Today I'm delighted to welcome Emma Davies to the blog to talk about her truly inspirational Writing Life!
That’s what my writing life is, precious time, because certainly, like a lot of other writers, at the moment my writing is fitted around being a wife, a mother of three teenagers, and (up until now) working full time. My mother in law also lives with us. I get up at six every morning and leave the house just after half seven; I’m at my desk for eight. My lunch hour is a sandwich at my desk, and when I get home, after I’ve cooked the tea etc etc etc, there’s not much of my brain left to be honest.
So far, so not telling you anything you didn’t already know, because for a lot of us writers, life is just like that, or an equally every second of every day filled up variant of the above. And yet we write books. Books get written and published every day, so how do we do it? Well the simple answer is because we can’t imagine not doing it, and the day you decide that you’re going to write, and never give up, will be the day you take your first steps on the road to being a writer. And you’ll find a way, you’ll find the time, just as you find the time to shop, cook meals, clean, supervise homework, read, walk, or any of the other things that take up your time.
When I first started to write Letting in Light I didn’t have access to any of the technology that I do now, and so it was written longhand in about 15 notebooks, all of which I still have. When I’d finished I had to type it all up, all 120,000 words of it before I could even begin to make it book shaped, and it nearly killed me …. But I did it. And from there it got easier. I still write longhand now, not all the time, but sometimes it’s the only practical way of getting things down, and even if you only have twenty minutes, you’ll end up with a few hundred words, which by the end of the week might be a few thousand words, in a month maybe ten thousand words … and in six months, the best part of a book written, and all from twenty minutes a day. Just write, just do it.
The other hugely important thing I learned this year, was to take myself seriously as a writer, and allow myself to be one. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s so easy to think that what you do doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I never had a defined writing space before; our PC is in the lounge, along with people and the TV, and everyone uses it. So I saved up and bought a tiny laptop and used this instead. But the table is in the kitchen so I always had to clear it away for meal times etc., and sometimes when I didn’t have long to write, it almost wasn’t worth getting it out at all. My notebooks were better because these were more portable, but I still had to clear them away, along with all my notes, planners and post its etc. My epiphany came as recently as July on the train home from the RNA conference in London. Letting in Light was beginning to sell well, and having spent a wonderful weekend in the company of other writers, I suddenly realised that I was one, and if I was going to get anywhere I had to start behaving like I was one, and take myself seriously. As soon as I got home I wandered around our house looking for a spot to transform …. I now have a little writing cave; it’s under the stairs, small, and I’m in the middle of all the house traffic, but its mine, and I love it, and more importantly it works.
So, I said right at the beginning of this post, that up until recently I was working full time. My ultimate goal in writing has always been to make my living from it, to be in a position to write full time, and so at the end of July I renegotiated my contract at work down to four days a week. When I go back to work next week after the holidays I will have a full day just to write and all the other myriad stuff that this entails. I’m unbelievably excited by this. Yes, our family income will reduce, but we’ll survive, and I need to give myself this opportunity.
My dream also came a whole step closer in the last week of August, as out of the blue both an agent and an editor contacted me in the same week. I’ve just been signed to the LAW agency by the wonderful Peta Nightingale, and have a firm offer to publish from one party and have had early conversations with another. My life as a writer has just suddenly taken off in a way that I never thought would happen, and if it can happen to me, it can happen to you … but only if you write … one word, and then another, and then another. So just do it. Do it now!
My Author Bio...
Today she's a finance manager and looks at numbers a lot of the time, so at night she likes to throw them away and play with words, practicing putting them together into sentences. Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car.
You can also Wave to her on twitter @Emdavies68 or find her on Facebook (a little too often than is good for her).