Thursday, April 30, 2009

Guest Blogger - Tawny Weber

I can't remember when I first met Tawny Weber. What I do remember is that she's a wonderful, friendly and generous woman who never hesitated to answer my silly newbie questions or offer me insightful advice. We're very excited to have her on the Playground with us today!

Thanks so much to the ladies of the playground for letting me hang out today! Thanks, especially, to Kira for inviting me. I’m always happy to visit anyplace that has swings and slides.

I recently mentioned the idea of taking a break – a little mini-vacation, if you will. The person I was talking with isn’t a writer, and she gave me this frowning look of confusion and asked “well, how hard do you really work that you need a break?”

Ouch!

How wrong was that?! I mean, so much of writing is work. No, really –that staring off in space? That’s work. Checking out hunks on the net? Research type work!! The gentle bouncing of the forehead off the desktop? Sometimes a little painful work. The hours spent preparing to write? Getting the iPod playlist just right, making sure I have enough colored sticky notes to plot, stocking up on my emergency writing stash of chocolate? ALL WORK!

My argument didn’t impress her much. She came back with “Well how hard is it to tell a story?”

Hmmm, methinks the only stories she’s told are the ones Mother Goose wrote.

So I outlined how hard writing is, the characterization, the plotting, the pace. She claimed she walked in once and heard me giggling while I was writing. Hmm, probably COMING ON STRONG (that story did amuse me to write). I pointed out that just because I love what I’m doing, that I enjoy it, that doesn’t mean it’s not—ahem—work!

Oddly enough, while she doesn’t quite accept that writing is work, she readily believes that promoting the books is a really hard job! Finally, some sympathy. Although I do have to say, promoting my recent Blazes, COMING ON STRONG and GOING DOWN HARD has actually been a lot more fun than work. I get to visit playgrounds and meet cool people and talk about writing. Which is totally fun.

Doesn’t it figure? So I’m curious, do you ever get that? The blithe dismissal of how hard it is to do what you do? How do you deal with it?

Be sure to check out Tawny's newest releases - Coming on Strong out now and Going Down Hard out next month! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. And be sure to visit her at http://www.tawnyweber.com/.

37 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

My first career was wife and mother, and boy do you ever get the "blithe dismissal" for that even though salary.com figures the work done by the mother of two children is worth about $175K a year. I just wanna know if I qualify for backpay since my two are grown? ;-)

Welcome to the Playground. Isn't it pretty now that the grass is green and flowers are blooming? A..a..a..choo! Uhm... lots of pollen too. Need a tissue?

Tawny Weber said...

No KIDDING!!! The work, the time, the energy that goes into 'just a mother' is intense!!! The job perks are pretty sweet, but the pay... yeah, I'd like a little of that backpay!!!

Thank you for the welcome :-) I'm thrilled to be here and have dosed up with allergy meds.. spring is vicious this year!!

Christine said...

Hi Tawny--I related to your post as a SAHM and as an unpublished writer. I know people wonder why the heck I do this when I could go out and get a "real" job making money. The writing is fun when it is flowing and coming together. It's tedious when you go over the same 10 sentences a hundred zillion times trying to fix a problem and not succeeding. It's like any profession, or motherhood. Gee, it's great to be a mom when your child is well in school, is healthy, and listens to your requests without argument. It's in loving the child (or MS that won't cooperate) when she's sick, contrary and fails a test that we show our true commitment to the task at hand.

housemouse88 said...

Hello Tawny,

Your book "Coming On Strong" was wonderful. I'm already half way through "Going Down Hard" and I just got them Tuesday (I think.). Your sense of humor will have me coming back for your books on a regular basis. You know how to put a smile on someones face. Just wanted to say thank you and for people who think you authors are not working hard, should put their money where their mouth is and give it a try. Have a great day.

Sally said...

Oh, yeah, I get the looks and comments of disbelief all the time. Unfortunately, mostly from my husband. :( He doesn't "get" it and I'm sure he probably won't truly try until I actually sell something. Which is pretty darn sad, but there it is. And believe it or not, my in-laws are worse. They think I'm a crack pot for wanting to write to begin with, so you can imagine what they think of me when I do nothing for days on end but campout in my pjs in front of the computer. They think I'm lazy, so won't they be surprised when I become the next Nora. ROFL!!

Anyhow, I hear your frustration and I wish there were some way to get people to truly understand how difficult writing is. Unfortunately, I don't think that's possible if they've never really tried to do it themselves. *sigh* I guess that's why we all of us writers have each other, right? :)

Barbara Vey said...

Hi Tawny,

I'm currently reading Risque Business on eReader on my iPhone. It was a free download and the first time I've ever done this.

I must say, I think it is brilliant marketing. Great way for people to try a new writer.

