Balancing the Writer’s Life


Remember when most playgrounds had a see-saw, and how much fun it was until someone kept you up in the air or you sat on a bee like my sister did? No one wanted the see-saw to be balanced, because not moving up and down was boring.

How perspectives have changed! Most see-saws have been removed from playgrounds due to safety concerns, and I’m an adult who wants balance in my writing life. I even attended a free time management seminar. The presenter shared her life story and a tale about a seven-cow woman before running out of time.

I think I’m better off trying to find what works for me. At least until I can afford to hire a butler, maid, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, gardener, and a virtual assistant.

How do you balance your life and writing?


Author, Tom Gillespie

Author, Jennifer R. Hubbard

A compilation of authors’ opinions about this topic:

Know Your Target

I’m not suggesting that you go shopping before you start writing although it’s wise to stock up on the bare necessities. Like chocolate.

There are many targeting questions to think through. At least an entire Cadbury bar’s worth. Are you going to self-publish? Will you submit your manuscript to specific publishers or lines? If so, what kind of stories do they buy?


Besides those questions, have you considered who your potential readers are? Do they want a story with angst or humor? Or both? How is the story going to fulfill your readers’ needs and wants? Knowing, refining, and remembering this information can help you stay on target as you write, but it won’t prevent the chocolate morsels from dropping between the computer keys.

Who are your potential readers?

What’s your favorite kind of chocolate or treat?


Mother’s Day

For mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers . . .

happymothersday                                                     – Jillian

The Neglected Side of Backstory

a_girlThis is NOT a post about limiting backstory in your manuscript, query, or synopsis to avoid info dump.* I completely agree with that recommendation. This post is about what I learned about backstory from Jodi Henley who is a story consultant, workshop instructor, developmental editor, and author.

Backstory, or in Jodi’s terms “core event,” is important in the pre-planning stages.

Why is backstory essential? The emotions stemming from this core event form the structure of your story and affect everything from the character’s GMC to the HEA. While you’re writing, even the slightest tweak in backstory and related emotions can create a tsunami of changes that will either sink your story structure or throw it off course.

Has that ever happened to you?

What backstory would you create for the girl in the painting?


For more information about Jodi Henley, her workshops, and free instructional videos, visit . . .

For an opposing view on the importance of backstory, visit Historical Romance author, Joanna Bourne.

*In case you really wanted information on limiting backstory to avoid info dumping, visit the following blogs.

An interview with literary agent, Sara Megibow

A post by Contemporary Romance author, Sugar Jamison

May Day Dew


According to an old British superstition if you washed your face in the morning dew on May 1st, you would have a beautiful complexion for the rest of the year. Supposedly the magical dew removed blemishes and freckles, too. I don’t know about you, but I missed my chance to rush out into the garden and wash my face in the May dew this morning. Too bad Mountain Dew doesn’t work the same way.