Monday, February 11, 2019

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, Back To Work I Go

I am loving being retired from my paralegal career. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

But after about six weeks, I’m beginning to worry about my other job. The one I didn’t retire from – my career as a writer.

For years I cranked out two novels a year and held down a full-time job. One year I even produced three novels. That year about killed me. Even the other years with two books were hard on me. I was always on a computer, either at home or at work. I seldom got out with friends, unless I made a pointed effort. Long weekends were often spent holed up in my apartment alone, without ever leaving until I had to go to work. Same with holidays. I paid a price for that dedication to both my job and my writing career – weight gain, high blood pressure, depression, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret all the sacrifices I made to establish myself as a prolific novelist. I never made much money. Few fiction writers do. But I have a loyal readership and a body of work that makes me proud.

Now that I don’t have a job, I should be writing all the time, but I’m not. I wrote more when I was working and under contract. I haven’t released a new novel in over a year. Then again, much of 2017 and all of 2018 was spent preparing for retirement. I had to get my RV. Outfit it. Give up my apartment and move into the RV. I have been writing during this time, but not with the same dedication and focus. Early 2019 was spent getting out on the road, dealing with RV issues, and setting up my new residence in Texas. I did put out a new short story in 2018 – Sh*t I’d Kill For – which was very well received.

Now here I am in mid-February 2019 and I’m ready to get busy and back on writing fiction with a heat-seeking focus. This week I got off the road and settled into a lovely campground at Gulf Island National Seashore. I know a lot of people who have stayed here and loved it. I plan on really pounding out the finish to a non-mystery novel I’ve been working on for several years. It’s almost done. But it won’t get done if I don’t make it a priority. Then I need to move on to the next Granny Apples novel and the new Odelia Grey novel. After that the third Madison Rose book. I need to put deadlines on myself. So my deadline to finish Finding Zelda is the end of February. I need to treat my own deadlines as I did when I was under contract to publishers. You can fudge a bit, but not a lot.

But all work and no play makes Sue Ann cranky. Everyday I need to exercise, do some household chores, and I also need to see the lovely places I’m visiting. It’s a balance, just like balancing the day job with the writing all those years, but not as daunting.

Going forward, every day I will be writing a few hours on my fiction. And I will be blogging on Babble ‘n Blog at least twice a month. I will also continue writing my posts on The Novel RV Journal. These are done daily and are the raw material for a travel book. You can read those at

Writing has never been a hobby for me. I have always treated it as a job, a career with deadlines. I need to get back to work!

I’m self-employed and my boss can be a real bitch!


LibraryJill said...

I'm so glad there will be another Madison Rose book! Looking forward to the output. And remember, you purposely didn't publish last year for tax reasons. I am NOT looking forward to doing my taxes this year.

Linda said...

Our daughter is a musician and music teacher, and when she was learning to play a 1/2 size violin at age six, her teacher told her that 'the rule' was you only had to ractice on days that you eat! Maybe that works for writing also!

Mindy said...

So glad to hear about another Granny Apples story. �� I love Granny!

Trudie levins said...

Give yourself a break. You have been transitioning to a whole new living experience. I can tell you that you are my hero. I live vicariously through you.

You will use these situations in upcoming books and entertain us all!

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Anonymous said...

I discovered your books this year (Odelia Grey)... and LOVE your characters. I especially appreciate that you have such an able bodied paraplegic who breaks with convention... and STRONG women characters... people who are usually dismissed in society or are victims of unbecoming stereotypes. But what I really like, is that your characters are human... it isn't forced and they are not perfect. They get a little far out there sometimes... I appreciate a believable story, and sometimes I wish that Odelia uses her brain (with more help from Greg) more than her emergency calling card with Willie, or the brawn of her half brother. There are so few protagonists like yours... I would like to see this duo shine a bit more on their own. Love the pets as well. Well, I am up to my 5th book in the series and hopefully you will keep publishing as I don't want the series to end!
BTW... they say when you retire you become irrelevant. Make it not so!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm so thrilled to hear that there is a new Granny Apple book coming. I just LOVE those books so much. Keisa Dawn.

Suzie said...

Relieved to hear the wonderful back story as I was curious with no recent book releases! Selfishly can’t wait for the next Odelia Gray but give yourself s break. We’ll be waiting for you!

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