In episode 8, Melissa welcomes Lauren Metelski to the show to talk about the 5am Writers Club and keeping a writing schedule. Listen in...EPISODE 8 - Writing Schedule.
Welcome to the Indie Chicks show! I’m your host, Melissa Koberlein. I’m an author and professor of publishing. If you’re just tuning in for the first time, let me tell you about the show. Indie Chicks celebrates and supports independent women in publishing. We’re a place for writers at all stages of the publishing process. So, whether you’re on the traditional route to publication or self-publishing, you’ve come to the right place for advice. Each week, I invite a guest host to join me for a hot topic in publishing or a book review.
This week I was joined by Lauren Metelski. Lauren grew up in Kentucky with crazy dreams to become a mom, a nurse, a traveler and a writer. Now she resides in Washington D.C. where she gets to do all of it with a big cup of coffee in hand. She writes fiction for kids/teens and educational material about health. She loves adventures with her kids and girl scouts that get ideas swirling for her next novel.
Lauren and I chatted about how we met at the Writers Digest Conference in NYC back in 2016. We've been friends ever since. I also asked her about what she's currently working on, and I'm happy to report she's got a YA manuscript in the works!
Here's the Q&A from the episode:
What is the 5am Writers Club?
It’s a group of writers on Twitter who wake up early in the morning to put words to paper and then get on twitter hashtag #5amwritersclub and connect with each other. Really from my best understanding, it’s whatever you want it to be. It seems people who write at this crazy early hour are working on a variety of different projects, but all really connect on one simple thought - that writing early in the morning is better than not writing at all! Or at least that’s my take on it.
So, I’m guessing you’re a morning writer? Is that by choice or lifestyle? Both?
I’m a terribly busy person by design and choice. My head is constantly working, and I’ve found a natural pull to do my creative writing in the morning before my common sense thoughts tell me to do something else with my day!
Do you have a word count per day?
I’ve tried to do word count goals in the past. Participated in NaNoWriMo in the past too. But have found that the most of my day is filled with deadlines, projects, goals, deliverables and applying these tactics to my creative writing really just makes it less fun. Now, if I’m in a spot and need to really work out a scene or some plot issues, I can definitely set word count or scene goals for the day, but otherwise, I just sit down and let it roll.
Why is it important to keep a writer’s schedule?
Well, in my experience it’s the only way to consistently make progress. Plus, it’s like exercise. If you’re in shape and take a few months off, when you finally decide to return to your exercise schedule, you have to spend some time catching up and bringing your flexibility back and building up your stamina. I find the same thing with writing. When I have to take breaks, the first few days back can be painful!
How do you stay disciplined?
An alarm clock! Since I really only do writing in the morning these days, that is key. And routine and rituals. I have a routine for my morning writing hour. And when I don’t do it, I feel sad about it. I also don’t know about you, but I’ve got three early riser kids. And getting them up and ready for school when I haven’t had time for myself… that can be really tough for everyone involved! So I guess my busy life keeps my disciplined, I really gotta carve out that time for me and my characters.
Do you set aside for reading too?
100% This is crucial. Reading keeps us human. And for me, provides context for so much of my life. I read fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, ya and kids books - which is awesome because then I can recommend to my kids or my girl scouts. And on my best days, I read pages before drifting off to sleep. I carry a book with me everywhere. I’m in the city and take public transit so, there is always a few moments to sneak in some reading.
AND....here was my tip of the week: Read a book. I know, I sound silly, but reading is so important for craft! Also, sometimes it's nice to take a break from writing. I know we all love creating stories, but it's also hard work. Lauren agreed.
I thanked Lauren for coming on the show. This is where you can find her:
On my next podcast, author Erica Lucke Dean will be joining me to talk about writing romantic comedy. I will also have another Tip of the Week.
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So, remember, we’re all part of a publishing community, be kind and review your fellow authors’ books! Thanks for listening!
Indie Chicks out.