Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When Writing Isn't Your Day Job by Guest Blogger Nancy Kimball



The top ten ways to know you’re a writer operating in a traditional day job:
10. You’re tempted by the plethora of sticky notes in every size and color in the supply cabinet.
9. You find yourself critiquing interoffice memos.
8. Unsolicited sales calls are opportunities to practice your elevator pitch.
7. The mail clerk already knows the Amazon box is for you.
6. A guest storms out on his or her date at one of your tables and immediately you catalog the precise manner in which they exit, how the abandoned guest reacts and jot everything down on your order pad.
5. Your co-worker is mid-sip of a Diet Coke when you ask if he or she thinks someone could inject poison into a soda can undetected using only household objects.
4. The ill-tempered child among your charges has been drowned, kidnapped, or eaten by alligators in your head more times than your favorite jeans have been washed.
3. Social media lockouts on the office computers lead your list of deal-breakers for a new job, ahead of unisex restrooms and no health insurance.
2. You can’t understand why human resources denied your maternity leave request for your new book release.
1. You’re furious when you learn box lunches will be brought in for the all-day meeting because now they’ve taken the lunch hour hostage on a day you need to be in Seekerville!

CONFESSION: I constantly battle word count envy.

I know it’s completely unfair to believe every writer who puts up a daily word count number that looks like the price of a good used car must have eight to ten uninterrupted hours a day to write. That doesn’t mean I don’t do it, just that I know it’s unfair when I do. Even more unfair is to blame my day job for why the work in process isn’t finished or I didn’t submit to that contest.

If you’re a writer with a regular day job like me, you already know the frustrations of feeling like you’d already be published if it weren’t for your day job taking all your time up and frying your brain every day.


There are plenty of time management resources available to you, including eleven great posts here on Seekerville (They’re under the “time management” label of the archives to the right side. Scroll down later.)
What I’d like to share is specific ways to balance your writer life with making a living until the glorious day your writing is your day job. Speak it in faith, baby!

·         Be fair to your employer. Don’t steal time or supplies.

No one gets paid just to show up and that pack of post-its or that print job you could do at the office for ‘free’ instead of using half a cartridge on the printer at home is stealing. If God saying not to weren’t enough, or you think it’s so small no one would care, ask yourself how you would feel if one of your crit partners took three sentences out of your entire manuscript and put them in theirs. If there’s work to be done, especially time sensitive tasks and assignments, devote yourself fully until it’s finished or you’re at a strong stopping point with measureable progress behind you. Then as a reward, check your personal e-mail or catch up on the comments in Seekerville.

When you get an amazing plot or character idea or revelation in the middle of something, don’t worry about losing it. If you aren’t going to be able to remember it on your lunch break, the drive home, or when you sit down to write next, it’s not as good as you think it is.

·         Be realistic and work within your limitations. Sometimes the writing wins.

The day after I send a query, I’m checking my personal e-mail every fifteen minutes. That doesn’t mean I allow myself to click on every new e-mail that isn’t from the agent or publisher I’m hoping to see in my inbox. Or when I see I’ve had a critique returned, I look at it right away rather than try to go back to work distracted wondering what my critter thought of that section. I briefly skim the comments to satisfy my need for immediacy and then return to work as soon as possible. This has the added benefit of letting any emotion dissipate and being able to objectively evaluate that same feedback later
.   
·         Don’t fight brain fatigue. Trying to write when the day job drained you is counterproductive.



            For me, this is the hardest thing about trying to write with a day job. Some days the stress of the job literally fries my brain. So even though I have two hours of writing time scheduled after dinner, so few synapses are going to fire if I manage to crank out a few hundred words, they’ll be terrible. More likely is that even though I know exactly how this scene should go it’s not going to make it to the screen and I’ll only become more angry and bitter about my day job interfering with my writing.

This is not the time to try to write—or critique. Trust me. I learned both the hard way.

Instead of forcing myself to try to engage what’s left of my brain, I redirect the time. Check and make social media updates, read whatever is on top of the to-be read pile or if it’s been a really, really bad day I grab milk and cookies and retreat to one of my comfort reads. You know the ones that never leave the nightstand and have dog-eared pages, a cover that never quite closes anymore and cracks in the spine at your favorite parts. Don’t feel like this is wasted writing time. Make it author rejuvenation time and your job performance and writing will thank you for it the next day.


Nancy Kimball is an award-winning author of Epic Historical Heroes who makes her home in Houston, Texas. She knows way more about gladiators and ancient Roman history than is normal, even for a writer. When she is in full-on writer mode, a scented candle is burning nearby and Christian rock is blaring in her headphones. At the day job, she is blessed to be an executive and personal assistant to three incredible bosses who support and encourage her writing.  You can keep up with her crazy or just see what’s in the fridge over at www.nancykimball.blogspot.com

To share the love, she’s giving away a reader/writer retreat package containing a $10 itunes gift card, a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card, and a scented jar candle from her PartyLite stash.

150 comments :

  1. OH. MY. GOSH!@!!

    Preach it sister!!!


    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    And you can't do 1KH because you don't have internet access at work unless it pertains to the day job.

    So you use all your vacation time to write instead of vacationing. But you don't care, because..YOU'D RATHER BE WRITING.

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh and btw, welcome to the other side of Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The wonderful thing about retirement is that you CAN now say that writing is your day job!!!

    Coffee's brewing for 3 a.m.

    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Tina. So true about vacation! When I come back from time off, they don't ask where I went or what I did. They ask how the writing went, LOL. Although over New Years I actually did go on a little three day vacation to SeaWorld that was really awesome. And thank you for the welcome, it's truly, TRULY an honor.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ah yeS. So true. I would think about writing all day, plotting, hearing conversations, being struck with the perfect visual or remark... And then have nuttin when I finally sat down to write.
    I have the utmost respect for "other-jobbers".
    Now that I lost my job I can do amazing things with my writing ( just can't buy groceries but hey what's the big deal there? I get to write whenever I want!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1000 Things To Do With Peanut Butter.

