I'm so excited today because I have a major treat for you! As I was editing my latest WIP, I realized how hard it can be to just sit down and write sometimes. With all the roles I play on a daily basis (including holding down a day job), it's often a struggle to put my fingers to the keyboard and tap into that creative side.
Of course, the psychology nerd in me couldn't leave it there. I immediately started thinking of all the writers out there who are just like me, knee-deep in the query trenches while still being a full-time employee/parent/spouse/caregiver... and yet they still find it in them to write. I wanted to know more about those people, and by some happy miracle, they agreed to answer all my nosy questions! Without further ado, I give you part I of my latest blog series, "A Day In The Life."
Meet Deana Birch
Okay, let's start with a few get-to-know-you questions! What's your full-time job?
Mother of two
What was your major in college?
What other roles to you play in life?
Yoga teacher and president of my local tennis club
What's the latest book you read?
Broken River by J. Robert Lennon, but I'm also beta reading an erotica gem by Meka James
Reading is such an important piece of writing. What can you tell me about your latest works in progress?
I just finished a contemporary romance, working title Three For One, which reverses the rich man trope and gives it to the heroine. I have the pitches, query, and synopsis ready while my first readers and CPs go through it with a fine tooth comb.
BUT I've started a new project with one of my favorite CPs whose skill set is a great balance to my own. It's been so much fun writing with someone else. We have a general map of the plot and obstacles, but since we are both pansters, we never know what the other one will actually do. I squee every time I get her words.
Juggling two projects at once (and co-writing)! How do you balance it all? What's your writing routine like?
I write in the morning once the monkeys have gone to their day time cages. The dog snores and pollutes the air around me while I type, usually in my bedroom. My word count goal is always 2,500 at the beginning of the book and 2,000 towards the end to help the pacing. My characters and their voice comes to me before all else and I have a lot of happy coincidences in my writing.
Have you sent out any query letters? What have your responses been?
I have! And boy, oh boy, did I query my first manuscript way too soon with some shamefully bad letters. Don't do that! But once I learned the process and the importance of it, I've had partial and full requests. No solid offers to date, but I'm hoping my second round of querying will perk some more interest. Also, I've discovered contests....
Such great contests! Everyone should check out @writeevent on Twitter to stay up-to-date. How do you find time to pursue all the reading and writing you do?
I make time and I have a brilliant support system.
Rejection is part of the writer life, but we all have different ways of dealing with it. How do you personally handle rejection from agents or publishers?
I understand it. The person or place who will need to be in my corner to champion my books will need to "get" me and if that spark isn't there for the other person, there's not a lot you can do about it.
What advice to you have for other writers like you who are balancing a full plate while pursuing their dream?
My brother just came up with this equation and I will "borrow" his words: Opportunity plus effort does not equal results. Opportunity multiplied by effort does. Therefore if opportunity or effort is zero, so are the results/success.
Such good advice! I needed a reminder myself. Anything else you want aspiring authors to know?
I have an amazing gaggle of romance writers around me. Together, we support and cheer each member of our group. It's incredibly helpful and occasionally inappropriate. They are the best, and they make me better by association.
**If you're a writer on the path to publication, I'd love to hear from you! Contact me to be a part of the Writer's Desk blog series**