Author Take Over with Karolyn James

Friday, March 22, 2013


Balancing Act!!!! Managing Writing With Everyday Life.

It only seems fitting that I’d get such a great topic to blog about!  Writing and everyday life is perhaps one of the hardest parts of the writing process.  The concept of writing is AIS (ass-in-seat – thank you to Everybody Loves Raymond!) and write.  But for those of us who have full-time jobs, part-time jobs, a family, it can get intense.  
Now, I have been blessed that writing is currently my full-time job.   People often tell me it must be nice to do whatever I want when I want to… and when they do, I nod and smile.  Trust me, my life is anything but “do whatever I want”.  
I balance my life and writing by finding the time I can use and how to use it best.  That means at 5am each morning, the alarm clock is screaming at me.  I get my coffee and head down to my office to get to work.  I’m usually lucky enough to get in at least three hours of solid writing time before the house wakes up and needs me.  I’m married with two children so there’s always something to get in the way.  But I work around it.
I write during naps.
I write during movies and cartoons – but NOT TOO MUCH TV!  
And when it’s all said and done, and the kids are in bed, guess what I do?  I write.  

The hard parts are when you’re into a story and have to stop.  I’ll find myself scrambling to write a few sentences of notes and ideas.  Or I’ll find myself with a notebook and pen – or my iPad – trying to get anything down that comes to me.  I keep a very organized outline for each book I write but face it, as a writer, your mind never stops.  And you’re going to have “AH-HA!” moments at the worst time.  That’s just life.  There are plenty of times I’m thankful to be home all the time to work but there are times where I wish I had an outside office.  One where I couldn’t be bothered.  

To touch on one final point, I mentioned above about my outlines.  I’m notorious for outlines.  Some writers use them, some don’t.  I will spend days on an outline before writing because that’s how my life dictates it to be.  If I don’t have my outline I can easily get lost or stuck.  Nothing is worse for me than just staring at a manuscript, not adding to it.  So I keep a solid outline… but an outline that has room to grow if need be.  I don’t constrict the story but I maintain it.  

The bottom line is that if you’re a writer, you’re going to have life outside writing.  We don’t get the chance to punch a clock… our minds never stop, even when we sleep.   The balance between life and writing can be hard (just ask me at 5:03am when my eyes are barely open) but once you start writing, you know it’s all worth it because it’s what you’re meant to do!

Karolyn James (also writing as Karolyn Patterson) is the author of several erotic romance books.  Her latest series is titled Brothers of Rock and is a contemporary romance following rock band, Chasing Cross.  Each band member has their own book, focusing on life beyond the music.  The first book in the series, All Access, is now available.  Book two, Broken Sound, is due for publication in April 2013.  

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Tanya Korval said...

Yep: early starts, late nights and every moment in between: I'm with you :)

Anna Dase said...

I am the same way lol

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