Hey guys! I’m so excited to bring you an awesome opportunity to get your hands on an iPad Mini 4 (jelly! I totally want one of these) and a $300 Amazon gift vouch (think of ALL THE BOOKS you could buy with that) PLUS you’ll get a book from each of the participating Entangled authors. That’s 34 steamy reads, including one from yours truly.
Your summer reading will be set!
All you have to do is use the widget below to enter the competition. Good luck!
There’s only ten more days until Pretend It’s Love is out! *happy dance*
So, instead of working on my next book like a good little author…I made this. There’s a lot of cocktail making in this book, since the hero is a Bar Manager and the heroine runs a cocktail business. So I wanted to play a little game.
One of the statements most writers (whether aspiring or published) will hear from people is ‘oh, I would love to write a book but I just don’t have time’. In addition, I have many people ask me outright how I find the time to fit writing into my life.
The answer is both simple…and not so simple.
Here’s an important piece of information: everyone has to make time for these things. There’s no magic wand that gets waved to create special ‘writing time’. You have to work at it, that’s the simple answer.
We all have multiple things to cram into our lives; family, friends, day jobs, exercise and health, paying the bills, feeding the cat, cleaning (ha!) etc. But I think the key thing to remember is it’s not always about making more time but using what time you have to full effect. Even if you can only spare twenty minutes or half an hour, make sure every minute counts.
1. Get support – I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but having a support system is vital. My husband knows when I’m going into my ‘writing cave’ that I need quiet and interruption-free time. If people are constantly interrupting you it can be very easy to say ‘it’s all too hard’ and give up for the day. If you can’t get the space you need perhaps remove yourself from the house, try a café or a library to get some time to yourself.
2.Get a routine – humans respond well to routine. Having a consistent time of day that is dedicated to writing removes the choice of whether to write or not at a particular time. Knowing when you’re most productive is also important for this, my brain works best in the afternoon and evening, other people might prefer to get up early and get some writing in before work.
Just another thing to spend wisely…
3.Get rid of distractions – When you have limited time you have to make the most of it. If your phone is likely to be beeping with text messages put it in another room. If Twitter is your downfall don’t open the browser. I have trouble with this one, I’ll be honest. Some people use a computer that has no internet access, other use a special program to block internet access for a period of time. Figure out what distr
acts you and then work on removing it.
4. Get prepared – if you need to work with a cup of tea or coffee by your side make it before you sit down. Take a few minutes to think about the scene you’re working
on and where your story is headed (one of the best tips I ever got for this was to never finish writing at the end of a scene, if you stop mid-scene then you know what is going on next time you sit down to write.)
There’s one more very important piece to this puzzle…
Know When Not To Write
Taking care of your health and wellbeing (both physical and mental) is extremely important. Sometimes you’ll do everything ‘right’. You’ll sit down at y
our designated time, you’ll be mid-scene and know where the story is going, you’ll have your internet switched off and yet the words won’t come.
I’ve fallen into the trap of trying to force it when it’s not happening. An hour later I’ve got nothing and I’m feeling angry at myself. Sometimes you just need to step away and crash on the couch with an episode of Game of Thrones or a good book.
Now, this is not an excuse to be lazy and skip writing all the time. But you do need to give yourself a break and find the right balance (something I personally struggle with).
What are your strategies for fitting your writing in?
I had this thought whilst listening to the Harlequin “Meet the Editor” podcast series (which keeps me amused during my daily commute to and from the office.) There are quite a number of themes that I don’t find appealing which seem to be really strong and successful in the romance genre.
Popular romance themes that I don’t like to read about include:
Men in kilts (mainly relating to book covers) – not sure why the kilt thing seems to be so popular…is it because they’re not supposed to be wearing anything underneath?
Secret Babies – perhaps this is because I’m not a mother and baby-related stories don’t really do it for me in general but all the Harlequin editors bring up how much they love secret baby stories – why??
Cowboys – not sure why there is such a fascination with cowboys and stories set on ranches…nothing against it, I just don’t understand why it (above so many other things) seems to be so common
Vampires – I am completely burnt out by vampire themes (with the exception of watching True Blood), which is kind of sad as I was a huge vampire enthusiast back in the day. I should have stopped reading after Interview with the Vampire. I’m moving onto zombies now.
On the other hand I am head over heels for regency romance, friends to lovers and paranormal beings (other than vampires) at the moment.
Which popular romance themes fail to float your boat?