Priorities for an Author. What do we really love?

This is a hard one, at least for me.  Problems with time and with all sorts of “other” demanding my concentration right now led to this blog.

Of course writing is the biggest priority, and my much-loved occupation.  Without doing the writing, I have nothing to sell. And, truth be told, I believe most all authors do enjoy the writing part.  (Most of the time.)  I sure do.

But, of course, any published author needs to spend a LOT of time as a salesperson as well as a writer.  I am familiar with this type of work because  I worked in retail sales for thirty years, and enjoyed meeting the public face-to-face.  But that was before the Internet.

Different times now.  Much of our work presenting and promoting our published writing is on the Internet.  Of course we promote in many other ways, arranging appearances and signings, connecting with media, attending conferences and conventions, and much more, but, for me at least, the need to promote on the Internet is the most difficult.That’s partly because I’ve never taken the time or given the concentration to figuring out how it all works.  I know the basics, but am still not at ease holding a little screen and communicating with the world!    ( I promise  I’ll work on it this summer. )

Okay. Writing, promoting, and a bit of housework and personal stuff make a full-time job for many, and a real trial for those with full-time day jobs as well.  Proves all active authors must love writing.  Right?

We adjust schedules, make routines, and we manage.

But, what if something more intrudes?  A needy parent, a sick child, or, in my case right now, a planned move from a three-story homestead  on twenty-three acres in the Ozarks to a five-room condominium in a city an hour’s drive away.  Not as needy an event as helping a parent, child, or other relative, but still a source for some degree of stress, and a turning away from writing for a time.

One reason for the planned move actually is my writing career.  I have let our gardens and surrounding area languish untended while I wrote and promoted.  My husband, my wonderful helper, is in the same boat, since taking care of the business end of my writing activity and getting me out of occasional mess-ups on my computer demand a lot of his time, too.  We simply don’t have time for the work Spring Hollow in the Ozarks demands to function well. Therefore, a move to simpler accommodations was indicated.

And, that means priorities right now have little to do with writing.  I am working with carpenters, painters, and electricians  preparing the condo for John and me, and also planning for a bit of painting and fix-up here at Spring Hollow.  Questions must be answered, plans looked at, measurements taken, shopping done, plus new utilities and other connections arranged for.

My once daily writing schedule is dead in the water though I had begun another novel in my “To Die For” series.  I promise myself — and readers who are asking — as soon as we are moved and this house sells, I’ll go back to A GARDEN TO DIE FOR.

In the meantime, that story gurgles only in the background of my thoughts while home and move demand my attention. I have discovered I am not good at some types of mental multi-tasking.

Do any of you understand this?  How do priorities work for you?  I don’t love writing less, but, still . . . .




2 Responses to “Priorities for an Author. What do we really love?”

  1. terrysthoughtsandthreads Says:

    Yes, promoting what we write takes a lot of time. I also have a second passion, quilting. I make one or two quilts a month, and most are gifts for others, or fundraising donations, but a few are set aside for sales in our small shop (which, of course, means more promoting.) I have also joined a few community groups since retirement, and those monthly meetings and follow-up tasks also cut into time and energy that might be spent writing. Add to that all of the medical appointments dealing with various diagnoses of the two of us, and the calendar and clock become nagging reminders.

    I wish you good luck in your transition. Try to find a new place that feels comfortable and similar to your old writing place. I have to wonder what lucky person will next treasure the gardens in the Ozarks, in your absence?

  2. Radine Trees Nehring Says:

    Thanks, Terry. Perhaps it’s good that writing is by way of being an escape (or vacation) from our lives — and difficulties!

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