When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a published author. I imagined the accolades, the throngs of adoring fans clamoring for me to autograph their copies of my best-selling novels. I expected to exist in a beautifully appointed office with lots of windows to admit natural light, where I would scribble out sagas and epics and otherwise live the writerly life.
Dreaming of such things is easy when you’re an imaginative preteen. Then, you learn.
Passion is a definitely a requirement for any author, at any stage of the journey. But writing requires more. It requires dedication. It requires time and energy. It requires you to put your butt in the chair and words on the page.
I wear many hats. On any given day, you could call me a teacher, a mom, and a wife. And when I manage my time the right way, or when my toddler naps longer than thirty minutes, or when I don’t have a stack of papers to grade at night, I get to also put on my author hat.
Every author would agree that productivity is the result of excellent time management. Some authors do best with marathon sessions at the keyboard. Before the birth of my daughter a year and some change ago, I often had days when inspiration hit, and I would look at the clock to discover five hours in the chair had passed and I’d forgotten to eat lunch. Other authors like to use some version of a “sprint” session, where you set a timer and write like mad until the timer goes off. After my daughter was born, I started using sprint sessions to get something – anything – done on my current WIP. Sometimes it was a chapter, other times just a couple pages. I recall one instance when my little one was about three months old that I wrote – no joke – a sentence before she woke up from an absurdly short nap.
Upon landing my contract with Soul Mate Publishing for my “Sweet Somethings” series, of which my debut novel, Better Than Chocolate, is the first installment, I made a deal with my husband. He would take charge of the baby for the entire morning every Saturday morning, up through the end of naptime. We would eat breakfast and lunch together as a family, but beyond that, Saturday would be my time to write.
This agreement has proven vital. I’m the sort of person who wants to put 100% into whatever I’m doing. I want to be there 100% for my family, 100% for my students, and 100% for my writing. I’m not that great at math, but even I can see that those numbers don’t quite add up. You can’t be 100% for everything all the time. Many days, I have to take off my author hat in order to effectively wear my Mommy hat or my teacher hat. But if I didn’t take time, if I didn’t have that time, to put on my author hat, I would be short changing myself and the dreams I held when I was fourteen.
No author can operate in a vacuum. Yes, writing is, by its very nature, a solitary craft. But without the support of family and friends, it’s difficult to survive, let alone thrive, in this busy world as an author. Especially if you have many other full-time hats you need to wear.
J. Lynn's Newest Release
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More About J. Lynn:
J. Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.
Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.
When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys traveling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.
A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and the most adorable baby on the planet.
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Better Than Chocolate Buy Links: http://www.amazon.com//dp/B012X1IJD8