A Writer’s Life for Me

When my kids were little, we enjoyed watching the Disney animated version of “Peter Pan.” And when I first started brain-storming what to blog about in the “slice of a writer’s life” category, the first thing that popped into my head was the song, “A Pirate’s Life is a Wonderful Life – A Pirate’s Life for Me!” from that movie.

Some may think that writing for a living is boring, but for me, it’s far from it! Keep humming the “A Pirate’s Life” tune, and replace the word “Pirate” with “Writer,” and you’ve got a good idea about how diverse and exciting a writer’s life can be!

Most writers do more than just one type of writing. There are blog posts to write, marketing copy to create, books (both fiction and non-fiction), and lots of correspondence. And then you have research trips, interviews, conferences, workshops, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and chatting up your latest endeavors with your writerly friends. There’s never a dull moment in this writer’s life!

Writer's ChairA great way to learn about the life of a writer, in my opinion, is to take a look at his or her desk. As you can see from mine (click to view the image larger), I like pens. I like notebooks, too, but they are stacked to the right of my computer, so you can’t see them. You’ll also notice the abundance of sticky notes and if you look closely, you’ll see the jar of super-strength, odor free Blue Emu, because I have arthritis in my hands and it really helps!

The brand-spankin’ new desk chair was a gift this week from my Hubby, who supports the craziness that goes along with being a writer.

My writing life is different than some, as I primarily write other people’s words. I own a digital services company, so I make websites for authors and small business owners. I also do a lot of blogging, email marketing posts, and SEO content for clients. Client-writing involves researching their industries and “getting into character,” so I can portray the voice and expertise of whichever client project I’m working on. My clients include everything from politicians, a motivational speaker, heat & air company, and a donut shop to other authors. I love learning new things, which I think is a common characteristic of writers, so that helps me do this job.

Another type of writing I do frequently is copywriting. Not to be confused with copyrighting – the little C in a circle – but creating compelling copy to persuade readers to take whatever action my client desires them to take, whether it be to make a purchase or sign up for their email marketing list. I’m currently working on a series of radio ads for a client, and I’ve done a lot of print advertising copy, too.

One of my favorite types of writing for clients is scripting videos. I enjoy producing promo videos. And there is such a great variety of uses for marketing videos – brand awareness, product introductions (like book trailers for writers), customer testimonials, how-to/instructional videos, and  “explainer” videos that share how a client’s services can benefit potential customers. Besides the variety of uses for videos, I get to use a number of platforms – from animated whiteboard to simple slideshows to talking cartoon characters and more. It’s a lot of fun but it’s challenging to take the thoughts and hopes of a client and condense it into a less-than-two-minute script that works with the client’s chosen platform and background music.

Other than marketing and client writing, I’ve written one Christian non-fiction book and am working on a book about marketing for small business owners. And, yes, I’m working on a novel. I wrote one novel years ago and after going through the rejection rounds of traditional publishing, I posted it in the Kindle marketplace. Hopefully my current attempt at fiction will be better.

So, what does a typical day in the Life of Linda look like? I’m no longer an early riser. Hubby works second shift, so we typically sleep in – until about 8 or 8:30. Then we start our morning together with a 3-mile walk. Hubby cut a 1-mile path around our property (we live in central Arkansas), and we make three rounds with our miniature dachshund leading the way. After the walk and a quick shower, I sit at the desk and answer emails and social media posting for about an hour. Then I cook lunch for us. We have our prayer and devotional time at the dining room table around noon. After lunch, I do my “house chores” while Hubby does man things in his shop.

When Hubby leaves for work at 1:30, I also go to work – whether it’s prospecting for new clients (i.e. cold calls to business owners), meeting with clients for consulting appointments – or whatever is on my calendar that day. By late afternoon, I head back to the house and get busy with the production end of the business – writing, web works, bookkeeping, etc. Hubby calls me during his supper break every night, usually around 8:45 p.m., so I take a break from the desk when he calls. I try to read for about an hour a day, too, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, or my Bible – usually it’s a little of all three. Then I get back to my desk and work until he gets home around 12:15 a.m. We watch TV or share about our day with each other and usually go to bed a little after 1 a.m. It’s a great life.

I do appreciate all the comments and compliments about the new site. There are still a few tweaks to make, but I’m glad the bulk of the site-build is complete. This is such a great group to work with, and I’m glad to be back on the blog! I needed a break, but now I’m excited that one slice of my writer’s life will be blogging with the Inskpers again!

Breaks, Belief, and Beginning Again

When the Inkspers first decided to add a new category to our blog, I was a little ashamed. A “Slice of Life” is supposed to inform our readers of what’s going on in our writer’s world, and who doesn’t want to share publishing news, signing a contract, or completing the rough draft of a much anticipated novel?

I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it, but the problem with this is that for the past couple of years I’ve done little writing, except for our blog. I rarely put my fingers to the keyboard and at times didn’t even want to think about writing, and for me, that is very weird. I began to wonder if God was taking away my passion for writing.

During this hiatus though, I’ve learned something about myself, writing, and God. Sometimes the good Lord puts obstacles in our paths in order to lead us to where He wants us to go. It’s okay to take a detour or a break–even an extended one.

For the past few years, I’ve had a basic premise for a novel for women—just a tad different than my previous books for middle grade girls. Well, anyway, I knew my main characters for my novel, the voice of my heroine, general plot, setting and time period. But the novel just wouldn’t come together in my mind. No matter how hard I tried, various subplot ideas fell flat. Nothing would gel.

