You know, I wish I could tell you it's only around the holidays that I struggle to find time to write, but that's simply not true. Writing a blog post these days seems like a major accomplishment. Heck, writing a Facebook post needs its own calendar. Don't ever let anyone tell you that working a full time job outside the home AND writing is easy. Either they have a job where they can sit there for eight hours and do nothing but write, or they're lying to you.
I had one of those jobs. Well, maybe not EIGHT hours, but four or five consistently, about ninety-five percent of the days I worked. And I was banging out two or more books a month while writing as Tara Rose. And I wasn't happy, because I had so little freedom in what I wrote under that pen name. So there are trade-offs. But boy howdy do I miss all that lovely time during the day to write!
Occasionally, I still have time to write during the day, but I have to be careful now. Things are different. So these days, most of my writing has to occur in the wee hours of the morning, Monday through Friday, and on weekends.
Anyone with a roof over their head and at least one other person living with them, or that they care for, knows how difficult it can be to cram EVERYTHING you have to do into just two days. I'm lucky in that my husband loves to grocery shop. It's true. He also is willing to help out around the house with dishes, laundry, repairs, etc. And he does it without complaining or giving me grief about it. I'm VERY blessed in that respect.
Also, our daughter is grown. She still lives with us, but she's pretty self-sufficient now. That helps a great deal.
Today's list: Christmas cards, reorganize the bookshelves in my writing room, and clean up the mess of Clinique stuff in my drawers in the bathroom. Yeah. That's the kind of shit racing through my head at five in the morning on a Saturday. All legit things I need to do. All things I've put off for weeks now while we readied this house for Christmas. All things I put off trying to squeeze in writing time. All things that no one else will do but me.
The time wasters image is cute, but they're not truly time wasters. They're things people do, every day, and ones which I need to fit in around the writing. I really don't like taking months to get the next book to Evernight. I really don't. And like I said at the beginning, I can't blame the holidays, because this has become the pattern throughout 2016.
And I wonder why I have next to no time at all to hang out on Facebook...
It's a sad but true fact of life that the authors who are able to hang out on Facebook all day, post anything and everything, and who have time to do such lovely things like hold constant giveaways, and send endless swag to their fans, sell better than the rest of us. There. I said it. Because it's true.
I've noticed readers drop off from interacting with me, and from pimping me, as my time on social media has had to take a nosedive. And you can't imagine how much that stings. It's difficult, from where I'm sitting NOT to take that as a way of saying "If you can't give me free stuff, I don't want to talk to you or support you any longer." OUCH.
It's no secret to anyone by now that these past three years have been very difficult for us, financially. We're crawling out of the hole now, by the grace of God. But it will take time. And I can do nothing about the job I have in terms of making more time to hang out posting pics of my lunch and the walls or something. I need this job, and it is what it is.
I also need time to write, so something has to be sacrificed.
I do what I can online, and I blog, and I still pimp my fellow authors. I suppose this situation has proven one thing. The people who stick by you when things get rough are the ones who were truly your "friends" to begin with. But I'm naive enough to have thought certain fans were actually that - fans - and that if I had to back off for a while it wouldn't matter to them. I was wrong.
When I'm in my writing cave, I'm IN MY WRITING CAVE. Because let's face it. Those books don't write themselves, and my writing time is very precious right now. I suppose what I'm saying here is that I choose to write these days when I have free time, rather than spend it posting nonsense. I wasted enough time posting nonsense during the election and where did that get me? I woke up inside a George Orwell novel. But that's another blog post...
THANK YOU. I will be doing all those things again. Hang in there with me. Crawling out of a three-year-long hole is a slow process. I don't even own a copy of each of the books I have in print. I couldn't afford to buy them until now. I'm more than three years behind in my coffee cup and magnet collection for my own books. And I've had to watch my royalties fall further and further as I'm no longer able to keep up with everything.
As a writer, that is a horrible thing to live through. It eats away at your confidence and drives you into a state where you want to simply give up. Trust me on this one. So to the people who hung in there anyway, THANK YOU. It's because of YOU that I'm still doing the one thing in this life I have always longed to do. YOU are the reason I make the time to write.
Until next week, enjoy your Saturday!