While taking my lunchtime walks this week, I finished up listening to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s audiobook, The Freelancer’s Survival Guide. It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the 5+ years since this book was written as posts on her blog, then published. While there were many good gems in this book (brilliant advise I wish I’d had ages ago and some that I will be delving into myself over the next few years), there was one thing that really struck me and I want to share.
Don’t make the words fancy. Translation into other languages translates the story, not the words.
These were my notes, so I’m certain I paraphrased for me to remember. So often, I know I try to strive for just the right sentence or word. All too often, I feel like I’m just using the same words over and over. Oh look, another THE. How about and AND. Yes, I’m oversimplifying here, but that’s how it feels some days. It’s if I’ve just taken every word I learned in first grade, probably when we were pasting words into the sentences on our sheets, thrown them into a bag and shook them, and now I take them out one by one and line them up all in a row just like I did then.
I remind myself that my purpose it to entertain with a good story, not fancy words. I don’t want to mire my readers in a deluge of words to get through. No slough for them to cut through.
Last week, I was talking to a reader who is very excited about the next books in each series and was wondering when they were coming out. She asked me how I find the time to write while also working full-time. I laughed and told her it was because I didn’t have a life.
She looked at me and said, “That’s sad.”
Suddenly I was taken aback. I could see how someone might consider that a sad condition.
The truth of the matter is that we all get 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are no “do overs.” And, there is an expiration date on the package and none of us can be exactly sure when that will be. But when you and your neighbor each have 168 hours in a week, the two of you can spend that time in radically different ways.
Now as I stood there in this moment, I realized that yes, there are some choices I make consciously so that I can have the time I need to create. I quickly explained that there was nothing I’d rather be doing than telling stories. I trade the hours of my life to do that so that I hopefully can bring joy and entertainment to people. If that means I miss out on many of the things that other people do, I can live with that. All I’ve ever wanted to do was to tell stories. Even when I was younger, I was trading all my “free time” to do that. I was always writing.
Now my stories have expanded into other mediums when I have the time (here I’m talking about painting and drawing mostly, but I am trying to also squeeze in time to produce my stories as audiobooks — yes, it really is happening!) and I am grateful that in do so I’m chasing other dreams I had as a child but that I didn’t realize I’d had until I was older. That could probably expand into more explanation, but I’m going to keep it short and sweet here. Suffice to say that art and audiobooks aren’t on orbits far out from what I was thinking about when I was growing up. The more I review my life, the more links I see.
My challenge really is getting all the tracks of my life to line up rather than being like LEGO pieces scattered all over the floor. I’m still working on getting it all snapped together, but each day I feel closer.
So how do I find the time to do what I do? Fifteen minutes a day on some projects. Deciding to make time for others. And lately, a calendar to make sure I really do make the time. You do only have those 24 hours in a day and you have to know how you will spend them. If you don’t decide, someone will decide for you whether it’s a spouse, your children, your TV, Facebook, etc. It is your life. Do you really want to hand the reins to someone else? When you reach the end of your life, will you be happy with what you traded your days for? That’s a question only you can answer.
For me, dedicating my life to my stories, to my creativity, to my imagination, is the most valuable thing I can do. I love every moment of it.
Thursday, December 20th, is the official release date for the second book in my Sacred Knight series, Manifest the Magic. I’d like to share my book trailer video with you now. If you haven’t read the first book, you can get all the information for it on my publishing website along with all the links for the second book. Enjoy.