PM, I'm still waiting for my motherhood back pay too.

Smarty Pants said...

There's a reason that for every 100 people who start writing a novel, only three finish. Yes, it can be fun, inspiring, fulfilling, exciting work. It can also be aggravating, hair pulling, thankless and frustrating. And yet, I do it anyway.

Which makes me all the more irritated when non writing types say thoughtless (although, in their eyes, encouraging) things like "Well, they've rejected this book, but just write another one. There's a formula or something, right?"

Yeah, there is. Just cut open a vein and words onto the page. Just that simple. Just that painful.

Of course, the chocolate, hunky guys and multi colored sticky notes do help...

Instigator said...

Welcome to the Playground, Tawny!


You know, I've been lucky. Even the people in my life who I know think I'm bonkers keep that opinion to themselves. Hmm...I'm wondering if that says more about me and less about them. They'd probably get an earful if they didn't keep their mouths shut :-).

But it is frustrating when someone makes a flippant comment that has more impact than they realized it would. It hurts when somoene says or implies that what you do isn't important or worthwhile.

Instigator

Betty Hanawa said...

And I sure that since you write for Harlequin you also get "Some day maybe you'll write a REAL book."

Love your giggles and the way you make me giggle and the support in the dark of the night when we're both hitting deadlines when we'd rather be hitting the bed.

Smooches!

Problem Child said...

Hey Tawny and welcome! (We met briefly at RWA last year. I was the giddy one who'd just sold to Modern Heat.)

Your post is timely. All schools in the county are closed right now because of swine flu. My neighbor just told me how lucky I was I didn't have to take the day off from work because AC was home. Oh, no, that pesky looming deadline is nothing to be concerned about. I have *plenty* of time to kill. In fact, let me go get another bon bon.

But I will give DG a huge shout out -- when they announced they'd closed the schools, he asked if he needed to stay home today so I could work. He is now forgiven for interrupting me the other night. :-) At least he gets it, so I'm pretty lucky on that front.

Tawny said...

Hi Christine :-)

As PM pointed out, SAHM is probably the least appreciated job EVER. I love your comparison of writing to parenting, too - it is so much easier / more fun when its flowing. That is SO true.

But both have amazing benefits, huh? And those make it all worthwhile, even during those same 10 sentences or the chicken pox *g*

Tawny said...

LOL HouseMouse -you're such a sweetie!!

Thank you! I'm thrilled you love the books and I have to tell you, I'm borrowing your comeback to use!!! Its perfect :-)

Tawny said...

Urgh on the lack of support, Sally. You'll show them!!!!

And lol on the job sitting around in pj's (as I type this in my pjs) Its a great gig, huh? And we're doing what we love! But I totally agree that the support in the writing community is amazing, and so special :-)

Tawny said...

Hi Barbara :-)

Wasn't that fabulous?! I was so excited when I heard they were putting Risque Business on the iApp, it was all I could do not to go out and buy an iPhone (I'm still jonesin' for one)

I hope you enjoy the book *g*

Tawny said...

Formula? *groan*

That's like saying "hey, brain surgery is easy -there's a diagram of the brain right there. Just cut, right?"

Pass me some chocolate and a hunk, please.

Tawny said...

Instigator (omg I love that title *g* You have to fill me in on what kind of things you instigate!!) you're so right.

Like you, I rarely have had anyone actually put down what I do (to my face) Most often, like I said, its a blithe shrug about how easy it must be. Then again, I just asked my husband last week to build me a new set of cabinets and I think I used that phrase, "c'mon, it'll be easy." LOL. But... he makes it look easy. He's really good at it and just... does it.

So maybe when people toss off what we do as easy, its because we're just so darned good at making it look that way (ahem, which means they obviously haven't been around for the forehead on the desk bouncing moments).

Tawny said...

ROFLMAO Betty.

I don't know that I've actually gotten that comment -talk about Blithe Dismissal (yes, with capital letters *g*).

Smooches and giggles right back. Its all about having friends who get you, isn't it? That makes it so much easier to ignore the ones who don't *g*

Sherry Werth said...

Hi Tawny and Welcome!!
Just last night I was helping (writing it) my daughter with another college scholarship essay. It was late, we were both tired and she just wanted it to be done so she could go to bed. I kept changing what she wrote, adding stuff and rewriting sentences. She finally asked why it took me 10 minutes to write 1 sentence and I told her I wanted it to be the best we could make it. She just laughed and said if she had to write it by herself, it would say, "We're poor. I need money. Please help. The End."
Needless to say my child will never be a writer! : D

Playground Monitor said...

If you have enough friends who "get it," pretty soon they outnumber the ones who don't, and the ones who don't, don't matter anymore.

