Friday, October 3, 2008

A WRITER’S LIFE 24/7


Posted by: Susan Lute
Working on: Revisions requested by an editor on a proposal for Silhouette Special Edition. My tennies are dancing :)
Mood: Excited. Thrilled. Challenged.

I’ve been thinking about the subject of this month’s blog for two weeks, and okay no, I haven’t written my post yet, and yes, I have exactly nine hours and forty-nine minutes before this post needs to appear on your screen. And, about sixty minutes after that, I’m supposed to be packed and ready to head out on a research trip to Central Oregon, with my plot partners Wendy Warren and Darla Lukenbaugh. Alright, we’re taking a five year old, and one year old with us, but it’s still research, I swear.

I did make some notes, but somehow it just reads like bla, bla, bla. Each day I start out with good intentions. I’m strong, decisive, even overly pleased with myself for being so self-motivated. Then, what happens is... life.

Writing is all about putting your butt in the chair and keeping it there until the story is told. But being an author is much more than just writing. It’s about mixing the life you live with the story you’re telling, until you’ve put down on paper the best story you can. So here are a few things that can happen during my writing day.

• Me, jumping out of bed at five am...or four, forty-seven am. This happens almost every day;
• If I’m especially disciplined, I do an abs routine. No, not to a tape, just one I’ve worked out over the years;
• A hot cup of soy green tea latte follows me to my desk;
• If I’m not rushing off to my day job at the gynecologist’s office (for those who don’t know, I’m a women’s health nurse), my favorite thing to do at this point is write. Hopefully, it’s about six am. Unfortunately, I might get sidetracked by email, ‘cause I’m looking for good news from my agent. That makes it closer to seven or seven-thirty;
• There are times when taking pictures in my garden is more imperative than typing into the computer. I call that working on my non-fiction book;
• Last minute blog writing;
• Going off on a writing retreat, or to conference, or brainstorming session, or on a research trip;
• Having lunch or dinner, or Starbucks with writing friends;
• Fighting with the one year old granddaughter over my computer chair, so I can type in revisions, check email, etc, etc, etc;
• A trip to a bookstore...to get research books, of course;
• Switch from watching email to watching the phone, in case that call from my agent comes through;
• Off to the post office, to put that long worked on manuscript or project in the mail;
• Nail biting while waiting for THE CALL;
• A manicure and pedicure, because now I’ve spent way more time than I should have biting nails;
• Picking up a friend from work and walking in the Portland Race For The Cure, since all of life shouldn’t be put on hold while writing and waiting, and waiting and writing;
• Writing, revising, polishing until the project I’m working on is the best I can do.
• When my writing day is done, I happily let the rest of life in. The next day, I start all over again.

Ciao

3 comments:

Maggie Jaimeson said...

I love your list and I'm exhausted reading it. I really like the exercise part which I dearly need to be undertaking myself.

Genene Valleau said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the forward movement on your proposal! I hope you hear good news soon!

I like this statement, "It’s about mixing the life you live with the story you’re telling..." So very true!

And now I'm going to do a quick check of my e-mail and ... and... and...

Susan Lute said...

Maggie and Genene,

Thanks, and now I can add taking a research road trip, and brainstorming in the car while keeping two little kids entertained :)