Okay, so we all knew it would happen some day! Sean needed a little credibility so he sought out some established “real writer” to lend a guest post and some much needed “actual content” to this blog. So I called up my distant cousin, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, the Rebel Writer (actually no known relation) to fill in for me on a new segment that the kids are calling, “Meet My Guest Writer”.
Forget glamour. Erase any notions or preconceived ideas about fun. Writing is work. And yes, it can be enjoyable. I love what I do and can’t imagine returning to working nine to five for a corporation or business. But it’s also time consuming, frustrating, and at times difficult. I prefer the rewarding moments over the hard but in this business, you’ll have both.
Rewind my life a few years and I dabbled in writing. Although I wrote almost every day and turned out a lot of stories, articles, and other literary efforts, many of which found published homes and earned me a little money, I didn’t approach it as a job. If there’s any secret to my success, a turning point moment, it’s when I decided to treat writing as if it were a paying job.
I made up my mind and decided it was time to get serious. The housework took a back seat to writing and I began keeping a routine, a strict one. I stopped for a lunch break at the same time each day and within six months I signed my first book contract. Two years and two months later, I signed my thirtieth this week. Most are full-length novels by any standard and a few are what is sometimes called novellas. These days, more and more people just call them “books”. All are available as eBooks, four are also available in paperback. I also have work in more than twenty-five anthologies and several short story credits including a few in national publications.
So if you want to make it in this business, make writing a job.
For the curious, here’s a rundown of how my basic day begins. I get up early, as in before daylight. I’m also a mom so I rise before the kids and after a cup or two of coffee to get my mind alert, I check emails. I also start a to-do list for the coming day. After I feed and get my children out the door to the bus, I spent several hours either writing or doing writing-related tasks. It can include editing, filling out cover art forms, writing blurbs, keeping up with my four blogs, using social networking to keep up with other writers and the reading community, and other details. I may pause long enough to start the laundry or let my Jack Russell terrier out into the yard but otherwise I work until lunch. After a brief stop, I bring in the mail and get back to work for several more hours. Then it’s time to meet the kids, cook supper, talk to my husband when he gets home. After dinner, I pay bills, play a little online, keep up with friends, and make phone calls to family. Sometimes I get a little more work done, sometimes not.
My schedule doesn’t vary much even on weekends. I’ve been known to work on holidays too, at least a few hours worth. If I go on vacation, it’s usually a working trip with a visit at a writer’s conference or research for an upcoming project. And the laptop goes along too.
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t hobnob with the rich and famous, attend galas, ride around in my limo and I’m far from rich. I’ve done a few local television appearances but I’ve yet to mark The Tonight Show off my bucket list.
I work long, often hard hours but I enjoy what I do. Reader feedback makes a positive impact too. I often urge people to remember I’m not home watching television or playing Farmville. I’m working because writing is a job and once I began to give it the same respect as any other employment, my career moved in new directions.
Contact and links:
Facebook: my personal page is Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy plus I just kicked off an author page – From Sweet to Heat: The Romance of Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Blog: Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Lee-Ann-Sontheimer-Murphy/e/B004JPBM6I
Now that you have had a taste of a “real writer”, can you ever go back?
Sure you can! And you will! See you tomorrow!
If you haven’t yet, please connect with me on social media:
Please follow this blog by email or on your WordPress reader page (or both). Thank my “cousin” for lending me some much-needed quality content by sharing with all of your friends! This time it is not a polite request, it is a mandate. I brought the share buttons so you bring the shares,buddy!
As always your comments are appreciated.
Excelsior. Peace Out.