I've heard this phrase many times in my life and it generally goes like this "so when are you going to stop dreaming?" Even after I've spent hours writing and reading and working on books, I still hear that phrase, especially when it comes to publishing a book on Transylvania.
We're all familiar with the old Winston Churchill quote, "never, ever give up," but what does that mean to a person who has tried ever harder to do something that they have always wanted to do? Writing about Transylvania takes effort and work behind the scenes. A lot of writers have self-published books about Transylvania or about a specific group who lived there. As good example of this is the German Saxons who live outside of Transylvania; they tend to self-publish memoirs of their time in Romania.
If I worked 20 hours a week on writing and editing and publishing my books, and working on my book reviews, I am still behind on everything else, I have a life outside of writing. I have moments when I want to quit and not write any longer. I have moments of anger where I want to go and delete this blog and everything else to do with writing or publishing a blog on Transylvania. It's hard work, it's rewarding, it's frustrating as anything, and there are days I wonder about my success or failure. I also wonder if I should stop, but, like writing in general, I don't.
In the last little while, there was a bit of discussion about how using the Internet can be a challenge, both in finding factually correct information and managing your time wisely. I had my doubts as to that statement being true or not — at least the part about time management. I reasoned that it wasn't Facebook or Twitter that was taking away my time, it was something else. I argued that I had it all worked out, and it was mostly a twenty minute thing that I didn't need to worry about.
I was not entirely incorrect in my argument, at least when it came to Internet research on Transylvania. Some websites are correct in what they write; most aren't. I spent nearly twenty minutes looking at sites about Elizabeth Bathory and the number of children she gave birth to. To prove my point one website said four, and others eight. Some gave names and others didn't. It was a waste of time. This was working on a dream to publish using methods that aren't tested or true. When it comes to publishing about Transylvania, there needs to be a method of research, and that is by going to the books and primary resources, found in Romania, and Hungary.
I have been toying with the idea of opening up a blog where I review books, and that would mean that I have a need to manage my time. I have a job outside of writing books. I also enjoy reading books and commenting on them. There is nothing wrong with a great book, just as there is nothing wrong with anyone wanting to write and publish.
I believe the problem lies with time management and knowing what works for you. I know many new authors who wonder how they can possibly publish as many things as the "big name" ones. My conclusion is that these writers have mastered one thing most of us are working on and that is understanding the hidden hours of distraction. I want to continue my dream, I want to publish more books, and I want to have some wonderful blogs. I want to be happy and healthy, living a life filled with joy and family and friends. As long as I have time, and it can fit in my schedule.
Fitting it into my schedule is the wrong answer because I have time — time to research, to do the outlines, and to write about Transylvania. Even if something is self-published I think everything has to be done in order for the book to be good.
Ah, there you have it; I have time to write, I don't use it wisely. I can understand why so many people ask new writers if they are going to stop dreaming. I didn't manage my own time as well as I should have with my last book. With these next two, I have a better idea, and a better way to edit, now with my second and third books. Publishing is a challenge, but it doesn't have to be this hard. This is where reading comes in to play.
I'm engrossed in a book about writing, aptly called Writing with the Master. In it, a new author, Tony Vanderwarker, works with John Grisham. I find this one very interesting since Vanderwarker mentions that not only did he learn from Grisham about patience, but ,between the lines, I saw that he cut away a lot of distractions. He focused and worked hard. Not once so far have I read anything about Facebook or marketing or anything. This book is about writing. It's about working towards that dream. It will help me when it comes to writing about Transylvania.
I'm not giving up, but I have to use my time wisely to get there. My writing about Transylvania is important for me to build on my time management.