I’m pleased to announce that as of today, I will be blogging on Contemporary Romance Cafe on the first Friday of every month! It was such an honor to be able to fill in from time to time, but I love being a regular part of such a talented group of authors. For my first regularly scheduled post, I thought I’d go rogue and talk about how much my life has changed since I started writing.
I wrote my first book in 2006 as a way to stave off boredom.The younger of my two children was a senior in high school, and I found myself turning into a zombie. Work. Home. Watch TV. Bed. In the psychology classes I teach, I always tell my students that they should do new things every day to keep building neural networks–so their brains don’t become stale. Well, my brain was going to be as stale as two-day old bread if I kept on living the way I was. So I took my own advice and started writing a book.
The desire was also fueled by my reading. I am a voracious reader, and at the time, I had just read a romance by a fairly well-known author. It was what I call a “wallbanger,” a book so bad I should’ve tossed it against the wall. I figured I could do better (cocky, I know). So I sat down and started writing.
A lot of people say they’re going to write a book, but few actually follow through. I’m Type A, which means I can’t set a goal and not do everything within my power to achieve it. I finished that book. And the next. And the next. By then I was hopelessly addicted. My life changed because of that addiction in ways almost too numerous to count.
The biggest different is that my time is now spent on my laptop–writing, editing, editing, writing, etc… The second “time suck” was when I started seeking publication. Query after query after revision after revision. Until I got “The Call.” Then I became obsessed (still am!) with trying to move up the publishing ladder from where I stood on the bottom rung. That led to the third “time vampire.” Promotion. (That is a topic that deserves a post in and of itself!)
Even with the way my daily life shifted to writing, there was one other major change that I never anticipated. I have traveled to more places as a writer than I’d ever dreamed. Attending conferences or author events, I have flown to Dallas, Orlando, New York, Anaheim, Atlanta, and San Francisco. So far. I never would have made these treks if I hadn’t been an author. The most recent trip came as the biggest surprise. I found myself back in New York City. WITH MY HUSBAND.
Jeff had sworn to never go to NYC. There were a lot of reasons behind this vow. He hates crowds. He hates noise. But most of all, he hates the idea of being on an island with so many people and so few ways off. Yet over my Spring Break from school, he took vacation time and planned a three-day trip for us to NYC. I was able to have lunch with my lovely editor, Latoya Smith, and she gave us a tour of Hachette Publishing. It was amazing to see a real NYC publishing house! I also got to meet the creative team behind my books. And to finish off my whirlwind trip, he did one other thing I’d never expected of him–he went with me to a Broadway Musical.
Thanks to writing, my life has changed. For the better. I can’t imagine where I’d be without it.