Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ah...'Day Jobs'...

In my 'day job', I am a self-employed jeweler. In fact, up until just a few years ago, I thought that this was the thing I loved most, and writing was just something I did when I was bored. Being self-employed does have its perks, affording me a bit more flexibility, but it also means that if I want to make sure the bills are paid, I might just have to work 70 hours in a week. And that is where the day job starts to chafe.
I know it seems whiney to complain about being successfully self-employed in this economy, but when you start feeling that your 'calling' 15 years ago should be your hobby, and your hobby ought to be your day job, it does get to be... difficult.

Right now I'm going to work at 6 or 7am, working until 5 or 6pm, and then trying to write from 6pm until 10, when my eyes just won't stay open anymore, and it just doesn't feel like enough. I try to devote most of my weekends to writing all day, but throw in a husband and dogs and friends that want a piece of my time, and all I can do is thank the heavens that I don't have kids yet. I'd never have a moment to myself!

All that said, I hope that I can manage to finish the novel by Valentine's day (I know I'm already going to miss the Christmas deadline I had set for myself). I probably shouldn't beat myself up about it too much... I'm sure plenty of writers struggle with finding the time between family and job to finish their novels too, but man every time I hear someone talk about how they finished their book in a year because they really knuckled down and did it, I just wonder what the heck I'm doing wrong! I'm almost to year 4 of writing! Granted, I did finish it once, then went through and changed a major plot device that required a massive overhaul of the entire thing, and I'm on the final re-write now... but still!
Anyway, I don't see how I could squeeze in any more writing time, and the only way I can really console myself is that this really is my first effort at writing a novel. I had a pretty huge learning curve, no writing groups to rely on (I'm a bit of a loner where my creative pursuits are concerned), and google was my best friend. So.... all in all, I probably spent half that time researching and trying to figure out the business.

OK, I feel better now. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This is Post # 1, This is Post # 1, Isn't This a Lot of Fun...

Well, yes and no. I do like technology, I really do, but sometimes I am certain computers are hiding things that card catalogues never would have. I am also certain Facebook is a time-sucking vampire, so I currently have 43 friend requests that have gone unanswered, and I don't even remember what my password is. Twitter? Puhlease, not a Luddite like me.

And yet, I now have a blog, not because I think anyone would be interested in the five posts I'll probably get around to in a year, but because of Nathan Bransford (one of these days I'll figure out how to embed a link in this thing). His blog is a thing of beauty, and I couldn't resist its siren call any longer. I highly recommend reading it, particularly if you are a writer.

Speaking of writing, I ought to be doing it now. I am in the process of the final rewrite on my first novel, and hope to be finished around Christmas.....ish. It is YA fiction, or more precisely, young adult historical fantasy fiction set in an alternate feudal Japan (what a mouthful!). For a first effort, it was incredibly encouraging to be awarded a fellowhip in YA literature from Oregon Literary Arts, and it keeps me motivated on those slow days. Before this rewrite, I also queried about eight literary agents, and was pleasantly surprised to receive partial/full requests and very complimentary letters from several of the agents. Unfortunately, none felt it was quite the project for them yet, but they took the time to write detailed explanations of what they'd like to see worked on, and asked me to keep them in mind in the future. Very encouraging indeed for a debut writer like me!
I'll keep the blog posted with my progress, but for now, its time to go do some actual writing... you know, so I have something to blog about later!