    Yes. Debra! I can relate.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooohh, Helen, I hadn't thought of that! I sure hope I can say that and more importantly that it's true. Word on the street is getting my social security money back when it's time is even less likely to be successful than querying an agent with a half-finished novel "guaranteed to be the next Harry Potter" :-p
    Thanks for setting the coffee. I love the smell of it but can't drink it. Further proof I'm still a big kid masquerading as a grown-up.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Debra, that's rough. Every time I want to groan and moan inside about going to work at the day job, I think about the 15 million people who'd love to have my spot.
    That's awesome you're seeing the upside to not having to grocery shop or punch the clock by getting to write. Write, write, write while you can and I'll be praying your efforts are blessed all around. Matthew 6:26

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great article! Thank you for sharing! I can definitely relate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks, Rhonda. If you have any tips to share about how you make writing and the day job work together (or at least not destroy each other, haha) then let's have them!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great article, Nancy -- so many excellent suggestions! You make me feel guilty that I was self-employed in the early years of my novel writing, and could usually juggle time to suit my needs. And I'm retired now with an even more flexible schedule. I know, I know... it's a luxury others would die for. However not having to fight for time to write doesn't mean I organize myself very well. I can waste time better than most.

    Helen, I'd stay up and wait for a cup of your great coffee, but after my admission to Nancy I think I'll head for bed now so I can get up early and write. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. HAHAHAHA! I read that lsit twice, and laughed at every line--- AGAIN.

    Ok, I haven't read your gladiator books, but they must be FUNNY! I was dying! I loved the person storming away from the table one.

    I remember scribbling things down on paper salvaged from the recycling bin, inbetween technical support calls at a call center. It was a good day when we had 3 minute waits between calls. Then it was back to "click the green start button on the lower left hand of your screen. NO! Do not turn off your computer! Oh, well, now we're going to have to wait for it to boot up again..."

    It's amazing how much more time I had once I stopped working at the library, even when it was just aprt time. I think the brain-fry was the main culprit. Organizing the summer reading program for 150 kids left me a big mess. No room for plots.

    But I sure miss having the little extra cash for coffee that comes with a lid. :D

    ReplyDelete
  12. ((((HUGS)))) for Debra. Eating is overrated, right?



    We've so been there, more times than I can count. We have a joke that if people see my husband coming to their place of business, they better start turning in applications because that company is DOOMED. Three companies gone bankrupt in 5 years. And there's not much left out here. He has to drive 1 hour each way as it is.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my stars, I can so relate to this, hence the 4:00 A.M. alarm clock.

    y-a-w-n..... ;)

    Nancy, you nailed it! And thanks so much for braving the inside track... that's where the fast runners pace themselves by elbowing the wannabes out of the race! Except, not here!

    Love the coffee, Helen! Love it!

    What I've learned is if you can't change the flow of the day, change your flow of the day. If you can't alter the work hours, alter your sleep schedule. It's a Serenity Prayer existence that (for me) came back to making the best possible use of my time with six kids and two jobs...

    Ritty, I love that name!!!! Come back and tell us how Rhonda morphed to "Ritty"... Because I might just use it in a book, it's that stinkin' cute!

    And I'm in total agreement on the vacation thing... I'd rather be writing. I love writing. Love it, love it, love it!

    Deb, you can always come here for food. I have a struggling authors pantry with your name on it. Not kidding!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Nancy, have to say I love 5 and 4 and with 4 you dont have to be a writer to dream up ways to fix an annoying child issue. But if someone said 5 to me I would wonder what they had done to my soda.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Nancy,

    Love this! I'd stay to comment more, but I have to leave for the day job!

    Just one thing I've learned for survival - I now reserve my writing time in the morning. Dragging myself out of bed earlier hurts, but my focus is entirely on my writing and I'm not yet drained by the day at work.

    This is working really well for me (almost 35,000 words in January alone) even though I've never ever been a morning person.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I agree with not stealing time (and supplies) from work. I try to find a balance between other obligations and work. It is SO hard to go a week or two without being able to write, though. I find it draining.

    Great post! Makes me a little grateful that my son is sick today, so that I have to call in... I might just get started on my novel revision!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This was a hilarious post, and one that I could relate to. And ouch...my toes were stepped on a time or two. ;)

    I am glad you said it is okay to escape into a book to recharge instead of forcing yourself to write after a long, hard day. I always feel guilty when I do that, but sometimes the words are just not there, you know?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Boy can I relate to this, Nancy!!

    I had to laugh about the lunches being brought in and usurping your writing time as I've "been there, done that" more times than not. Most days I work through lunch and there's not even a minute to THINK a single personal thought throughout the day, let alone plot or write dialogue even in my head.

    Because I'm dog-tired at the end of a long work day, I get very little written post-work. Which is why I'm up at 4 & 4:30 each morning to get in my 90-120 minutes of daily wordcount before the day starts. I set a timer so I'm not watching the clock and can "get in the zone." Thankfully, I'm a "morning person" although I still cringe when the alarm goes off at that awful early hour.

    Every single precious vacation day last year was spent writing or on writing-related activities (edits, AA's, art fact sheets, etc). I know I need better balance and more R&R away from the computer, so I'm working on that this year--trying to learn how to write faster so my allotted time is more productive.

    I try very hard to keep Sundays reserved as a day of rest and recharging for the coming week.

    It's far, far from easy to work a full-time day job and write. I can attest to that. But since first getting published in 2009 I have four books out now and a fifth coming in October, so it CAN happen.

    And I totally agree with the "integrity in the workplace" -- I'm very thankful for my day job and would never do anything to short change my employer. How could I do that and expect God to bless my writing?

    I'm sending extra prayers for all of you who are writing & juggling the day job!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nancy...

    I have a day job too and I really enjoyed your GREAT blog topic.

    I'm pretty good with my 'free time' management and word count. I really consider my writing a part-time job.

    There are days that I'm just too drained or tired I give myself the night off from writing.

    Best of luck with your writing.

    Rose

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wonderful post, Nancy, and so very true.

    My situation is a little different. My boss allows me to use the internet at work for those things I need to check for my writing, and I can even write during the day as long as my work for him is done and nothing falls behind. So, unless the Admirals are in for the day I can always get some writing stuff done here.

    --Kirsten

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the great post. I feel it's hard to be motivated to write when you have a day job that drains you. I usually end up writing during vacations or weekends because of this. But often it's hard to get back into it though.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Welcome, NANCY!!

    Love this post, because I know 3/4 of writers keep some sort of day job, be it full time or part time. I know I do!

    I just finished school, so I'm hoping to use that "extra" time to write. The thing is, I had to MAKE time for school work, so I know I'm not just going to have this expanse of time to write. I'm going to have to BUDGET for it, too.

    On the bright side? I have a good job, with a caring and fair boss who APPECIATES me. If you have to work while waiting for that novel to take off, you can't get much better than that.

    Congrats on all your success and I wish you so much more of the good stuff!

    Whitney

    ReplyDelete
  23. Morning Nancy, Welcome to Seekerville and what a great post. I love, love the list. I remember well the days when I juggled. Actually I think I did write more as my time management was much better.

