It’s My Life…

As you all know Elaine Roberts gave up her day job at the end of March 2016, to become a full time writer.

The question is, did she?

Elaine: When you are used to getting up and going to work everyday, and have done for more years that I care to admit to here, getting into a routine is important. I am pleased to report that I have established that. In my old day job, I always had things that I had to do on a daily/weekly basis, so I have transferred this to my new routine.

The question now is, am I following my new routine?

clock5I don’t set an alarm clock to get me out of bed in the morning; in fact I very rarely do anything by the clock anymore, not even eat, unless it involves somebody else. My pressures are now self-imposed. If my children decide to visit, or babysitting duties beckon, then my laptop will always be closed while they are here. However, I have given myself a target for each month. When I took the decision to try and write 20,000 words each month, it seemed unachievable, but how wrong was I. May was the first month for that target and I am proud to say I achieved it, while also editing as I went, so now I am taking it a step further by thinking I could easily have my first draft finished in five months. I am not a quick writer and spend a lot of time dwelling on all the usual questions, what, where, who, when and how. It is all in my plan, but I find my story evolves as I am writing it, so the plan becomes null and void in some places.

So where am I at with my new career?Me Working

I finished my novel in May and sent it to the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Scheme (RNA NWS), to be critiqued. I have everything crossed that the report won’t be too bad, but I am expecting things to need changing.

The plan for my next novel is in place and I have written 14,000 words of it. The question at the beginning of this piece was “have I become a full time writer?” The answer is, most definitely. I am not a published writer. Let me just correct that statement; I have had many short stories published, but my dream has always been about writing and publishing a novel. Therefore, for me, I am unpublished. However, for the first time ever, I truly believe I will achieve my goal, because I never stop learning and listening to others. The apprenticeship is being served, so improvements are being made all the time.

The next stop is the RNA Conference at the beginning of July; for me there is nothing better than mixing with other writers, except maybe chocolate!

Am I happy? You bet I am!!




6 thoughts on “It’s My Life…

    • Thank you Carol. My apologies for not replying early but I have been unwell. I am trying to be strict with myself but, as I am sure you know, the best laid plans often go wrong but I shall keep plugging away.
      Regards Elaine

  1. If you’ve had short stories published, why on earth would you refer to yourself as ‘unpublished’? It doesn’t make sense. Are you implying that short stories are somehow inferior to the novel? Are you implying that short story writers are not as talented as novel writers? Many writers find the short story fiendishly difficult to master. The short story should be appreciated so much more and you’re not helping the cause with statements like that.

    • Jo, the first thing I would like to say is I am sorry because I clearly haven’t worded my piece very well. A short story was something I never thought I could do, so I never attempted to do it, but with the encouragement from those around me, I tried it. Many, many attempts later, I had an email asking to publish my story; my goodness there was no-one more thrilled than me. Writing a short story is an art in itself and, as you rightly said, fiendishly difficult to master. I take my hat off to those that earn a living by writing them.
      When I regarded myself as unpublished, it wasn’t meant to discount the short stories but to emphasise my dream of having a novel published, which I have held for as long as I can remember. Anyone who knows me will know that I am always saying I am an internationally published author, and that is because of my short stories.
      I hope you will accept that my piece wasn’t done with any form of malice or insult, I do know the short story market is diminishing, it was just about my dream and nothing more.
      I also want to thank you for reading my post and leaving your comments, all feedback is valuable and therefore very welcome.

  2. I don’t feel that you have any need to apologise, Elaine. Your writing goal has always been to be a published novelist. You are now very close to this long held dream. Along the way your have sold short stories and dabbled in other forms of writing but your focus has always been novels. To you, being a professional writers is about novels even if you have other successes along the way – I applaud you for this.
    My students are a very talented bunch, whatever they write, just hang onto those dreams xx

  3. Thank you Elaine, for the encouragement you always give me. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you, it was unintentional. For anyone who is trying to follow a dream, you will know it is hard to keep hold of the self belief you can do it. In the last week, for reasons I will not go into here, I have had doubts about my ability but I have been lucky to have people around me, like Elaine, who have encouraged me to continue. Actually it’s more than that, they have given me time to reassess and come to the conclusion my dream is as strong as ever, no matter how hard it gets so to that end it is back to the novel!
    Elaine R x

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