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Answering a couple reader questions today.

Edit to add: But first: IT’S SNOWING HERE! Probably won’t be much and won’t last but yes, it’s snowing!

1: Where is your favorite place to write?

Answer: My office. I know that sounds boring but I get the most work done and am at my most efficient while at my desk, with all my tools around me. I do a lot of thinking while I’m playing games on my iPad on the bed, or while I’m out riding around in the car with my husband. But most of my actual writing is done at my desk. It also helps me separate work from the rest of my life, since I work from home and try to leave work in the office, so to speak.

2: Do you ever get to go on, say, a month-long sabbatical from writing? Or is it something that you are compelled to do?

Answer: Um…that’s a big NO. One of the common misconceptions is that writers have long periods of time where they can sit around doing nothing. This might be the case if you sell millions of copies of each book and/or have a LOT of reserves, or a guaranteed second income in the house.

Bluntly put: this is a full-time job for me, not a hobby and at the moment, it’s our only income. My husband is a contract IT worker and doesn’t always have work. So I can’t afford to take long periods of time off and still expect to pay the bills or the mortgage. Life doesn’t work like that for most people.

Like any job or career, a writer has to show up and do the work if she expects to get paid. So no — there are no long extended vacations or sabbaticals. And since I write at least three books a year, there’s not much time left to do anything else. I’m lucky if I get a week off between books.

For the second part of the question: yeah, it’s true that I am compelled to write. I go a little crazy if I don’t and not in a good way.

So…in order to be able to keep writing, I have to keep writing to pay the bills, so that I can afford to keep writing in order to be happy. It’s all very convoluted, and in some ways, a circular argument. But it is what it is.

I don’t get paid vacation time, and nobody can do the work in my absence, so it’s all there waiting on the rare occasions that I do take some time off. And that means working extra hard and fast when I come back. I don’t get sick leave. If I’m sick I don’t get paid to take time to rest, so unless I’m running a fever or extremely out of it, I work through aches and pains. That’s just part and parcel of being self-employed, and of being a writer.

I’m on two tight deadlines right now, so you probably won’t see me much on Facebook or twitter starting from now through the end of February. Jen will still be in the group of course to smooth things over and keep things running, and I’ll be here on my blog. Talk to you later peeps!

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Answering Reader Questions
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7 thoughts on “Answering Reader Questions

  • 01/05/2016 at 5:49 am
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    Your dedication and passion are evident throughout your work, and we love you for it.

    Reply
  • 01/04/2016 at 6:28 pm
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    Having writers as friends and family, I know that writing is a vocation that absorbs most of your time. Thanks for writing all of your wonderful books. I look forward reading them for many years to come.

    Reply
  • 01/04/2016 at 1:42 pm
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    I have another question if I may. I see posts from other authors, who go on authors retreats, with other authors or alone, to focus and writing, and it seems to energize them, to talk with like minds, and to work together. Do you ever do that? Or would you like to one day? Or would you just miss your cats too much?

    Reply
    • 01/05/2016 at 8:48 am
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      I have a lot of author friends and we do talk a lot, talk shop, vent, etc.. I do like getting away but more to recharge and not to focus on working. I’d rather go to the ocean and sit on the beach and just be, than hole up in a cabin in a beautiful place and focus on the screen. 😉

      Reply
  • 01/04/2016 at 11:28 am
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    It’s really cold here in Michigan. Temp in the 30’s and wind chill in the 20’s. The sun is shining for the 1st time in several days, though.

    Reply
  • 01/04/2016 at 8:52 am
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    Seattle snow…such a treat if there is any accumulation and one has to travel. Ha!
    Weighing down all those beautiful trees and bang goes the power! I remember those days…
    Regardless of whether Samwise is working or not, as I understand it, a writer HAS to write…that story is bursting out and will not wait.

    Reply
  • 01/04/2016 at 6:43 am
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    Always interesting to read. Thank you!

    Reply

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