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Monday, May 31, 2010

Authors at Work No Matter What the Occassion

As an educator I loved to proclaim, "You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher." This case was reinforced the other evening at my son's championship playoff game, by one of the other player's mom, a teacher. (In case you wonder, their team, the Diamond Backs came in No. 1 in the Rutenberg League playoffs).

In the stands, a little boy who was wearing one of the newest arm band fads, was challenging his mother. (Baseball can be boring when they keep replacing pitchers.) There was a dispute about what the arm band represented. He said it was a cat and she said it was something else. My friend quickly raised her hand and shouted in an authoritative voice, "Oh! Oh! Kindergarten teacher here!  I'm an expert at this," and she definitively proclaimed the arm band in question was a skunk.

There was no dispute.
She knew.
She was a teacher.
She was the expert.

I laughed so hard over this exchange. My friend, with her New York accent, has such personality! In this same way, we authors are vigilant always keeping our eyes and ears open for a story, a line in a story, or perhaps a character, you can be sure my friend, the kindergarten teacher may appear in a future novel of mine. And we either store the information away for another time, or if wise we jot it down somewhere it can be found. I keep a mini-notebook with me at all times for just such an occasion.

I've noticed successful authors have a plan that works for their specific needs. I recall an interview with one author who wrote a book, taught a writing class, took a writing class and then the cycle began once again. In my case I find that once I take a break I tend to have a hard time going back. I took a one year break after my last series of novel with my daughter and it was three years before I penned, the Information in a Nutshell: "Writing and Publishing." I've taken another writing break to work with other authors but the three year mark will soon approach and I'm planning my next series of fiction and non-fiction books.

Do you have a plan? Do you have a goal? If not your writing career is sure to become stagnate or even worse never get off the ground. By keeping a focus you may find yourself deviating from the set plan but a least you have an end in sight. Taking a break for some may work but for others, myself included I find the years can quickly slip away. I can easily justify the break in my writing career by explaining my focus at the time was marketing. Currently, I am on the track back to the path of writing.

Even when taking a break, an occasion may present itself that will ignite my writing brain cells. Know your goals, your limitations and by all means, keep writing! 


  1. Thanks Nick for letting me use your picture, and to Howard Gold the League President for his untiring work with the children.

  2. My name is JoJo and I'm a write-r-haulic. I simply cannot stop writing. I do require great discipline to FINISH some writing projects, but I usually have about 20 writing projects in various stages of completeness at all times. ;D

  3. Welcome to the club! I keep a writing notebook and now refuse to add anything to the list until I begin/complete some of them! Press on, I cheering for you!