I eat lunch every day like most everyone. