Balancing Time

Elaine Roberts reflects on 2014 to date.

I can’t believe we are in June already, where is the time going? For my sins, I work full time in an office, so that obviously dictates where a large proportion of my time is spent. My three-year-old grandson is also a large part of my life, as indeed is babysitting, so now you should be asking when does she write? I can tell you I’m very lucky that I have a very supportive family, and in particular my husband has taken control of many household chores, to give me time to write. Most of my writing takes place over weekends, so my output is probably not as good as some, but I do try to achieve between five and ten thousand words a week.

In January this year, my target was to submit one short story a month, which I have achieved. For me, the most thrilling news was selling my first short story to Take a Break Fiction Feast, my first British sale. I have sold stories to India, Norway and Ireland but the British market eluded me, until now.I’ve been brave and sent off my first completed novel to a publishing company. I’m realistic enough to know it’s unlikely to sell to the first publishers, I tell myself that only happens in films.

My second novel is nearly completed, my aim is to have it finished and sent to the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) New Writers Scheme for a critique before the RNA Conference in July, where I’m hoping to book a one to one with a publisher. Like my fellow bloggers, I’m posting one piece a month on our blog and have also made an effort to improve my social media presence. I have been particularly successful on Twitter, with over 24,000 followers.

I’m also attending the Writers Holiday at Fishguard in July; except for me it will be my first time. I’m looking forward to meeting other writers and learning from others’ experience.

The one area I need to improve is networking, face to face. I do find it difficult to approach people I don’t know. Although, when I have been introduced to writers at RNA events, they have ben very encouraging and happy to share their experiences with new writers. The first six months of this year have been successful, I have achieved the goals I set in January. I’m looking forward to the next six months; hopefully it will bring the much sought after book deal. Until that happens, I’ll keep writing, keep learning and keep sending out manuscripts for short stories and novels.

VIV Blog picture Snoopy - the end
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6 thoughts on “Balancing Time

  1. Elaine, I am always full of admiration for the way you write so much, when you have so little time at your disposal. When I was teaching I wrote so little and always felt guilty, even when conscientiously attacking the latest adolescent thoughts on literature. Now, I appreciate so much that I can organise my time as I wish. People who say that they haven’t got time should look to you as a role model.

    • Angela, they are such kind words, thank you. It’s always been a dream of mine to write and only in recent times have I allowed myself to try and follow that dream. I’m very lucky to have an extremely supportive husband and family, although I have to admit sometimes I do begrudge any time taken away from my writing, it’s become an
      addiction. Are there places you can go for rehabilitation for that type of addiction?

    • I’ll look forward to it. I’m quite nervous as I’ve never been before and being surrounded by so many writers scares the hell out of me but I love it at the same time. Everyone is always very supportive of the effort it takes to produce something worthwhile. See you at Fishguard!

  2. Thank you. It’s hard for me to believe that people can learn from me when I’m so busy trying to learn from everyone I meet and every book I read. I have to be focussed because my time to write is so limited, sometimes I have to really force myself to get my laptop out but once I’ve started I’m usually alright, although I often have to
    delete my first few lines.

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