    And you're so wise to not try and write when the brain is fried. Trust me, it can get fried even if you aren't juggling day jobs. So it is wise advice to find other related writing things to do that don't require brain-power.

    And you're so wise to take time to read that favorite book. After all, editors keep saying to read, read, read their products so you will know what they want.

    Great job Nancy. Have fun today.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks ladies! I appreciate your support AND offers of food. and Prayers are better than food!

    Tina, as to word count envy? I wrote 53k on a new novel in two and a half weeks and when Crazy Writing Stuff came along and I ended up having to split my time between three other projects, it was something I could handle.

    (Not trying to do it all between 7pm and 6am ROCKS! thanks Nancy!)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, WOW, Nancy, other than I don't work outside the home anymore or have a "day job" (which really was a day/night job when I was working since one time I clocked 80 hours one week ... part-time!!), I feel a kinship with you that is downright scary!!

    Love, love, LOVE the top ten, girl -- you are a stitch!! My first chuckles of the day, especially #9 when you find yourself critiquing interoffice memos!!! LOL

    This was hands-down one of the best blogs I've ever read on this subject and I automatically know from your clever style that I would love your books!!

    I actually did some of my most productive novel writing while I was working -- finished A Passion Redeemed (475-page book) in 2 months working part-time, but that sure isn't the norm, so I take my hat off to anyone with a writing career that has to take backseat to the full-time or part-time job. You guys are just flat-out AMAZING!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  26. LOL, Nancy, I can relate to all 10 points. My favorite was coveting the stickies...something I fight each day : )

    You are so right about coming home some days with a brain that is so fried, you can barely remember to feed the dog (good thing she doesn't let me forget). I too have that couple of hours after dinner to catch up on everything related to my life as an author. Not much time to do the admin stuff necessary and the creative. It's a slow process.

    But I wouldn't trade my dreams for anything in the world.

    When the good Lord puts His stamp on your heart choosing you to write for Him, how can you say no?

    The time comes; the words flow; the coffee appears.

    Always remember God won't ask anything of you that He hasn't prepared you for.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Carol says "I can waste time better than most." I love that we're that honest here in Seekerville. Obviously this is the place to confess, but don't feel guilty. I'm happy for you, seriously. Write on!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Virginia, thanks! There are some pretty funny moments in my stories but they're not Ruthy or Mary books, for sure where you'll more than you'll cry. I have to inject the humor just to give the reader a breather from the long period of suffering Jonathan endures in his book.
    Brain fry is a huge culprit and I'm so glad others know it's a real thing and not a lack of discipline. And summer reading program for 150 kids? That's so awesome. You get a gold star for cultivating readers ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Thank you, Ruthy. I admire you just because of how great your books are but especially because you can get up at 4:00 a.m. Usually I only get up that early if I'm going bass fishing, although I have been known to go to bed that late when the writing is really going well. =)

    ReplyDelete
  30. Ausjenny, thank you. I'd love for you to share how you deal with your annoying child issue.
    And yeah, that would freak anyone out until you snap and go, "No, I'm asking for my novel." That often explains everything, hehe.

    ReplyDelete
  31. MaryC, I totally relate. I'm about to have head in to the office too (Though I hope to be back here today as much as I can.) And 35K words in January, ROCK ON my friend. I salute you, and that like Ruthy you get up early to write.
    It does seem this is a good way to fight brain fatigue but I have to ask, have you ever been so deep in your writing you couldn't stop and it made you late to work?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shakespear, sorry your kiddo is sick but yay for you to maximize the writing time there. Extra time to write or read is the best part of a sick day, especially since you know you'll probably have a ton of stuff to catch up on when you get back. At least I do. It's why I usually tough it out if I can.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sherrinda, there's no shame in that my friend and I totally know about the words not being there. Sometimes I try to force it and rereading that writing always made it obvious. The voices of my characters and even their action beats and behaviors would always pick up my exhaustion/frustration and they weren't themselves because I'm not myself. Don't feel guilty your reading. Reading is quintessential to being a great writer. Isn't that true, Seekers?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ah, What an encouraging post! It makes me appreciate the blessing of not clocking in everyday.

    If this is confession time...I will admit I've been late for school pick up because an enthralling scene held me captive.

    I didn't know you wrote gladiators. I love gladiators!!!!!

    Hope the guilt free reading applies to those of us without a regular scheduled pay check. Mary's new book is out and after wrestling with yesterday's query, I need some down time.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Glynna, thank you for your prayers. SO needed and I agree. I want God to bless my efforts at work and in my writing and while that isn't why we do it, walking uprightly is just part of being a follower of Christ. I don't just represent me, I represent him, and he didn't steal.

    A few years ago I was very convicted about using the office postage for my personal mail like "everyone else was". I'm accountable for me, not them, and I confessed to my boss, apologized, and wrote the company a check for $100. That was a very humbling experience, and it really hurt the pocketbook, but I was better and my walk with the Lord was better for it. And that same boss is still my boss today =)

    And you are another early riser! A timer is a BRILLIANT idea. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Nancy, this was funny, and fun. So appreciated the practical tips. I don't currently work outside the home, but I still find myself doing some of the things you mentioned, especially studying other peoples' responses to life events. :)

    Your tips toward integrity are great reminders of how to live well wherever we are.

    With young children at home, I have discovered getting up at 4:00 is the only time of day I can guarantee I'm going to get writing into my day. Thanks for your post--I love your voice! Hoping to check back in later and read more comments. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. Rose, thank you. Writing is a part-time job. Call it that, not a hobby and it really does make a difference in your mindset and those around you. That's awesome you have great balance and do not feel guilty about days it's just not there.
    This was the hardest thing for me to overcome, that something was "wrong with me" (Quiet, Ruthy, LOL)if I just couldn't write today.
    I know there will be times deadlines are going to become a reality and I may have to learn how to push through it. Hopefully that skill comes as my writing matures.
    So what do you write?

    ReplyDelete
  38. Whitney!!!
    (Everyone, just so you know, Whitney was the first critique partner who ever had the courage to take me on, LOL and my dearest writing friend. We met here in Seekerville!)
    I'm so glad school is done and you'll be getting back to what you were born to do my friend. I know how much we've looked forward to this. =)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Really enjoyed the post. Loved the tips.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Sandra, thank you so much!
    Yes, writing while brain fried only makes things worse. And I learned also that this is NEVER a good time to critique. I actually had to write an apology after I went back over something I'd critiqued while in a really bad mood from the day job.
    Reading is so important to being a great writer, thank you for reenforcing that Sandra, and for the warm welcome.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Have you been rattling around in my brain?????

