Sunday, February 19, 2012

GUEST POST: THE EVER-CHANGING WRITING PROCESS


I’d like to welcome author Natalie C. Markey to my blog today for a special guest post. A native Texan, Natalie is the author of CARING FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS DOG, a nonfiction book that shares easy, everyday advice that proves caring for a disabled dog doesn’t have to be difficult. She also writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She is a member of the West Houston RWA, the National Romance Writers of America, Houston YA/MG and YA Sisters. She is also the instructor for Write It Forward’s Writing Moms and Time Management for the Busy Writer



 
               "You can read blogs, craft books and take class after class but the truth is we all have a unique writing process that works for us. The trick is finding that process, owning it and then starting the whole cycle over again as our life changes. And boy does life change.

        In high school and college I freelanced for local publications and dabbled with fiction but was told that writing could never be a career. I moved on to bigger things, I thought.

Five years ago I was working at a prestigious public relations firm in New York City and freelance writing on the side. I loved reading fiction, especially fantasy as a break whenever I got a chance. I called it my “me” time, but between my paying job and side job of freelancing that time was seldom.
        
        After I married, I ran a creative services department for a CBS Television station. I still freelanced but with a shorter commute I had more time to read and I began to think about writing my own fiction. And the ideas began to flow. I heard voices and I began writing late at night.
     
         Soon my husband was out of graduate school with a great job, I wanted to see if I could take my freelance side career and make it a full time thing. It worked and with that freedom I began writing. My flexible time didn’t last long. I had our daughter and life got even more interesting.
         
          Now as a writer from home that cares for a 19-month-old and a special needs dog I find myself busier then I was in my New York City PR days. Since beginning this schedule I’ve published one non-fiction, over 500 freelance articles and I have a young adult novel out on submission. I’m currently finalizing my second non-fiction and writing a middle grade novel that I will be pitching this summer at a writing conference along with my YA.
    
           My point is that everyone, especially writers are busy. We have kids, jobs, family drama, etc. If you want it, you can make it happen.

            My key is to wake up early. Yes, I’m talking 5am and after a 20-minute yoga wake up session I write until 7:30am, which is when my daughter gets up. As a mother, it is tempting to nap when she does but my desire to write is greater. I set early morning, morning, afternoon and evening goals for myself. I keep them small and reasonable. Don’t take on more than you can handle. If you accomplish more then planned then celebrate it. Don’t fret over what’s left undone. As Scarlett O’Hara says, “Tomorrow is a new day.”

             No matter what your writing process is, remember to prioritize your goals and don’t get too caught up in the glamour of social media. Keep your goals your top priority and stick to those little goals you make to reach the bigger picture.

             The best thing you can keep in mind is that it is ok to be flexible. As I pointed out earlier, our lives change. Our schedules change and when that happens, our writing process could benefit from a change too. Being a writing mom is overwhelming and stressful. Writing is stressful enough but writing moms (or dads) must focus on flexibility and a loose schedule in order to gain the balance for success.

     I will be teaching another course of my Writing Moms: How to do it all without losing your mind Write It Forward Workshop this March. It is a month long workshop focused on busy writing moms, something I know a lot about. Click here for more information.  

    How has your writing process changed over the years? How has your writing benefited from the change?"

            For more information visit www.NatalieCMarkey.com and her blog http://www.pentopublish.blogspot.com/