Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1 DEFEATING THE TIME MONSTER By Wendy Higgins, Author of The Sweet Evil Series

We're excited to welcome to the blog today USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Wendy Higgins. Sweet Temptation, the companion volume to her acclaimed Sweet Evil series releases next week and has been called sensual and swoon-worthy. (It's Kaidan's story, so be prepared for LOTS of wonderful swoon!) Also keep an eye out for her upcoming fantasy duology The Great Hunt.

Between short turn-around deadlines and young children, she knows a thing or two about managing writing time. Read on to find out how she carves it out of her busy days.


by Wendy Higgins 

My primary obstacle is, and always has been, time.

I began my first book, Sweet Evil, when my son was nine-months-old (still waking during the nights) and my daughter was three and a half years old. In case you’ve never had a baby or toddler, let me just tell you straight up—those suckers keep you busy nonstop. And when you have a husband who works 12-hour shifts and is too exhausted to help you clean most days, it feels like you’re on your own. The house and errands and children and other responsibilities don’t leave much wiggle room for mommy to enjoy me-time. Writing was a long lost dream that I never thought I’d pick up again. There was simply no time.

Being busy is an obstacle for all writers, not just moms. Maybe you’re a student with tons of homework and after school activities. Or maybe you work a full time job and sit in traffic every morning and evening. Making time to write can seem overwhelmingly impossible. Here’s the thing nobody wants to hear…sometimes the only way to make time for writing is to give something up, something you enjoy but is not absolutely necessary. When my story idea hit me in full force the summer of 2009, that’s exactly what I had to do. Guess what I gave up? Television. I know, that’s a biggie. I was spending approximately 3 hours every night after the kids went to bed sprawled out like a zombie watching reality cooking shows with my husband. It was glorious. But my desire to write that story was even stronger than my desire to veg.

We didn’t have the money for babysitters at that time. We were barely scraping by since I wasn’t working a paid job anymore. Each morning I would take my daughter to preschool, come home, feed my son, and put him down for a nap. During his naptime I would write like crazy. It was only an hour and a half, but I made good use of that time—I didn’t worry about anything else. During the rest of the day I thought about my story while taking care of my family. As soon as those kids would hit the sack at night I’d kiss my husband, run up to our room and write furiously until he came up to bed several hours later. On the weekends he’d watch the kids for a few hours while I wrote, or my mother-in-law would keep them. (It was a little tricky because I didn’t want to tell everyone I was writing a book. I was weirdly protective of my secret. So I couldn’t ask her to babysit too much.)

I also had to lose a little sleep during that first book (and subsequent books nearing deadlines). For a while I was waking at five in the morning to get a couple hours of writing time in before everyone woke. I’m really not a morning person and I need my sleep like babies need milk, so I can only do this during major time-crunches. However, there’s something very special about those quiet early morning hours with just me, my coffee, and my computer. *sigh*

And that is how my first book was written. I’ve had to adjust and be flexible over the years as situations changed with schooling, moving, husband’s new hours, the need to spend time on social media vs. writing, travel events, etc. But I have not gone back to watching television at night. I feel really out of it when people are talking about the newest shows and stuff, and sometimes I miss it, but at this point I know I’d miss writing and social-media even more. It’s been important to make a schedule and force myself to stick to it.

In total honesty, I still often fail at time management plans. This summer, for example. My children are now six and nine. I signed them up for camps so I could write, but I have not been able to force myself to write more than a chapter, even though I have a book due in three months. There are so many distractions—guests visiting every weekend, a house to keep clean, a huge garden to tend, sunshine and pool and beach…yeah. But I know myself. I know I will get it done when the kids are back in school full day and the pressure is really on. It’s important to know how you work, your strengths and weaknesses. We’re all different, therefore so are our writing processes.

I’ve heard many authors give the advice that you need to write every single day. Well, I don’t, and I’m tired of feeling guilty about it. I write when I feel like it, when the inspiration is strong, and when a deadline is looming and it must get done. I think creative types are too hard on ourselves. It’s often all or nothing with no middle ground, no pauses, and that can be unhealthy. I promised myself I would put my family first, and I’ve had to struggle with that during the many times when my creative nature wanted to push everything else aside for just ONE MORE MINUTE.

Here is my best advice for writers when it comes to time management.

1) Busy? You have to make time. No excuses. If you truly need to write, find something to ax, even if it’s temporarily.

2) Prioritize. Don’t forget to include your health and the people you love in that list of priorities. ;)

3) Give yourself permission to take breaks and days off, as needed.

4) Once you’ve carved out a precious piece of time for yourself, use it wisely. Write. Find your happy writing place where your mind can fall into that special story world, and write like the wind, friend.

About The Book: 

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy, #4) Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.

Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.

Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.

Sensual and swoon worthy, this companion volume to the acclaimed Sweet Evil series from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, told from the perspective of the irresistibly sexy and mysterious Kaidan Rowe, gives readers revealing insights into his struggle, his intense connection to Anna, and most of all, the true emotions that drive him.

Author Note:
Sweet Temptation will encompass the entire trilogy in a condensed version, beginning with Kai's life before he met Anna, and taking readers through the epilogue of Sweet Reckoning. Sweet Temptation is a companion novel, not meant to be a stand alone story. It will definitely be a richer experience for those who have read the original trilogy.

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads 

About The Author:

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen, the upcoming fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford. Writing Young Adult (YA) stories gives her the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal, daunting, and exciting years before adulthood.

~ posted by Jen Fisher @cupcakegirly

1 comment:

  1. "I’ve heard many authors give the advice that you need to write every single day. Well, I don’t, and I’m tired of feeling guilty about it."

    I hear you, loud and clear. :)


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