    This is awesome and so on target.

    Hope to get back later and read it again, AND catch up on all the comments.

    But...you guessed it, gotta go to the day job! lol

    ReplyDelete
  42. Debra, that is AWESOME!!! I'd say you turned that around for good. Anything you can tell us about the novel? That's a nanowrimo in two and a half weeks. I salute you!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Thank you, Julie. You know what really stings? When the memos and correspondence I write come back from the boss with corrections. There's always that hint of "Really, Nancy?" So embarrassing.
    A Passion Redeemed in two months while working part time? Julie, you amaze me. =)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I enjoyed your post, Nancy! At least you can laugh about these things! I often worry that I'll have to get a "real" job, because I just don't think I have the energy to work eight hours and then write. I guess I'd end up writing on the weekends and holidays, but I'd be very sad. So I can commiserate with you. Over the years I have had a couple of short-term part-time jobs, and even with part-time work, I just couldn't write. But I'd adjust to it if I had to, I guess.

    I admire you ladies who get up early or stay up late to write. You totally rock. I love your perseverance and determination. Go, Nancy!!!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you, Audra. I knew I wasn't alone in the sticky notes. It's the stuff I can "get away with" that really tells me who I am and what I'm about. Just like my characters! It's what they think and do alone in the dark that really shows the reader who they are.

    When the good Lord puts His stamp on your heart choosing you to write for Him, how can you say no? so true. I work to keep the lights on and buy books but I write because I have to.

    Ronie Kendig who is such an amazing author and wonderful person said this at a workshop:
    "If you are a writer, God has given you that gift. Not for you to become famous, wealthy, or even to share His word with others. He gave you this gift for the sheer joy of seeing you use it."
    It changed my life. All I have to do is write. The rest will come in it's own good time, just like you said the words will. I don't miss out on the joy of today by having all my hopes in tomorrow. I wasn't promised tomorrow.

    I saw a watch in a catalog years ago that simply said "NOW" where the numbers and hands should be and there was a little sand inside it. That stuck with me too.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Kristen, that's kind of my situation too. My bosses are terrific and we have what's called "stare at the walls" mode. If everything is done, he doesn't want me to sit there and stare at the walls. I can use that time how I like and while rare, it's a huge privilege. So glad you know to appreciate it, too!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Nancy, I'm still grinning about imagining terrible things happening to the unruly child.
    Irritation combined with a vivid imagination is a powerful force!
    LOL

    ReplyDelete
  48. Cynthia, I hear you. Sometimes I need to be away from my writing to get perspective on it but too long can wreak havoc on my work in process. Especially while in first draft. Brick by brick though, right? Keep at it. There is nothing in the world like writing "The End".

    ReplyDelete
  49. btw, if I have sticky notes at work, it's cuz i brought them in. So I can't relate to the office supplies part of your list.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bass fishing?

    With a hunk, I hope?

    I've fished with Dave. He can stay out there forever. I'm probably not the best fishing partner because my brain gets itchy. But if HE goes fishing, I get writing time.

    Perfect!!! ;)

    I cannot tell you how many writers tell me they were much more productive when they worked outside the home and had less time. That they never procrastinated then. There's logic in that. Where's Vince, he'd explain why our brains work that way!

    Hey, I'm dropping off caramel cookies. AMAZING.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Jeanne, welcome to the league of morning writers!!!!

    We should start a club! Or just play with the 1K1HR Carol started on facebook!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Nancy!

    Good morning!
    This one had me LOL: 8. Unsolicited sales calls are opportunities to practice your elevator pitch.

    I've expanded it to folks on the other end of the line when I place orders or inquire about a product or a bill. It's AMAZING how often they do check out our website!

    Good job, Nancy. As others have said, this is resonating with me too!

    From a recovering Houstonian... Bwwaaahahahaha.... who now calls the foothills of Tennessee home.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Wonderful tips, Nancy!

    I work part-time and even then I manage to squander time (eek). I so admire all you people who work full-time and still get writing done!

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hahahahaaaa! I loved that beginning list, but yes, at the bottom of your post, you're right. We should take others' post-it notes. lol
    I totally agree about writing when we're exhausted. Adorable post! Thanks for sharing it and making us smile. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Oh, btw, I deal with word count envy too. lol

    ReplyDelete
  56. Bridgett, I love you shared about being late on a pickup because you got wrapped up in a scene. I would do something like that, which is why i write at night, not in the morning. Glynna's suggestion of a timer might help but I'll ignore it like my alarm clock, LOL.
    Guilt free reading applies to EVERYONE =)
    A fellow gladiator lover, YAY! True story, on a total "all she can say is no" I wrote to Professor Kathleen Coleman at Harvard who is one of the world's gladiator experts (she was the technical adviser for the Russell Crowe movie) thinking I'd never hear back. She wrote me back and gave me all the research I asked for. It was SURREAL =) Do you have a favorite style? Mine is the thraex, it's what my hero is in Chasing the Lion. I think the retiarius is over-rated :-p

    ReplyDelete
  57. Thank you, Jeanne T. Gosh, another early to write riser. I feel like I'm missing out on this awesome club =) Hope you can check back in later too. (AND ME, LOL)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Adge, thank you. They were all hard learned, LOL.

    Pam, I understand. And I would love to rattle around in your brain, haha. Actually, I can relate. I'm there now at the day job and squeaking out a few minutes to be with my peeps in Seekerville.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Thanks, Melanie. Since I've only ever written on weekends and nights and vacation and sick days and instead of staring at the wall when there's nothing to do, I don't know what I'm missing so I'm not so sad.
    (This is part of the "talk" with my teen nieces about abstinence and saving themselves for marriage. Kind of how giving up soda was really good for me but gosh sometimes I look at a tall, frosty Coke and it's like, GRRRR)

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wow, it is so nice to read this post and know I am not alone. It can be frustrating sometimes. I want to write more and have more accomplished but there are not enough hours in the day. I said to my mom one day that I needed more hours in the day so maybe I could sleep once in awhile...she laughed and said I would just fill them up. Not only do I have a full time job but I am also in school finishing my Bachelor's degree as well as being a single mom...so writing takes a back seat right now.
    :(
    Thanks for the great post!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Nancy! Your post is so true, and I can totally relate (as I sit here, reading this post at work and commenting on my work computer... shhh!)

    Finding time to write it is hard. I've personally suffered from work-fried brain, especially when I'm at a computer all day at work, writing news stories. Sometimes, I just don't have the energy to play with my imaginary friends and write them interesting stories. I've found that scheduling my writing times makes them happen, and since I thrive on routine, it helps immensely. Its still tough, but it's a step.

