This week has been rather eventful for me since this my the first full week back as a writer. It is also my first full week of Summer Vacation. Between mowing the lawn/yardwork, fishing with the kids, running a paper route, and general family stuff I have actually spent quite a bit of time in the pre-writing process. (By the way, fishing is fantastic for that.) During the last year I actually have had a bit of time to prepare lots of crazy and fun ideas. I also received some great advice from both Brandon Mull, and Brandon Sanderson.
Brandon Mull was at a book signing in the local Barnes and Noble, and since my wife had everything published by him we were there. After waiting in line for a short time we got to the table, and I introduced myself telling him I was working on writing. He said, "Awesome! Write crazy stuff!" He then asked me if I had any questions for him. I asked, "How do you find time to write when you are also a Dad?" His answer was very insightful and helpful.
"When you aren't writing, be thinking about what is happening in scenes."
Now this may seem like a no-brainer, but I have thought about story ideas without ever actually thinking through a scene when I wasn't sitting down just to write. In other words, I had only ever thought through a scene right before I was preparing to write. With Mull's advice I was constantly visualizing scenes.
Several months ago I was able to get into a Twitter chat with Brandon Sanderson with the same question. I will post a link to his answer below, but the gist was the same. I had to make time to write, or do something else. What I ended up doing was taking a hiatus from actually writing, biding my time with ideas and development, while waiting for summer to come.
So here I am with several ideas waiting for me to tap the potential. With the many children between the ages of 8 to 10 in my home, and with my job teaching Special Education in a local junior high school I have finally decided to write for the middle grade audience. It was a tough decision to make as I love epic fantasy and young adult, but my writing voice trends toward those middle readers. The stories with be fantasy flavored.
Armed with my genre and with a specific audience, I have decided on the story to work on first. It involves a ghost and 12-13 year-old-students. That is all I will say for now.
Thanks for visiting!
justinkjeppesen Mon Nov 14
#torchat @BrandSanderson Any suggestions for finding time to write for a full time dad with a full time non-writing job?
BrandSanderson Mon Nov 14
@justinkjeppesen It depends on whether or not your day job is creatively draining. If it is writing/programming, etc (more)BrandSanderson Mon Nov 14
@justinkjeppesen You'll have a much harder time, as those jobs flex the same muscles as novel writing. #torchatBrandSanderson Mon Nov 14
@justinkjeppesen The people I've known who do it tend to get up an hour early, before their brain is worn out, and write then. #torchatBrandSanderson Mon Nov 14
@justinkjeppesen Basically, you'll have to give something up. Television, video games, golf, something. (But not family time.) #torchat