I’m a creature of habit, especially when it comes to my writing. I like to write early in the morning with a cup of coffee beside me and my cat, too. I enjoy the quiet, the ticking of the clock, the stray chirp of a bird. The sound of the keys clicking beneath my fingers means work is being done, and creative work is different from any other job I’ve had. I enjoy it more. It means more. And I’m more committed.
When my first book was published, I assumed these ideal conditions were necessary to write. For the magic to happen. (Because let’s face it: it really is a wonder how creative works happen, where the ideas come from and what makes writers pursue them.) If I didn’t have time in the morning, I simply didn’t write. I would press myself twice as hard the next day or put in an extra hour or two on the weekend.
As years passed and I found myself wanting to do more with the same about of time, I realized ideal conditions weren’t necessary and, in fact, were somewhat constraining. I always find time for the things I care about, and writing is one of those things. But so is family.
Just last week, my daughter had dance recitals, which meant an inordinate amount of time driving downtown and waiting. I took my computer, and thanks to loosening COVID restrictions, I was able to write for ninety minutes in the nearby coffee shop. Not quiet. No cat. But I did have my cup of coffee! And the words came anyway.
Maybe it was the coffee shop, the ideal writing place for some authors. But I don’t think so. Today, place isn’t as important to me as my state of mind. New environments and obstacles can train a mind to be better, more focused. With practice, even in a crowded room, one can write.
Some of the places I’ve written at include dance studios, parking lots, hotel lobbies, and piano teachers’ houses. If you haven’t honed your concentration skills as a writer, you can still use these places to your advantage. You can eavesdrop on snippets of conversation. A creative writing teacher told me once it was the best way to learn to write dialogue.
I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that if you want to be a writer, you can’t wait for ideal writing conditions. Some conditions might be more inspiring than others, but they can all be productive. You just need to get comfortable getting out of your comfort zone.
A Happy Camper Mystery: Book 2
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Spirit Canyon’s annual Spirit Spooktacular weekend is on, and for local amateur sleuth Zo Jones, it’s boomtime for business at her Happy Camper gift shop . . . until a murderer drops in for a browse.
To celebrate Halloween at the Happy Camper, Zo schedules a talk by successful author and self-proclaimed witch Marianne Morgan. Although Marianne’s benign brand of witchcraft is more about feminine empowerment than black magic, her presence is still not welcomed by everyone. Then on a midnight stroll home, Zo spots what seems to be a new Halloween decoration propped up outside the Happy Camper. What she finds is not a mannequin but a dead Marianne, her lifeless body dressed in traditional witch’s garb. But why would someone send this good witch back to the spirit world permanently?
Soon Zo realizes that plenty of folks have motives for murdering Marianne. What’s worse, nosy TV newsman Justin Castle plans to broadcast a report associating Marianne’s murder with the Happy Camper. Zo calls on her partner in sleuthing, local forest ranger Max Harrington, to help her find the culprit before Justin’s report airs. Otherwise Zo’s business just might go bust. But to catch this killer, Zo will have to risk much more than just her reputation . . .
Mary Angela is the author of the Happy Camper cozy mystery series, the Professor Prather academic mystery series, and several short stories. When Mary isn’t penning heartwarming whodunits, she’s teaching, reading, traveling, or spending time with her family. She lives in South Dakota with her husband, daughters, and spoiled pets. You can find out more about her loves, including her writing, at MaryAngelaBooks.com.
July 13 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
July 13 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 14 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
July 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – I Read What You Write – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
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July 17 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – REVIEW
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