    And your comment about putting poison in a soda can...my husband and I frequently see places where we say, "yeah, that would be a great place to hide a dead body." :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. Mary, thank you =)
    I want to hear some of your annoying child stories!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Ruthy, my brain gets itchy Oh you crack me up. This is why I can't read your books when I'm having lunch at my desk. I'll fall out laughing :-p
    I'm wondering where Vince is too, and if he'll ask me some question that I'll try to answer and sound stupid, LOL Unless it's about Rome or gladiators. Then I've got that, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Like the other Carol, I can waste time with the best of them.

    I work part time. Two days a week. Six hours in the classroom total.

    Plus the 4 kids, but I have about 9 hours a week where none of them are home.

    It's been 2 hours and I've not written a word [though I have sent a few FB messages/emails and read blogs/comments, etc.].

    Now I have 50 minutes until it's time to go get DS.

    Wonder if anyone's doing a 1K50min anytime soon...

    Because I did have a plot break through this morning ;). Just need to write it :D.

    Can I just say how much respect I have for those of you who do work full time?

    But 430? Y'all are insane.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Great post, Nancy!

    I'm truly thankful I don't have a day job - it's a blessing I never take for granted.

    My hat is off to all of you with jobs that take you away from your writing and still bless us with wonderful books :)

    ReplyDelete
  66. WOW. What a humbling experience that must have been!! I worked with a woman who was going to school, and she would do all her school papers at work while the rest of us tried to cover the desk. It was exhausting when there were only two of us and she was 'doing homework', sometimes 2-3 hours at a time.

    I really love your line about 'I don't just represent me, I represent Him, and He didn't steal.' Beautiful!



    All this talk of sticky notes makes me think of a care box my sister gave me about a year ago. It had packs of post-its, four packs of colored notecards, file deviders, little note books and some bigger ones to organize all my scribbles.

    Is that the writer's best present, or what??

    Well, except for Christmas, when my husband gave me printer paper and ink for the new (SEEKERVILLE) printer I won. :) It really wasn't like getting the 'dual-bag' vacuum in the old Sears commercial.

    I got tears in my eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  67. Nancy, Please don't let my son hear you say "retiarius is over-rated". He's determined recreate a fishnet whip.

    All that research on a silver platter...? Must've been a God thing.

    My favorite historical military figure? Greek Hoplites.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Nancy, what an awesome post. I hate it when they steal my lunch hour :(

    But they ARE very supportive of my second career, so I'm definitely thankful for that!

    Sherri Shackelford

    ReplyDelete
  69. Nancy,
    THis was WONDERFUL!!! Thank you!!!
    I can relate on SO MANY LEVELS!!

    YES!

    And word count envy is such a distraction ;-) Sheesh!

    ReplyDelete
  70. KC, I know right? LOL
    I called an airline once and the woman that answered said "blah blah... my name is Nessa. How can I help you?"
    I couldn't speak for like, ten seconds, because Nessa is the name of one of my characters and not only that, it's an Ancient Hebrew name that means miracle and the idea someone today actually had it threw me all over the place. I explained it to her and she wanted to know all about my story, haha.
    Recovering Houstonian. Nice =)
    There are things I love about the big city, just not at going home time. Stupid traffic.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Read Calico Canyon, Nancy.
    I LIVED That with a group of ... ahem ... high energy little boys.

    I have four daughters so I take some of the blame just because I did NOT know what I was doing.

    Yeah, let's blame me and not those little maniacs.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Susan Anne (Sue), thank you but you know, time I enjoy doing nothing isn't time wasted. It's time I enjoy doing nothing, haha. Squander is a strong word :-p

    ReplyDelete
  73. You're welcome Jessica. It was fun to put together, and I'm so glad I'm not alone with the word count envy monster :-p

    ReplyDelete
  74. Salena, you are so not alone. I know what your mom means. I had a friend that said she doesn't burn her candle on both ends. She cuts her candle into pieces and then burns ALL the ends :-p
    Writing is a passion and a calling, but never more than motherhood. Props to you for that and higher education. Everything in it's season. Ecclesiastes 3:1

    ReplyDelete
  75. Stephanie, LOL, I want examples of some of these places you and hubby say are good to hide a dead body. Love that, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Carol, just so you know you are one of my main sources of word count envy, LOL. Your 1K1H just make me go ARGH lol but seriously, I'm happy for you. You're brave to say insane, haha. I'll just say, I couldn't do it. :-p

    ReplyDelete
  77. Virginia, that is a great writer gift indeed. I live on post-its and index cards. Seriously. I have a picture somewhere on my blog of my cork-board and poster-board covered wall in my office. Excuse me, the HOME office. This one has better artwork :-p

    ReplyDelete
  78. Bridgett, I won't let him hear me. And it was great to get Kathleen's research because it was her articles regarding the psychological effects of that life on these men and the entire subculture. So much better than the straight facts and figures and data readily available. My hero Jonathan is left-handed as a tribute to her and her research. =)

    Greek hoplites! If you haven't read Stephen Pressfield's Gates of Fire it is AMAZING but SERIOUSLY not CBA, just FYI. I thoroughly enjoyed it and Cliff Graham's DAY OF WAR published by Zondervan (the sequel is out this month, Covenant of War) was influenced by it. I probably was too, more than I know.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Sherri, steal my lunch hour, haha. I know what you mean, but sometimes I give it back because I've borrowed against the time, kind of like.... right now :-p
    Also blessed to have bosses who support my second career. For Christmas they gave me a workshop at the local university on how to get your book published. I love my bosses, I really do. They are a blessing, and I have had a bad one before, so I know just how much!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Pepper, word count envy is the pits. I don't know how to "not" do it though. Any suggestions? Anyone?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Mary, I will put Calico Canyon on the TBR. So generous of you to assume the blame there but I think the use of "little maniacs" is very telling. :-p

    ReplyDelete
  82. Nancy, we figured one of the best places to hide a body would be right here at work! We work in a very old building, which used to be a warehouse. Our upstairs is only partially used, and it is mostly storage and the newspaper "morgue." We're talking papers from the 1890s, old typewriters from the 1950s, computer equipment from the 1980s, linotype equipment, old press parts, press blocks, etc.

    Anyway, no one but me usually goes up there, and there are some pretty dark corners where no one dares go. I think a body could safely lie undiscovered for several months... except I'd be the one to find it!

