulling at my shirtsleeve. (Yawn)

    Luckily, my characters are early risers! :)

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    1. Hahhaa! I wish my characters were early risers....we rise early, but they are grumpy until later in the morning.

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  6. Sadly, I've been dealing with writer's block for a while now. Sure, I manage the occasional short story, poem, or novel chapter, but it's been over five years since I've finished a novel, which is my medium of choice. Now I'm publishing old stuff, but that requires editing. I can balance editing and life just fine, but mostly because I greatly dislike the editing process. ;)

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    1. Roy!! Editing your back list is GREAT! It's a good way to get it published and that will motivate you out of that writer's block! I think I need to do a post on writer's block.....

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  7. This is what we all struggle with, but there is a way! Strive for it, prioritize, organize, schedule until you are blue in the face, and then...be ready for that schedule to be fluid, because life is what happens when we're making plans. xox

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  8. Honestly I enjoy the solitude, my writing is sort of an escape for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your blog with us.

    David B. Beaver
    Fantasy World of Diamic

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    1. David, I love my solitude as well. There is nothing better than escaping into the deep thoughts.

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  9. Hi Tonya,
    I live alone, so I'm comfortable and I enjoy my own company. I'm never alone, however. My characters are always with me. Like you, I keep a pad and pen at bedside. That being said, there are times (like right now) when I get stagnated and bogged down by too many ideas. This causes me to have to stop and rethink my plot. As for balance ... I have long ago given myself permission to be temporarily out of balance. I have discovered that dust keeps and there is usually always something to eat in the freezer. No great author is remembered for their clean house, but rather for their great writing and that wonderful book you just couldn't put down. I want to be that author, so I guess rather than balance, I strive to stay focused and on my writing path. I sure would like to have a copy of that book of yours, though :)

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    1. " No great author is remembered for their clean house, but rather for their great writing and that wonderful book you just couldn't put down."

      I love this, Gerri!! I want to be that author too!! Even with four boys I have learned to let the dust and laundry pile...for a couple days anyways.

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  10. Great post! Honestly, I have no balance. I write in the living room using my laptop so that my family has full access to me. I've learned to stop writing mid-sentence, answer questions, stir the dinner that's sitting on the stove, attend to whatever needs others have, and then return to my work and continue writing. It is chaos at my house, but everything gets done eventually! :-)

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    1. WOW! Chantel, you amaze me! When everyone is picking my brain other than my characters, I can't concentrate on anything...my brain goes to mush.

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  11. I find it best to be gentle with myself. If I just can't get to the writing, I can't. Case in point, I had a bad cold this week, with a fever. I just knew that nothing good would come out. So I let it slide. Pressure and guilt have no place in the creative process. Discipline and consistency are goals and habits, not manacles.

    Another great post, Tonya!

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    1. Gosh! I hope you are better today, AR! I definitely can't work when I'm sick. I wish I had your attitude about pressure and guilt. I'm my own worst enemy.

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  12. Tonya, I'm the last person to answer your question, but you're right about writing being a lonely job.

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    1. Sandy....I'm sure we can all ban together and come up with some great solutions or just support each other.

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  13. I have read all your tips and directions and increasingly me I review them. It's hard to find time, especially when the ideas and words do not appear ... around us, begin to doubt that we are doing something creative and, quite simply, to waste time with writing ...

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