Diana Pharaoh Francis
Last week I started writing full time. I used to be a university professor, and this last summer I left that job and moved and it’s taken some months to be able to settle down, get unpacked, get the family sorted out, and so this last week was really my first week being a full time writer, where I actually kept a schedule and wrote.
It’s divine. And it’s also potentially crazy-making.
When I worked as a professor, there were measures in place for getting my job done. Those included student progress, actual teaching days, grading, and so on. But writing is more like cleaning house. You clean and clean and clean and every time you turn around, there needs to be more cleaning. It constantly gets dirty again. There really is no good measure of accomplishment, except when you finish something. But for me, that’s a little crazy [...]
Continue reading How do you know you’re making progress, or, staying sane while writing
I desired to write a really good post about how to get ready to push a book. How to work with your company’s PR department (if they have one) to set up a plan. What to do if your company doesn’t have one. How to contact blogs on your own. How to hire a PR firm if you want (from paying for a huge push, to just paying for them to approach some well known blogs for you). Lotas things.
Then life happened. Mom spent the last two days in hospital after some major passing-out/dizzy/woozy/white-between-the-ears days, (yes that last one was weird, but my mom is not an ordinary woman) and yesterday got a pacemaker.
To say I am wiped out is an understatement. So you’ll get this next time I am up. Meantime, remember that spending time with family and the people you love is most [...]
Continue reading Life and Desire
James Surowiecki is the business writer for The New Yorker, and though I usually am not one to pour over the financial pages, I find his columns fascinating. None more so than the article he wrote for the July 29, 2013 issue of the magazine. The article is titled “E-Book Vs. P-Book,” although the online version of the article is actually identified more accurately as “It’s Not Over For Barnes & Noble.” The article, which I strongly suggest you read, basically argues that with Borders gone, Barnes & Noble is actually poised to do quite well, if it would only “focus on something truly radical: being a bookstore.”
As I say, the article is worth a read, but I would like to concentrate on a few data points that Surowiecki mentions in his piece that, I believe, point to larger trends in the writing market. In no particular order: While [...]
Continue reading Quoth the Book: “Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”
John G. Hartness
I’m a bad writer, I know. Not because I’m incapable of writing well, but because I’m often incapable of keeping the “real world” from interfering with my writing. I came home from DragonCon enthused after spending most of a week with my friends, energized to get some new words down on paper, and really psyched to finish some projects by the end of the year.
Then life happened.
I got back to work and started taking care of the things that had piled up while I took Thursday and Friday off to attend the con. I started prepping for auditions for the show I’m directing this fall. I started sending out invites for The Big Bad 2, and looking over some of the early submissions. And I did get a little writing done. About 5,000 words since I’ve been home.
That sucks. It’s not enough writing. It’s [...]
Continue reading Injuries, families and those other things that keep us from writing.
Recently, a friend on Twitter noted that some days she feels like 90% of her time is spent on the business of being a writer and only 10% is spent on the actual writing.
And it got me thinking about time as a writer — what we spend our time and emotional energy doing. It seems like there’s never enough time to get it all done. Someone once said that being an author is like being in school — there’s always homework. It’s true — there’s always more you can be doing. For example, today has been about catching up on the business side of things since I had a deadline on Friday and while I’ve been on hold with various companies, I’ve been flicking through Twitter or making to-do lists or cleaning up my desktop because what else are you going to do?
You finish one task [...]
Continue reading On being bored
Diana Pharaoh Francis
I had a different blog planned about finding a story idea, something I will do next time. But I had life attack and I thought it worth talking about. Life has been interfering with my writing for a couple of years now. Specifically, I worked in a very toxic environment at my old job, where bullying and illegal harassment were not uncommon, and the campus leadership did little or nothing to correct that, instead, often exacerbated the problem. My husband lost his job and could not find work locally, so we ecided it would be a good time for us to break out of the bad and into the good. It took two years to make that happen and during that time, i lived a year without him, while he worked elsewhere and I worked and was single-mom. We always knew it was for our future, but it was hard.
Continue reading When life attacks
As you read this, I am driving home from New York City having just dropped off my daughter at NYU. She’s a freshman this year, so all of this is pretty new to me. The last-minute shopping, the packing, the move-in day and orientation and getting settled. The bills — oh my GOD the bills. And underlying all of it, the emotions that come with seeing my eldest child go off to college: excitement on her behalf, sadness at the thought of her leaving home, happiness at the thought of her leaving home (yeah, some of these are pretty mixed), trepidation at all that she has to face in the coming years — we’ve been taking care of her for so long, and while she is bright and mature and confident, is she ready? I am more aware than I have ever been of my age, of the swiftness with [...]
Continue reading Grist For the Mill: Emotion and Creativity