I considered working on other projects (I have a ton of ideas floating around in my head and in note books) but I simply could not focus on any other writing project. If I couldn’t write that particular novel, I didn’t want to write anything. So I didn’t.

After feeling guilty about not writing, finally God thumped me on the head and I realized this was exactly where He wanted me. The novel wasn’t materializing because I wasn’t ready. When I gave it all to Him, the plot finally began to come together, and I do believe I like it.

Yes, the writing has begun again-though slowly. It’s a little early in the game to divulge a whole lot about it, but I will say it is World War II era. Much of the research is done and I really do believe God is telling me something.

It is time.

_________

 

Enter our WE’RE BAAAAAAACK Giveaway!

Win not one, but FIVE books! In honor of our blog re-launch, the Inkspers are giving away copies of their books. You can win all five of the books below by leaving a comment.  Every time you leave one, you’ll be entered, so make sure you stop back every day. This contest is open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs. Contests ends Friday, April 11 at midnight and the winner will be posted here on Saturday.

Prize Package includes:

Rodeo Song by Shannon Vannatter

Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson (book release April 22)

The Widow’s Suitor by Rose Zediker

The Prodigal Daughter by Linda Fulkerson

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad (book release May 1)

What I Did Over My Winter Blog Break!

Wow! I’m still reeling in the unveiling of our new blog site. It is awesome! I hope you like it too and spend some time perusing our individual pages.

While the construction crew (party of one) hammer and nailed (I’m sure she might have felt like welding a hammer at the blog program a time or two!) my writing has kept me busy, busy, busy. I’ll bring you update.

In December, I sent my last contracted book to my editor and began working on an assigned short story, which was due in February, and a book proposal for a four book series.

By January both of those projects were complete and submitted. I began handling the first round of edits for my book.

My author copies for The Widow’s Suitor arrived in late January. It is always a thrill for a writer to hold their book for the first time. With the arrival of the author copies came the realization it was time to start marketing my new release. So I scheduled guest blog spots and started contacting book stores to see if they’d host a book signing.

For a short while at the end of January I found myself without a writing contract of any type since 2010. It felt….weird. Thankfully the feeling didn’t last long, my editor liked my book series and offered me a four book contract. This is a contemporary series revolving around rodeo. So now I’m busy writing the first book. I’m six thousand words away from a complete rough draft then the fun begins!

My latest release The Widow’s Suitor is one of the books in our big reopening giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered.

New Wrapping – Same Family

Welcome back, reader friends!

The Inkspers couldn’t be happier to share our new wrapping. Thanks to Linda Fulkerson, we have a whole new look.  We hated to be away from our blog family, but sometimes cyber stuff happens which is beyond our control.

Now, we’re back and excited to share inspirational thoughts with you. Like always, this will be a place for you to find some friends. We’ll share some things to make you think, some things to make you laugh, and some info on books that deserve a spot on your shelves.

New to Inkspirational Messages?

We’re thrilled you’re here. Make yourself comfortable, have a chocolate chip cookie (cyber cookies are calorie free), and sip on the lattes. Take a look around at our new digs. Check out the archives and know you’ve found a cyber family.

So, what’s been happening in the lives of the Inkspers? We’ll each be taking turns and sharing what’s been going on in our writing worlds. If you’ve ever wondered what a slice of life is like for a writer, you’ll get a chance to see that from ten different perspectives over the next two weeks.

Slice of Life—Lorna

Whenever I speak somewhere, I’m often asked the same questions. I thought I’d share some of the FAQ with you.

Q: Do you write the whole book?

A: Yes, even the big words.

Q: Do you write all day?

A: No, I do laundry, wash dishes, each lunch, taxi my daughter, answer e-mail, research, read things from my crit partners, and play some games on Facebook, but I try to write a set number of words each day.

Q: Are your characters real to you?

A: They have to be. If my characters don’t seem real to me, they won’t seem real to my readers either. One time, I told my teenage daughter that I felt so sorry for my hero and heroine because of what they were going through. She looked at me and rolled her eyes. “Mom, you’re doing it to them.”

Q: Which book is your favorite?

While Love StirsA: For most writers, it’s the book they just wrote. I have a hard time picking one of my “kids” over another, but I am really excited about While Love Stirs, book 2 in the Gregory Sisters Series. It will hit the shelves at the end of the month, and I can’t wait to share Charlotte Gregory’s story. Officially, its release date is May 1, but if you pre-order it from Christianbook.com, you’ll probably get it before that. Order Link for While Love Stirs at Christianbook.com.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I’m finishing the last book in the Gregory Girls Series, As Love Blooms. It’s Tessa Gregory’s story. She’s so much fun to write, and I think readers will really enjoy her.

Spring-scavenger-collageNow, have you heard about the Christian Fiction Spring Scavenger Hunt?

Mark your calendars for THIS weekend, April 4, 5, and 6. Thirty authors are participating and you can possibly win a Kindle Fire and a $100 gift certificate for books. Second place is a copy of all thirty titles. Go to http://www.robinleehatcher.com/ to get started at noon on Friday.

Want more books? 

How about FIVE books? In honor of our blog re-launch, the Inkspers are giving away copies of their books. You can win all five of the books below by leaving a comment.  Every time you leave one, you’ll be entered, so make sure you stop back every day. This contest is open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs. Contests ends Friday, April 11 at midnight and the winner will be posted here on Saturday.

Prize Package includes:

Rodeo Song by Shannon Vannatter

Chain of Mercy by Brenda Anderson (book release April 22)

The Widow’s Suitor by Rose Zediker

The Prodigal Daughter by Linda Fulkerson

When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad (book release May 1)