Showing posts with label Writing and Balancing Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing and Balancing Life. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writing and the Balancing Act


A little over a year ago, I requested authors share their stories of how they were able to keep their lives balanced, and a small volume of shorts was born called The Write Balance.

As a writer the ability to get it all done seemed to elude me. The balancing act of not only family, work and writing, but also of writing for pleasure (otherwise known as my novel writing) with my professional writing (writing non-fiction for trade journals, clients and publications for money), and marketing (putting myself out there).

Now with the Holidays looming, a daughter's wedding in a few weeks and an upswing in clients the lessons I learned are even more important. I'll share a few of the tips I learned.

1. Take them on one at a time. My tendency is to worry and fret and then worry some more over what I will write and when I will write it. I have found listing the items in need of my attention can give me the space I need to not try to worry them all into creation at one time.

2. Exercise creates a clear space. I have found that any type of activity - walking, yoga or running - eventually forces me to let go of all my thoughts. That means that when I return to a project, I return with a clear space and many times a different perspective that propels me forward at a much more rapid pace. It's also good for my body.

3. Eating and drinking are good for you too. Living in Phoenix, dehydration is a concern. Sitting at my desk for hours and hours as I get into the groove, is not healthy and ultimately takes its toll. Not to mention that sometimes the time taken away from work, again allows me to see things differently and come back refreshed and with new ideas.

4. Know yourself. For me, creative writing is best done early in the morning. I reserve this time for my novels and first drafts of non-fiction. Marketing is my least favorite challenge and so it comes next as I need to be more focused to get it done. I finish my day with editing. In some strange way it feels more pleasurable to end my day this way and, as I enjoy it, I do not put it off.

5. Give yourself a day off here and there. Yep, its mandatory. Okay, not the whole day. You can still use your notepad to write thoughts and bits of dialog, but give yourself permission to relax and not think of any of your characters or deadlines.

Which is what I'll be doing this wedding/holiday season. I've already scheduled my days off. I love being organized & balanced!
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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Flight from the Water Planet, Book 1 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why Marketing Should Not Be a Second-Class Profession Among Authors


The argument that marketing is just too, too crass for authors doesn't seem to go away, does it? 

It feels as if more is a work here than rational argument. Do the literary minded feel threatened? Do those who market their books feel both deprived of writing time or feel they are being discriminated against by the literary world? Do we in the publishing industry really want to behave like politicians?

Here's the thing. Marketing as always been part of publishing. It's just that these days publishing houses' budgets are smaller and many authors' marketing skills (by necessity or preference) have blossomed. A book simply is unlikely to sell unless someone is doing the marketing. So what about a nice balance of writing and marketing for any author.

Publishing is a partnership and authors have always been partners--even if not full partners--in the marketing of books. It takes the author to do book tours, to sit on panels, to sign books, to be interviewed on the Today Show. Always has. Always will. So if authors extend those skills to benefit their books while balancing that time against writing or taking a reasonable amount of time away from writing to get their book on the right track...well, isn't that what is best for book, author, publisher—and the reader who can't read a book unless he or she knows about it.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson is a frequent contributor to Writers On The Move. She is a multi award-winning novelist, poet and author of the HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the highly acclaimed Frugal Book Promoter (http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) Learn more and sign up for her SharingwithWriters newsletter at http://howtodoitfrugally.com.





Monday, January 16, 2012

The Great Balancing Act





In December I went walking in the park with my grandchildren. A woman with two therapy dogs drew our attention. A very sweet lady, she asked if we'd met before and then we spent a few moments trying to determine whether our paths had ever crossed. When she asked me what I did, I claimed novelist, my grandchildren filled in my role as business coach and the camera around my neck claimed photographer. "My your life is so well balanced," she said.

For those of you who have visited my personal blog, you may know that, in November I decided that 2012 would be the year for me to learn balance. I'm hosting other authors who are telling their tricks. How ironic to meet someone who would view me as balanced. 
As writers most of us have real jobs, those that keep us in computers, pens and paper. We cannot stop writing even though our lives are full, because the writing process is what gives us fulfillment. So instead we carve out bits and pieces of time between family and work, sometimes feeling stretched or pulled in so many directions. We can't wait for retirement to write, the stories refuse to allow it. Instead they nag us while making the bed, taking a shower, or doing the dishes. "Write me! Write me!" they call to us.
In my younger years, living in Wyoming, I played a bit with rock climbing. It was almost at the same time that a new trend was started called slacklining. Two guys in Yosemite Valley strung webbing and walked, not on tight rope, but rather on "rope" that had less tension, sometimes between two places high above the ground. Slacklining is interesting because of the ease with which the practice can change by using narrower or thicker webbing or by just changing the tension. While the slackline is less rigid and has a bit of sway, it does not allow for an alternative path. 
Perhaps this is how to achieve balance as a writer with also being a child, parent, grandparent, employee and friend. A path that has sway, that allows for changes in the dynamics, but still keeps you focused to the end. May each of you navigate the high peaks of life with balance and see your writing soar.
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D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction. She loves to tell stories of personal growth where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is the author of Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception, her latest book dealing with the subject of death and the afterlife. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at www.djeanquarles.com

Her novels are available in electronic format here, or print format here
You can also follower her at www.djeanquarles.blogspot.com or on Facebook
Or you can just contact her at d.jeanquarles@yahoo.com

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