    On the lunch break topic... I often take a half-hour lunch, because my employer lets me, which allows me to leave a half hour earlier. I can then get home, make dinner, ave family time and get some distance from work before starting to write.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Time management must be a topic on a lot of writer's minds these days. I wrote about this same issue on my blog today. My day job is homeschool mom and household up-keep with a touch of pastor's wife mixed in. I'm glad God made Moms able to multitask.
    paulamowery.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  84. STEPHANIE, sweetheart, you just plotted out a book, right there.

    And the innocent newspaper reporter is the heroine. Who finds a body. That's been there for fifteen years.
    All clues point to the just slightly older reporter, who is ruggedly handsome but has disrespected the young, perky, new reporter. But he has also earned the heroine's interest by ........


    okay, if i write anymore, I'm claiming it.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I can so totally relate to this, especially the tired brain part. And eyes, if you stare at a computer screen all day long. Add to that the chauffeuring and sideline duties so many of us have, and days can get REALLY long.

    If you can find some writing time in there, it's a minor miracle. But keep trying because it's worth the effort!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Whoa--I'd read that book in a heartbeat, Mary!

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hey Nancy!!!!

    I've got a crazy day today, but I'm going to try to read your post. It may not be until tomorrow. I'm on the run today. See you soon!

    ReplyDelete
  88. MARY, hahaha, you just described my husband, who works here at the paper, too! (Although he hasn't disrespected me)

    There are any NUMBER of people in a newspaper who could be the murderer. It's a whodunnit cast waiting to happen. And by the way, the newspaper building is rumored to be haunted, too...

    Dibs on this storyline!
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thank you for this post. Can you see my raised hand? I, too, identify with the wordcount envy and fried brain after a long work day. Thankfully, since I work in a library, I have access to all sorts of research material, and if it's a "stare at the wall" kind of day (love that phrase) I can grab a history book and study it for a few minutes, or take it home for more detailed study.

    Use of the printer is my temptation, but we are allowed a "few" free copies every once in a while. Our copiers and printers are for public access however, so I can just pay for larger projects like our patrons do. (Local man is writing a book and came in to make copies yesterday afternoon. $80.00 later, he finished. I would have taken that project to Staples, they're cheaper! :-o )

    And now that my break is over, back to work I go. I have a patron needing help finding forms for an eviction notice. Oy!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Stephanie, I am SOOOO jealous! I thought working in a library was cool! 1890 newspapers?? 1950 typewriters?? Linotype? Man...

    Mary, you write like the wind, so get on that and we can read it in a few months, right? I'm in line to buy that book, starting now! *sets up her tent, smooths out sleeping bag*

    When I worked at Whitman College, my student workers in the library HATED going to the attic to retrieve old newspaper and 120 year old mags. I loved it! But they had a phone up there, so I couldn't just disappear for my lunch hour. Someone always had to call and ask a question... and then I had to come back to reality. :D

    ReplyDelete
  91. Nancy, I loved reading your top-10 list--what a hoot!

    Writing has been my "day job" for too many years to count, which is why I stand in awe and admiration of anyone who works outside the home all day and then squeezes in writing time early in the morning, late at night, or during lunch hour. That takes REAL determination, not to mention organization and compartmentalization.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Great advice Nancy!
    No maternity leave! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  93. LUNCHTIME!!!!!!

    Fried bologna and mustard sandwiches....

    My hero just made those for two little boys in His Mistletoe Family. Because fried bologna is such a quick, fun fix. And so yummy!

    I'm glad Mia stopped by. She's doing the hour of writing, pre-work every morning and it's amazing to see how just that little solid bit of every day time makes a difference.

    For me it was the only time because I worked all day and then went to waitress or sell wedding gowns at night. And all day Saturday. I had to carve a niche, and early works better for me than later.

    Nap time for 2 right now. Megan's drawing next to me. A few minutes of calm to catch up on blogs... and do not look at my kitchen, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  94. Stephanie, that sounds like a historical writer's playhouse! Except for the dead bodies of course. Awesome you get to roll out early to tend your family and get in writer mode. Thanks for sharing that.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Paula said "I'm glad God made moms able to multi-task." Amen to that! I'm pretty sure I've channeled that gift into being a great assistant here at the day job, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Mary, I love how you just threw down with that whole story. If Stephanie doesn't write it, I can't wait to see who you shoot, LOL

    ReplyDelete
  97. Mia, I so agree. Just keep at it. There are days I barely make my 500 a day word count, others I can't see a monitor without screaming and have zero, and then Saturdays that are REALLY GOOD days. You just have to chip at it, and I liked that story idea of Mary's too!

    ReplyDelete
  98. Linnette, thanks for checking in!
    I hear ya, today was supposed to be "calm" for me here but not so much. It's all coming together though, thank goodness. I'm glad you commented to be sure you get in the drawing for my candle and stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  99. A haunted newspaper building. That's intense, Stephanie. What genre do you write?

    ReplyDelete
  100. CDees, you work at a library!!!
    Oh my gosh, one of my favorite books has a librarian for a heroine. Karen Witemeyer's TO WIN HER HEART. And Hannah Moore in Ruthy's MENDED HEARTS works at a library too, though I hope you NEVER have her same experience there.
    They know me at my local library. Because I actually paid an eighty dollar fine (it's a REALLY long story, LOL) and because of how often I was in there doing Rome/Gladiator research. When I ever get started on the Revolutionary Era historical, I'll have to ply them with starbucks and homemade snickerdoodles to get "my table" back :-p

    ReplyDelete
  101. Virginia, you worked in a library too? That's awesome. I would love to see some creepy old library attic. Imagine all the stuff up there.
    Oh, writers playground for sure.
    Estate sales are too, btw, if you can get over the creepy factor.
    The video in this post is hysterical by the way...
    http://www.nancykimball.blogspot.com/2012/01/estate-sales-are-awesome.html

    ReplyDelete
  102. Myra, my fellow S.I.R.E volunteer and author =) Thank you for letting me know you liked the top ten list. I'd say I worked really hard on it, but I kind of knew exactly what they were, LOL

    ReplyDelete
  103. Haha, thanks, Eva. :-p
    I have friends who wait tables who want to take up smoking just to get the extra breaks. Just so you know how twisted my mind is, I just realized that if I ever actually have a baby, I will have that whole maternity leave off to write. Hmmmm....... :-p

    ReplyDelete
  104. Ruthy, my mom used to make those for us all the time. She'd cut a slit so it wouldn't bubble up in the middle like a bell and they always looked like pac-mans on the bread =)
    Good times, good times.
    I'm so in the mood for one of those right now. I just had my lunchable and was happy to get it because we've been really here today.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Nancy, I write several difference genres, because I have that freedom right now as an unpublished writer.

