We have a special guest today from the opposite side of the playground... er... world. Helen's first book hit the shelves this month so let's help her celebrate and give her a big welcome!
A Day in the Life of . . . Helen Lacey
I can openly admit I have a wonderful life. I am a full time writer, I have a very nice husband and live in a house just a couple of hundred meters from the Pacific Ocean, at the southern most point of the Great Barrier Reef. There are dolphins and turtles and sometimes even migrating whales almost on my doorstep. There are
Lorikeet parrots on my patio most mornings. Plus I get to seriously indulge my passion for horses. Oh, and dogs. I have three dogs, three birds, eight horses and a house cow named Ginger. Did I say I had a very nice husband too?
But I also have youngest child syndrome, little patience and a short attention span. So sitting at a computer for hours a day can sometimes be a monumental challenge. Even though writing is a pleasure and now something I can do as a career. Of course I’m delighted to be in this position, and try to be grateful for my luck every day. I start out early – around 4.45am. I usually crank up the computer and then the kettle. I get emails done straight away – particularly anything that comes over night from my agent or editor. My husband leaves early so I see him off to work and then attend to my horses and dogs. After that, its full steam ahead …. Right? Well, only in the fantasy world of nothing-interrupts-my-writing-time. You know that place? No telephone calls, no knocks on the front door, no kids to drop off, no errands to run or people to see. Yeah, that place … I’ve heard it exists. Just not in my house.
Ideally I like to write one thousand words a day, seven days a week. Which means I should be able to write a novel every 8.5 weeks. Then again, maybe not. In the middle of those good intentions edits arrive, revisions need to be done, blogs have to be written, contests need to be judged etc. Things get in the way. Sometimes those elusive one thousand words come out at barely a hundred. And sometimes none at all.
I often wonder if really organized people suffer from the same kind of distractions. Or if my lack of attention to things is my way of procrastinating. I know some authors who steadfastly work for four hours, write their projected word count and then down their tools for the day. I mean, it’s not as though I’m avoiding writing the book, right? Maybe that depends on the book. Like right now I’m in the middle of revising book four in my series before I send it to my editor for consideration. I know these characters, I know the town they live in, I know their family and friends. It should be a breeze. I should be able to sit at my desk, look out at the ocean for a moment, call on my muse and write. Or at least revise and polish. But like every job on the planet, some days are diamonds, some days are... well, you get the picture.
Maybe that’s why some of my favourite romances are the ones where the heroine has those really bad days at work. Where she hasn’t always got it all together. Where she daydreams and stares out the window or has a meltdown in the boardroom. This girl knows. She gets how it feels to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, to break a heel, to get someone else’s coffee order, to miss the train home by a second. When she gets her happy ending it feels all the sweeter.
So when the procrastination passes I get back to the book. If I get four hour work in the day I’m happy and I like to write at night when it’s quiet. I also like to hear the faint hum of the television in the background, or music playing. (Maybe they are just more things to distract me?). Everyone has a different process and no one way is the right way. Some writers like complete silence, some have plugs attached to their ears and Coldplay or Adele belting out tunes. If I get my thousand words I’m happy, if not . . . well, Scarlett said it best – tomorrow is another day.
Do you plan? Makes lists? Have a itinerary of your day? Or do you fly by the seat of your pants and wait for things to happen? Leave a comment and go into the draw to win a copy of my January 2012 release from Harlequin Special Edition, Made For Marriage.
MADE FOR MARRIAGE
Equestrian Callie Jones was used to difficult parents at her riding school. But Noah Preston took the cake.
How dare he question her teaching abilities, after his headstrong daughter paid no heed to rules—her teacher's or her father's?
Single dad Noah was ready to apologize for overreacting. But he wasn't sorry for the way the stunning American riding instructor made him feel. And he soon learned that there was more to Callie than her smarts, sass and fire: a shattered heart that threatened to splinter even further. Could he make her see that he — and his family — were for keeps?
Learn more on Helen's website.