When Life Happens, Writing Doesn’t, a guest blog from Deb Sanders

I’ve read about the difficulties of published authors balancing full time careers and families with their writing efforts. After the last six months, I think I’m ready for prime time.

I dedicated the first half of 2010 to perfecting my craft. I attended a workshop every month, sometimes two. I revised one of my manuscripts in preparation of publishing via Smashwords. Progress on my paranormal WIP was moving along and I was motivated to complete it.

Then came the summer and life happened. We moved to Oklahoma from Texas after my husband was forced to take early retirement. It wasn’t a move we relished but family was there, cost of living was less, so we decided to give it a try. We rented a house sight unseen from Craigslist. Not a good idea.

The place was horrible. I wanted to cry when we first arrived. It was a nightmare of toxic mold, leaky roof and black water seeping out of the ground from a damaged septic system. Our landlady assured us she would make things right if we stayed. We did. We had no option.

I found a full time job right away and worked a part time job on the side. I was not writing, and it bothered me. A lot. How could life snatch all that away at the exact time momentum had began to take over?

Refusing to fall prey to a lengthy pity party, I began taking my Netbook to work and writing through my lunch hour. After dinner, I would sometimes write until two in the morning. I consumed enough 5 Hour Energy drinks to have earned stock in the company. But I was writing. I could see progress.

That is until social security discontinued hubby’s retirement benefits because he earned too much money the first month. We were barely squeaking by on finances. This was devastating news. So devastating that my muse hid her head under the cover and refused to come out. I stopped writing…again.

Our landlady had not followed through on her promise to make the house livable. We were sick from mold. The roof still leaked. Even our pets were suffering form skin allergies which I’m sure came from the toxins flowing through our back yard.

We broke our lease and she agreed not to take us to court. Smart lady. Our daughter graciously offered us lodging at her home in North Carolina until we could get back on our feet. We accepted. I’m from an era where parents don’t live with their children. This was very humbling but what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. I should have Herculean strength at this point.

For the second time in six months, we relocated. This time the move has been positive. Hubby applied for a part time job and was hired the same day. His retirement benefits are being restored. The pension we requested five months ago was finally processed. I applied for two jobs, had second interviews with both and will be starting work next week. The pay is good, the benefits great.

I’ve been writing up a storm. Instead of pursuing Smashwords, I’m focusing on my WIP. My head is swimming with new scenes and plot twists. I’ve stumbled onto some research that will add authenticity to my story and give it a unique spin.

Last year was one of the most challenging I’ve experienced in quite some time. I’m glad it’s over. When I look at how much writing I managed to accomplish through the ups and downs, I’m still amazed. I think diversification was the key. I began reviewing for The Season For Romance. I blog at New Kids On The Writers Block, as well as post to my own blog. I managed to keep my website fairly current.

Those small projects were instrumental in keeping my mind on writing. They kept me motivated on days when I couldn’t even look at my WIP. But I never gave up on my dream of being published. I never will.

Deb Sanders




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