Finding Time to Write
When I retired in 2015, I looked forward to giving my writing the attention and energy it deserved. I’d already written two books with little success. In my rush to jump on the bandwagon of self-publishing authors, I succumbed to the notion I could be a successful author, too. Why not? I love to write. And, yes, it was exciting to hold my newly printed books in my hands and to present them at book fairs and book clubs. Back then, I was high on the idea of presenting my stories to potential fans, writing lots of books, and making a living doing so.
I was naïve, I admit. Working full time and commuting to the city five days a week, did not leave much time to self-market as aggressively as an author has to. It takes more than writing a good book (to my mind, my books were good, just not good enough) to get an author noticed. With fierce competition and too many free books for readers to choose from, writers must devote an awful lot of time to marketing. Sure, I tweeted, Facebooked, put my books on Goodreads, etc., but it wasn’t enough to sell my not-ready-for-prime-time books.
Alas, in that wonderful Amazon world, my beloved books quickly sank into that quagmire where unsold books go to die. Yes, it hurts to admit that, but admitting it is the first step in my recovery. Isn’t that so? A few months ago, I became so discouraged I closed my website, Facebook author page, and Twitter. I went so far as to rescue those early books from that quagmire and hid them from public view.
Flash forward, four years later, I am working harder and longer hours than when I was commuting. I thought I retired back in 2015. Silly me. My husband needed me at our business, so that’s where my energies lie. We started our family business, Hungry? We Deliverin 2014 before anybody in this area ever heard of a company that delivers restaurant food. We work six days a week, eleven to twelve-hour days. On my one day off, there’s still house cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, running errands, etc., and sometimes we go to the office to take care of things we had no time to finish during working hours.
You get the picture...
After all that, is it any wonder why I am too tired to think about writing? All I want to do after a long day is veg out in front of the TV and enjoy a glass of wine with my husband. I do have spurts of writing energy here and there though and use that energy to sit in front of my manuscript to work. I think–– the hell with the laundry or I’ll sweep tomorrow before leaving for work. If my husband is out grocery shopping and the house is quiet, I snatch an hour or so to write before attending to that housework. I might start the laundry and sit at the computer, running downstairs between loads to put the wash in the dryer and toss in another load.
FAKE NEWS: I was kidding when I said I would leave the laundry or sweeping for another time. Yes, I am a neat freak, a fanatic––my kids call me. Love those kids.
Stealing moments like these to write are few and far between, but preferable to not writing at all. In the past, I would write during lunch at the office and sometimes still try to, but there is a lot going on even on lunch break, preventing me from concentrating.
During my brief spurts of energy, I try to work on my third book, Simply Gregg. Been doing that for the past, what six years? Maybe seven. I’ve lost count. Of course, during that time, I have learned a lot about writing and publishing. My friends at The Lady Writers of the Poconos, which I am proud to be a member, are very supportive and encouraging. Only writers know the pain, hard work, and dedication it takes to put out a book we can be proud of and having a team of writers in your corner, is gold. For most writers, it’s not so much about the money. Lord knows, these days, being an author, is not as lucrative as it once was. It’s more about the love of writing.
Because of the support I receive from my fellow writers, I plan to have those early books professionally edited when I can and perhaps release them into the publishing world again. This time properly prepared and advertised. I’ll do right by them ... poor things. They’ve been through enough.
OH! One bit of good news is, lately I’ve been able to take a couple of extra days off from work helping me to de-stress and do what I love - write. Hopefully, I can have these extra days off permanently since I have a few stories whirring around in my head I want to put to paper. I am encouraged and will use this downtime to finally finish Simply Gregg. I’m so close.
I know, I know ... I’ve said that before, but this time I mean it. I will finish that book!
––Just got another text.
I have to get back to the office.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Evelyn Infante is a small business owner in the beautiful Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Although she works long hours at her food delivery business, Evelyn steals every moment possible to work on her book, Simply Gregg, a detective novel. Interesting people have been a curiosity for Evelyn ever since she could remember. A few years back, Evelyn ventured into the self-publishing business, publishing an erotic love story. Next, she wrote a novel about child sexual abuse, a story personal to her. After joining a writers group, Evelyn decided to pull the first two books and put all of her energy into her detective story. Since then, she has finally found her genre and hopes to publish Simply Gregg by the end of the year with a little help from her friends.