~ By Jennifer Fusco
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Melina Kantor for asking me to guest blog on the RWA Chick Lit Chapter Blog. How cool! Thanks for having me. Usually when I guest blog, people want me to talk marketing, either they’ve read my series, Market or Die: Marketing Advice for Writers, heard me speak at RWA National, know I’m Eric Ruben’s client that writes paranormal romance or know me as the President of CTRWA. Since I’ve started writing a monthly column titled, “Marketing Insider” for the RWR I get a lot of requests, but this one was different. Melina wanted to know about me…Me?
Her question, “With a full time job (I’m the Creative and Brand Manager for the General Electric Company) and a four year old, how do you find time to write?”
I fell silent, not really knowing how to answer. Unlike most writers, I don’t have a daily word count, and I can’t write every day. I’m not a poster girl for balance or a candidate for Mother of the Year. Like most working moms I know, my life is very, very busy. Knowing that every working mom has secrets to getting it all done…here are a few of mine.
The balance of work, writing and motherhood isn’t easy. I have help, lots of it. I have a great husband who carries more than his share of the parenting duties; he’s extremely supportive of my writing and he’s my webmaster extraordinaire. Every writer should be so lucky to have a guy like him.
I segment my time. Writing time, in my life has its place, like everything else. I know on certain days of the week how much time I can devote to writing…sometimes it’s as many as four hours. Sometimes, it’s none. It’s quality, not quantity in my opinion.
When I’m not writing I think about my stories, a scene or something I need to go back and fix. My writing will wake me up during the night sometimes, I try not to forget what it tells me by morning.
I sneak in writing time when I can. At work, lunch time is my time. Many days you’ll find me in a conference room with the door closed from 12-1, gnawing on a sandwich and writing away.
I’m selfish. There’ve been times when I’ve taken a vacation day from work and hit the library and stayed there all day writing.
I write at night after my son has gone to bed. There’s really nothing much on TV anyway, right?
I write on weekends in between family obligations and household chores. Like right now, writing this article, my husband is watching the NFL while my son plays with his dump trucks on the couch.
To me, time is currency and, like money, it shouldn’t be wasted. If I find any extra time in my day, I’ll put it to good use. I’ll write, even if it’s just a sentence.
I’ve written in the car (not while driving, of course). My husband and I work at the same company, so I’ll bring my netbook in the car with us and off we go.
I can tell you about all the things I don’t get to do like go to the movies, do yoga, go out regularly with girlfriends, attend mommy & me classes. I can’t cook or bake. I don’t do Tupperware parties or play Words with Friends. I can’t because if there’s a spare moment…I’m writing. I have to.
Writing makes me a better wife, a better mother and a better person because writing makes me happy. It’s something only writers understand.
I’ve read articles and blogs on how to increase word count, minimize distractions, write faster and all sorts of tricks to the craft and out of all of those, here’s what I’ve taken away: Do the best you can. Give it 100%, every time you sit down to write no matter if its 5 words or 5000 words. On the days the words don’t come…don’t force it. Sometimes a change of pace or a walk with the dog is just what the writing gods demand. Pay them, happily. There’s no magic formula or secret that will get you where you want to go in this industry…there’s just you and a blank screen.
There are 24 hours in a day…make the most of them.
Jennifer Fusco is the Creative and Brand Manager for the General Electric Company, North America and the author of the series, MARKET OR DIE, marketing books for writers.
A two time winner of the Advertising Excellence Award for 2010, Jennifer has launched successful national print and digital ad campaigns. Currently, she is a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believes brand building is a key to professional success.
Due to the overwhelming response Market or Die received from writers, Ms. Fusco launched a website, newsletter and blog designed to educate writers of all genres.
In her writing life, Ms. Fusco is a member of RWA’s PRO network and serves as the President of the Connecticut Romance Writers. She has completed two paranormal romance manuscripts and is a monthly contributor to the Romance Writers of America’s RWR Report.
Born in North Carolina, Jennifer currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and young son.