Writing Habit

For decades, well two anyway, I have been telling my students that writing takes practice.  I encouraged them to write every day with journal prompts in a writer’s notebook.  We read how famous writers tackle writing: Annie Dillard, Stephen King, Anne Lamott and Alice Steinbach, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. I talked the talk, but never really got down to walking the walk.  Too busy reading papers and books to prepare lessons, too busy with graduate school, then too busy traveling.

Things changed in October 2017.  I retired from teaching.  I spent months and endless hours in the night worrying that I would find retirement boring and purposeless.  Instead, I find I am busy and satisfied.  Why?  I have developed a writing habit.  I get up when I want, drink my coffee, then sit at the kitchen table soaking up the sun and writing.  I begin by skimming over what I wrote the day before then going from there.  I write in the afternoon for a couple of hours, too.

Since I retired three months ago, I have written over 90,000 words!  Unimaginable even a year ago!  During November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and finished a 50,000 word novel — the first in a series:  Beas’s Tale: The Adventure Begins.  Since then I have written 32,000 words in the next book:  Beas’s Tale: Chasing Bees.  AND I am having fun.

Most of the habits I have developed over my life have been not so inspiring: swearing, smoking, biting my nails — the list goes on.  I like this habit and am proud to be a writer.


Nearly one year ago, I was flying high on the news that my book Like an Elephantwas being published by Austin Macauley Publishers. One year into the process, I have heard very little from the publisher, which they consider status quo.  I have no idea when my book will be published or where it is in the publication process.  This is disappointing because I was looking forward to people reading my book and earning a little money.

Austin Macauley sells itself as a hybrid publisher sharing the price of publication with the writer. They straddle the line between a traditional publisher and a vanity press. Well, live and learn.  Needless to say, I will not be sending any more money their way until I see a proof copy of my book and get a overview of marketing plan.

On the good news front, I have a fantasy trilogy in the works. Silk and Steel is a light steampunk collection for young adults and the young at heart.  I have published the first book, Becoming Bea, on Kindle Direct Publishing  in both ebook and paperback format.  The second book, Chasing Bees, is finished drafting and I am working on revisions along with drafting the final book in the series.

I am having fun writing and work on my practice of writing every day!  Life is good.