Tawny said...

LOL Sherry,

My daughter would do the same. We just had this conversation yesterday. She's a great writer, but has no interest (or imagination). My younger daughter is ALL imagination, but her writing skills aren't quite there (yet). So much for passing the torch, huh?

Tawny said...

PM - EXACTLY!!!!

Angel said...

I haven't had the "its so easy, anyone could do it" comment yet. Just the "haven't you sold, yet?" one. Although, I have had a couple of teachers get very silent when I refused requests for me to volunteer in my oldest child's classroom (because I'm home all day, you know). I finally decided they were there to give my daughter a good education, not be my friends. They'd just have to get over it.

Lucky for me, I have some very supportive family, including my husband, mother, and sister. Even my in laws, who understand the need to write more than they understand my need to write romance.

But most of all, I've accumulated a whole sisterhood of friends who believe in what I do and my dreams. They believe in me and my talent, even when I don't believe in it myself. I don't care what others see me achieve, only what myself and my sisters and family KNOW I've achieved.

Angel

Tawny said...

*wince* I remember that comment well, Angel.

I can only shake my head at the volunteer expectations - I'm glad you're standing your ground and claiming your writing time!! And it sounds like you have an amazing support system :-)

Christine said...

I do something every day which allows me to stare at collages of great looking guys and my husband is totally not threatened by my "crushes."

Who cares what other people think? WE are happy.

M.V.Freeman said...

Hi Tawny!
I'm late, as usual, but I loved your blog. :)

Its interesting how everyone can blow off the stressors of writing, as they quickly read through a story.

How do I deal with the dismissal of my writing? I try hard to ignore it..I do get frustrated. I am slowly carving out writing time. In some ways I have to prove myself, because I am unpublished book-wise, it's easy for my family to dismiss it--although my husband has been known to do the laundry for me so I can write.

Still, I have an amazing group of writing friends that bolster me when I am flagging..What a gift!

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I'm dragging in here late after a day of running around, worrying about HOD luncheon stuff, etc. I haven't gotten the "it's so easy" comment yet, though my poor husband gets the wink wink nudge nudge -- "so your wife's a romance author, hmm?"

Before I sold, however, I did have people who thought because I was home all day, I could do this or that thing at the drop of a hat. Friends who would call in the middle of the day because they knew I was there. Even my husband, as supportive as he's always been, would ask me to make a casserole or something for a work event (and usually the night before!).

Now, my husband tells his coworkers that I'm working and can't make casseroles. ;-) Typically, he accompanies this with "Daddy needs a new pair of shoes." Men.

Tawny said...

LOL Christine at the collages of men. The job has some sweet perks, yes?!

flchen1 said...

Yeesh, Tawny! I'm not much of a writer and have to say that writing is HARD WORK! No how could I get paid to do it! It's way impressive! And I was an editor who did occasional writing (most technical, occasional other stuff) in a previous life, and I definitely got some of the "uh, what exactly do you do? Why do you get paid for that?" kind of questions. And yep, also a mom here, so I totally get the easy dismissal of your efforts. Grrrrr!!!

More chocolate for everyone! And kudos to you writers! I, for one, am supremely thankful for your efforts!!

Tawny said...

M.V, its a fabulous gift, isn't it?! I'm always grateful for the friends and romance community. They totally understand - thankfully :-) and they'll be there to party and celebrate with you when you sell!!!

That's great that your husband helps out once in awhile, even if he doesn't quite 'get it,' huh?

Christine said...

Set your TIVO or whatever you use to tape shows... HUGH JACKMAN -- MY CURRENT MAJOR CRUSH -- is going to be on OPRAH tomorrow afternoon.

Ah, sigh.... I will be diligently doing research for my next book during that time.

Tawny said...

ROFL Lynn. Really? "Daddy needs a new pair of shoes." I love it!!! And the *wink, wink, nudge, nudge* seems to be part and parcel for our poor long-suffering husbands, huh?

Ugh on the casserole requests, I'm glad you've got the out now *g*

Tawny said...

Fedora!!! Hey you :-) Thank you for the more chocolate (one can never have enough). Isn't it wild how easily momming (thats a title, isn't it? okay, so it should be parenting, but I like momming *g*) is so blithely dismissed. Grrr on that - and on the past comments you've gotten about your work.

Virna De Paul said...

Usually I say nothing and then wish I'd said something pointed yet not unkind. But I just tell myself that person can never really grasp the reward of what I do either. Great post, Tawny!

Tawny said...

Hugh? Really?

Oh yummmmmmmmmmmy!!!

Blaze said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tawny Weber said...

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to the ladies on the playground for having me here to visit!! I had a great time!

kim h said...

love going down hard whoo
congrats on teh reiveews