We all have tools to our trades. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a writer or investment banker or childcare worker, you have a handy toolbox at the ready. Computer, software, toys – when you’re hard at work, these items are indispensable.
When I worked as a journalist at various newspapers, I jokingly called the newsroom “the word factory.” Give me a hammer and some nails and I’ll pound out a story for tomorrow’s edition.
Lately, I’ve thought of writing books like going down into the gold mines. I grab my pick, descend into some dark and mysterious place, and excavate some nuggets. Like a mole, I crawl around blind to everything except what’s immediately in front of me. The trouble with this mindset is sometimes I forget to rise up to bask in the sunshine and breathe fresh air. Weeks and months go by. This time, an entire summer elapsed with my nose in a computer writing out my stories. What bliss for a writer, but life is more than a laptop and my imaginary characters.
I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful family who I enjoy being with. If there’s anything better than writing, it’s my family. The trick for me is to find a good balance. Sacrificing one for the other would cause resentment and unhappiness. Of course, these aren’t the only things I enjoy, or pressures on my time, and so the balance isn’t a teeter-totter so much as a juggling act. No different than anyone else.
My fourth book, Wild Crime, should be out at the end of the year (still waiting the release date), and a fifth book is under review by my publisher. I’m nose-deep in a sixth book. The stories keep coming and so I keep writing.
My efforts with Potato Soup Journal, an online literary journal, are paying off as writers worldwide have discovered us. We have been flooded with submissions and we (our editorial team) plan to publish an anthology in coming months. The stories have gotten better and better, and we’re publishing every day now. Writers are readers, and vice versa, and I’m awed by the talent flowing our way.
I realized recently I hadn’t written a blog post in some time and I suppose this is my explanation. Pick an analogy – down in the mines, standing on a teeter-totter, juggling – I’ve been doing what everyone does: working, living, playing. It’s nice to pop my head up and say hello.