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Follow routine or be spontaneous?

July 23, 2010

I’m back. At home. In Hawaii. Sounds grande, doesn’t it? I’ve lived here for almost two years and yes, it’s beautiful. It’s where my muse loves to vaca and roll around in the sandy beaches, watch little Japanese golfers run around in pink plaid on the golf course and see crazy birds attack the window screens. Just for a good laugh. But this is also the place where my muse and I have formed a pact to get along and be best friends in our little cave, until the next time I get island fever and jump on a plane and get off the island.

Going from fast paced New York to slow, sluggish Hawaii doesn’t help with having a routine at all. My muse hates New York, because it doesn’t have the time to wake up, enjoy coffee, smell the ocean breezes and frolick around the beaches with my characters. NO, she just runs right back to the airport every time the plane lands on the mainland.

When I’m in New York or California, I follow a strict routine. I go to a day job, get out of work, go home, be an editor for hours, and then allow my muse free reign on whatever she wants to do. It’s like being a divorced parent who can only spend time with their kid when the court deems it. And it’s not very fun and not very fair to her.

But in Hawaii, there’s room to be mischievous and spontaneous at the same time. Every morning, I wake up, make coffee and sit outside on my front porch with my laptop. Swaying palm trees, annoying birds flying over my head, golfers riding their golf carts, and a gorgeous mountainous view greets me every morning. Calm, relaxing, and very very lazy. But I sit here and get serious as the editor in me for hours. I love my job. I love the ability to work with authors, watch them grow and revel along with their success. Then my muse pokes me in the shoulder and glares at me and says, “What about me?”

As dusk falls, my ‘foster family’, muse and I go walking on the golf course with our adorable pup (who’s a terror and chases the golfers and birds once we step foot on the short grass). The walk fuels my muse. And I come home ready to write, until my eyes threaten to close or just eyeballs fall out from staring at the computer screen. My night time is reserved for my muse and she loves it. I love it. The days start to blend together. Monday starts to feel like Friday and everyone is happy, healthy, and smiling. So, I guess in a way, I do follow a routine, once I can get back into it. But there’s always room for spontaneity. I write when the mood strikes. As an editor and freelancer, I’m allowed to take days off when I want. But I do treat my writing career and my editor work like a real job, just as any job should be.

Success requires perseverance, determination, and motivation. And I have all three, except maybe the motivation flees off once in a while. The past three months have been huge for me. With routine, I’ve managed to receive a contract offer from Lyrical (which Bachelor’s Return will be released next year) and also Decadent Publishing (Love By Auction should be out sometime this year). I’ve also received a partial request from Silhouette Romantic Suspense from a conference pitch, and two revision requests for my stories. Yes, I’ve been busy.

On the forefront, I’ve acquired great authors to work with, who give me reason to wake up and look forward to the day.

My adventures have only just begun.

Routine is important for success, but there always need to be room to be spontaneous. Live life a little and enjoy your surroundings and the people around you. You never know what you’ll find with the amount of hard work you put it, but there’s always a reward at the end, even if it’s just a smile or a compliment from someone.

So, what works for you? Do you follow a routine or are you just one to be spontaneous and make things happen when you want it to happen?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2010 9:16 am

    Congrats on the offers and the interest! That’s awesome!

    And in answer to your question… routine? My muse is a “free spirit.” Whenever I try to get a routine down she pouts and runs off and won’t answer my phone calls. But during the school year she’s good about waiting until after work. Most of the time.


    • July 24, 2010 8:48 am

      LOL. Muses are hard tame. Hope you’re enjoying your summer before school starts! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. July 23, 2010 6:12 pm

    My routine, which I am just becoming adjusted to, will change dramatically once the school year starts and kids are gone in the morning. Now, I answer emails, do marketing, hiring, approvals, and kiss boo-boos, referee arguments, give cuddles, do laundry, sweep a floor or two and make the occasional meal during the day hours. Nights and late late nights/early mornings are editing time when it’s quiet and I can think!

    When school starts it will all be reversed and I’m not sure my brain will be very happy. I am a nighter and my brain is ever-so-much more functional then.

    We’ll see! Nice blog. I want to see those golfers in the pink plaid!!
    Decadent Publishing

    p.s. We are so happy to have you!

    • July 24, 2010 8:50 am

      Hi Heather!

      Being a mom is hard work, I’m sure. I’m usually a nighter, too, but my routine has been out of sorts with traveling.

      I’ll have to post picks of these golfers when I find them again. LOL. They are cute.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and I’m happy that you want me! LOL.

      Hope all goes well!

  3. July 24, 2010 6:02 am

    Your Hawaii routine sounds great. 😉 I try to follow a routine with writing in the morning and evening, and “biz stuff” at other times. Unfortunately, the summer move, traveling, and having the whole family home for two months has really thrown me for a loop. Plus I can’t stand this apartment. It’s too small, the walls are stark white, and I have no place to get away from the TV. Can’t wait to move into our house after Nationals! The kids can be in the basement rec room and I can be on the second floor surrounded by color. Bliss…

    Congrats on all of your success!

    • July 24, 2010 8:53 am

      Once you move into the new house and get settled, it’ll be so much better. I’d go crazy being confined in a small apartment, too, but at least you’re feeding your muse with all the traveling you’re doing. Good luck at Nationals!

      And thanks for stopping by!

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