    By day, I'm a journalist, so I write whatever comes my way. But as for fiction, my first full-length novel is a comedic YA. I've written a suspense/supernatural novella, worked on a Tudor-era historical, and have ideas for two historical romances, one based on my great-grandmother's story, and one based on Rahab, but not set in Bible times. I also have ideas for a cozy murder mystery series.We'll see which one can be a success!

    I admire you for doing gladiators. That's a period I know nothing about, so its awesome that you've researched it so thoroughly!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Nancy, I loved "To Win Her Heart" and "Mended Hearts" too. Love books that feature librarians. And of course, my favorite movie is, what else, "The Music Man" ;-)Just call me Marian...

    I've done a couple of other jobs, but library staff was my first job out of high school and the one I finally was able to come back too. I love the research aspect of it, and it is the genealogy research that fuels story ideas. (Census records are wonderful places for name ideas!)

    I even have the privilege of working in a Carnegie library that was built in 1906. It positively reeks history. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  107. Nancy, what a great post!! I just love your suggestions. And I'm so glad you tackled the issue of stealing from the day job. That's such a gray area for some people but very black and white to me.

    Also, I got such a kick out of the first list!! LOL I think #6 is my favorite! :) Or maybe #2. haha

    ReplyDelete
  108. Oh my gosh, that top ten list is priceless! (And spot on, I must admit.) Thanks for the laugh. Also, I'm with you on the idea of "author rejuvenation time" -- it's totally legit, and it's so wise to recognize when our creative selves are in need of renewal.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Nancy...did we meet before? You are describing me to the Tee. My words just don't flow unless it is morning, between 7 and 10. But, I am a preschool director. So, I am at work at 7:30 and don't get home until afternoon. My brain is syphoned to little people all morning long. Try weekend mornings??? Nope, planning curriculum, buying supplies etc. I do have breaks and really put out great stuff on that sporadic basis. I AM THE DAY JOB EXCUSER...can you tell?
    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  110. Nancy Im not a writer but have heard it said to the annoying child go play in the traffic. here it would be a crocodile or shark. Im thinking a rough kangaroo would make a good scene.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Loved your top 10! LOL
    Keep at it. You're almost there...

    ReplyDelete
  112. Stephanie, that's an awesome body of work you're building. I have half of a contemporary romance I might pick back up one day it just wasn't as fun to write as my historicals.
    Write on!

    ReplyDelete
  113. CDees that's awesome. Census records for names is brilliant!
    I'm pretty proud of it but if you go to Karen Witemeyer's website the epilogue I wrote to TO WIN HER HEART that won her fanfiction challenge last year is posted there.
    I'm still pretty proud of it =)

    ReplyDelete
  114. I'm not a writer, but sure enjoyed all the comments and post!! Even to Ruthy's bologna sandwiches (yeah, have tried those...mmm)!!
    I'd like to be in for the drawing.

    PS Glad to see Jan D. back safely.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Missy, thank you =)
    One of my life verses is Galatians 6:9 "Do not grow weary in well-doing for in due season you will reap a reward if you do not lose heart."

    ReplyDelete
  116. Shari, thank you. Author rejuvenation time is important and yes, totally legit! How do you recharge the inner writer?

    ReplyDelete
  117. Eileen, I don't know, maybe we have? =) It's okay. Awareness is the first step to change, hehe. If you feel like your giving the day job undue power in your mind to cramp your writing style, dig in and turn it around. Apparently getting up before the sun is really productive, but I wouldn't know. I'm a night owl =)

    ReplyDelete
  118. MELISSA!
    Thanks for stopping by my friend. I know I've said it before but I love the new picture. Published is coming, it's just coming by mule train, haha.
    Oh my gosh! Melissa, I think i just got an amazing idea for a new historical. =)

    ReplyDelete
  119. Jackie, a fellow fried bologna sandwich girl. YES! And Seekerville loves readers. LOVES THEM.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Editing post-it notes! I love it. I find myself wanting to edit people's Facebook posts and Twitters. Which is why I can hardy tweet. How can you get a complete, grammatically correct comment in at 140 spaces?

    ReplyDelete
  121. NANCY:
    I SO love that you give permission to NOT write when your brain is fried!

    ReplyDelete
  122. Well, that was interesting. I didn't mean to send that yet, but there it went. Anyway...

    NANCY,

    Thank you for giving us permission to not write when our brain is fried. Thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one who does social media when it is fried (sometimes I can't even do that).

    This is a wonderful post - even for this stay-at-home-mom. Because, let me tell you! Staying at home is a 24 hour job. No breaks (especially when your kiddos are sick as much as we are) no matter how fried your mind and body gets. So, thank you for letting me know I'm not alone and I'm not being bad when I can't write. :D

    ReplyDelete
  123. Hi Nancy! Thanks for sharing your writing experience with us. Love the top ten list, lol. I'm a sticky-note freak, BTW. My kids used to tease me unmercifully because I would greet them at the door with stickies all over my blouse, haha. What an image, huh?

    I'm very lucky because I work part-time and all from HOME, so that helps me grab time here and there to work on the WIP. It's lovely to plop into my chair with my hair still wet and wearing sweet pants. I get at least an extra hour each day just because I don't have to spend time pressing clothes, or doing my make-up and hair - not to mention the time saved commuting.

    Kudos to all of you who keep writing despite the job-related obstacles.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Ahem...That's SWEAT pants, not sweet pants! LOL...Time to have some chocolate...anyone want to join me? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  125. Nancy, you asked -

    "have you ever been so deep in your writing you couldn't stop and it made you late to work?"

    I would have said no, except that it almost happened this morning. I was editing instead of writing new, so I was totally caught up in the story. Usually one of my girls or the dog or cat nudge me out of the zone, but not this morning. I wasn't late but I literally walked into school 5 minutes before I had to pick up my class.

