First off, I'm a perfectionist. I never believe I'm doing enough unless I'm constantly busy. So when I'm doing something like relaxing with the husband watching TV, I'm crocheting afghans to give to other people. When I decide to bake a dessert, I figure since the oven's already on, I can also make cookies, banana muffins, and maybe a loaf of bread also. When I want to give gifts to my children, I wonder what I can make for them--because I don't have enough to do already!
Right now I'm doing a long-term sub job for a Foods teacher in a local high school, because she had a baby. I've got her classes through the end of the school year--I go in for a couple of hours before school, and stay for another couple of hours after school. Plus I'm making an afghan for her baby. And I promised to bring her a sour cherry pie. And I'm making and freezing a dinner tomorrow, so the other Foods teacher can deliver some meals to the new parents. So I have NO time to write, let alone promote--or even keep up with my emails until mid-June.
What does all of this have to do with the topic? I've always had stories in my head. And as an English major in college, the joke was that each of us felt we had THE great American novel inside of ourselves, and that we'd publish it someday to great acclaim, thus proving wrong all of the nay-sayers (yes, I'm thinking of my late father) who were disappointed in me when I got an English degree instead of something more useful.
So having gotten, to date, 17 books published is a really big deal to me. But I'm always thinking of the next book. Right now I have 4 books in various stages of done-ness, waiting in my laptop for me to have the time to write them. Then submit them. And I'm trying to keep up with promotions--for instance, there's a great Contemporary Week coming up June 3-9 on the TBR Pile site--that's who I review for. And I'll be a part of that promotion not only as a writer, giving some free books away, but also as a reader, because they offer LOTS of free books, so the more you leave comments, the more books you might get. Win-win for all! Interested authors: http://thetbrpile.weebly.com/contemporary-romance-week
How has writing changed me? I'm always thinking that I'm not doing enough to leave a contribution to the world, in gratefulness for my having time to enjoy living on the planet. I've raised four kids to be productive citizens, and I'm proud of them. But as for my working experience, the longest I've ever been at any job is as a sub in high schools, and I've been doing this for the past 18 years. Not really much to leave behind there, unless you consider the kids whose lives I've touched, talking with them, getting to know them, and hopefully inspiring them to believe in themselves.
But my writing gives me something to point to with pride--to say, "I did that." It's something that not everyone can do, and that I think I do pretty well. Don't ask me about my paltry royalties. Being a prolific writer does not translate into earning lots of money. But I'm proud of what I've written, and I enjoy rereading my own books.
So I guess what being a writer has done for me is give me a feeling that I'm not wasting my time here. And also, when I write the end for any book, that group of characters stops talking my head, insisting I write their stories. Of course, another group starts talking soon after that--but for a short time, I have a respite from the voices in my head. Then I get busy writing again, and enjoy the flow of words. Because I've always enjoyed writing. Doesn't everyone?
To find out what other authors think, check out their blogs:
Skye Taylor http://www.skye-writer.com/blogging_by_the_sea
Anne Stenhouse http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Marci Baun http://www.marcibaun.com/blog/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Connie Vines http://mizging.blogspot.com/
Dr. Bob Rich https://wp.me/p3Xihq-2jz
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Helena Fairfax http://www.helenafairfax.com/blog
Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobincourtright.com