Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Plan for the future!

Since I've now passed the 'what now' stage (see yesterday's post-conference blog) and actually have a plan of action, I've decided to throw something else into the mix. I've given this a lot of thought over the past year but haven't taken the time to act on it. This slower paced summer should be the ideal time.

I'm going to volunteer!

Back when I had a real paying job...could be as far back as the mid-1990's...volunteering was an important part of my life. I believe that it's a value added part of being a citizen but somehow I'd let it slip when the book world became more established in my life. Having a store is all-consuming and writing, even more so. But this is the summer to change all that!

I'm also becoming a volunteer for a purely selfish reason -- to add some structure to my writing life. I find, as I've said on numerous occasions, that I write best to a deadline. So, since I no longer have a full time job that takes me out of the house at a specified hour for a particular time period, I have to devise a schedule that makes sure I write, along with doing all those other things that eat up one's time. Not always an easy task when each new entire day unfolds. Oh, did I mention I'm somewhat lacking in the self-discipline department?

A few committed hours outside the home each week will add that sense of urgency to my writing time. Contrived but true. Now, the challenge is to find a 'job' that needs doing (not difficult as the list of volunteer jobs through Volunteer Ottawa is large). I'd like it to be something that I've not been involved in before; something that will make me stretch a little or a lot.

How do the rest of you who lack self-discipline handle your writing life? I'd be interested in suggestions.

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase

Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012

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