    ReplyDelete
  126. Robin, I have no idea girl but I can tell from your two blog posts we're cut from similar cloth. I saw your "The End" badge over there. Tell me what it is! Contemporary romance? Young adult? Historical???
    I'm not a twitter/tweeter. I fought facebook for as long as possible. I resist over-committing to a social media presence that will be forced and hollow at best. There are those who can do it all but that's not me. I need that time to write. That's my creative outlet where I express myself best. My last blog post is clearly a symptom, OH WAIT, a sign, of that, LOL

    ReplyDelete
  127. Linnette, motherhood is a sport I have to respect and appreciate as an outsider. When I first dipped my toes in writing circles I felt like there was something wrong with me that sometimes I "couldn't write". I mean I made myself because I was trying to be a real writer with a daily word count goal and everything (which I'd set too high to fit in) and I wore myself out. I have a weekly goal now of 3,500 which averages 500 a day. There's nothing wrong with you if sometimes it just isn't there. I'm so glad I'm learning now before I'm contracted what does and doesn't work so that I don't find myself in "not there" with half a book to write still that's due to my agent in two weeks. My dad who is a welder has a little plaque on his toolbox that says "If you want it bad, you'll get it bad." (As in don't rush me, hehe) I think one of the best things writers can do for themselves is know themselves. There's lots of great advice, especially here in Seekerville, but writing should be fun. Even when your hero won't behave or your villian is suddenly... not, LOL, that's still fun. When you resent the writing process because you're determined to face a losing battle with brain fatigue or refuse to accept that this isn't your writing season in life, I think it shows in the work.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Lyndee, I wouldn't have known sweet pants was a typo. I was envisioning some blinged out denim and everything! That's awesome you can work from home. Thanks for stopping by. =)

    ReplyDelete
  129. MaryC, I think cats are good for that, and for walking all over the keyboard and in front of the monitor, LOL. Glad you made it in time!

    ReplyDelete
  130. Yea! It's been a busy day, and I should be cooking supper, but since the family's away, this mousie will.....read on Seekerville for a few minutes. :)

    RUTHY, I've seen and will "meet" with you on Carol's 1K1HR on fb in the wee sma's to write together. :)

    NANCY, I think I wrote something I didn't mean to in my earlier post. :) I liked your #9 critiquing interoffice memos. Though I'm not in an office setting, my editor/proofer brain naturally catches errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. And the one about creative child "consequences".....love that one too, especially on one of "those" days. :)

    Also, here's an equation for you: baby + exhuastion=no time to self
    toddler + playdates=little time to self
    school-aged + homework=little more time to self
    time to self=a little time for writing in between of taking care of everything the children (and husband) need. :)
    BUT, child(ren)=rich life

    Okay, I'm off to prep a scene for my crit partner. It's been fun reading and laughing here. To all you who work part/full time, my hat is off to you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  131. I am so in awe of anyone who can work full time and also find time to write. I wouldn't be disciplined enough to do both!

    ReplyDelete
  132. Nancy, I so agree with you! Let me tell you how Beth's story came into being.

    Hubby received notification that he would be laid off. He pushed me and pushed me into looking for work. I'm not a college graduate. I'm a homeschooling mom who is chronically ill, schooling chronically ill kids. I hadn't worked since before we were married - which at the time was about 15 years. I'd only ever worked in fast food and day cares. But God graciously provided me a job at the grocery store down the road as cashier.

    I wanted to write. So, afraid I would lose the skills I was working so hard to hone, I started a blog where I posted one or two short chapters a month. Posting it was my incentive to work hard at self-critiquing/editing, which helped me see the short-comings in my writing. This was Beth's story.

    I returned home when we moved out of state. I eventually saw that my story was fast becoming a full-length novel. I never dreamed it would end up at 85,000 words! But there you have it.

    I discontinued posting on my blog so I could focus on the story as a whole and not get bogged down in minute edits chapter by chapter. I set a word count goal a little over a year ago and finished the second half of the book within two months. Then there was a years worth of editing, but that's another story.

    The point of my story is that even when we don't think we're in a season of life to write, we should still write as we are able to (but go easy on yourself when you can't get it in). If I'd never started that blog, Beth's story wouldn't have been told. But now it is and she's awaiting a publisher to get her to her audience. :D

    And there you have it. Hope my story is encouraging. :D

    ReplyDelete
  133. This is some party!

    :)

    Glad you liked the bologna. Sometimes the simple things taste the very best!

    Just had a great phone interview with a fire chief. I love people that will open up about their jobs, their dreams, their times, their ideas. God bless 'em!

    I'm an East coast gal and I'm getting sleepy. Although I think there's something sweet calling my name.

    If only I could find it! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  134. Nancy, thank you for the smiles and the reminders after a long day. I'm blessed in the fact that I don't typically have to work, but the last few days I've been going into our shop and working. As the work day came to a close all I could think was how much I admire those of you who work the day job, take care of you families and find the time to write! You all are amazing!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  135. Cara, thank you on behalf of everyone who does. I speak only for myself when I say I don't know that I'm disciplined at all. I know I have to work, and I know I have to write, and somehow God helps me do both =)

    ReplyDelete
  136. Nancy, dear, you Seekerville debut has been stunning!! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  137. Linnette, it is and am sure for more than just me. Thank you for sharing =)

    ReplyDelete
  138. Thank you, Ruthy. It wouldn't have been possible without you. =)

    ReplyDelete
  139. Thank you, Tina. =)

    It was great to be here. I know all you early risers are heading to bed but I'm lighting a candle, turning up the music, and signing off the web to go get my write on.

    WRITE ON everyone,

    Nancy Kimball

    ReplyDelete
  140. Nancy, great post. Sorry to stop in so late.

    I admire you and everyone else who has a day job and still finds time to write. That's tough and my hat's off to all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  141. These are great tips! You have a fantastic sense of humour too.

    Thanks so much for the information.

    ReplyDelete
  142. Nancy,
    ROFLOL to your top 10 list. Love it! Also, your post is very helpful and inspiring - I'm one of those who has a day job and what I'm writing isn't fiction. Thanks for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Your post made me close my open word document, pop out the pen drive and get back to the job I was being paid for. :)

    Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  144. Nancy - I'm late getting to this but I can't resist this topic. So true. Add other things like a family, a house, sleeping (sometimes) and writing takes a back seat way too often. Thanks for the tips and its always a pretty good bet that I'd rather be writing!

    ReplyDelete
  145. I just got home from my day job. :)
    Advantages to a day job for a writer:
    1. Networking -- you'll have chances to interview/observe/write about people you might not have had working at home.
    2. Less financial worries w/ a regular paycheck/insurance.
    3. Possibly a more active lifestyle w/ limited snacking and more chances to give your writing body a rest.
    4. An appreciation for your writing career you might not have if you did it ALL the time.
    5. It impresses the socks off of people when they hear you write while handling a job. Most people go home and plop on the sofa w/ nary a thought of how they will handle their spare time.

    I could go on but I believe after writing full time and then returning to the work force to write non-fiction children's titles that a job of working in a middle school library is invaluable to me in my goals of writing more children's books.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Thank you for so much inspiration today Nancy!

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  147. Thanks for some good advice.
    csdsksds@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete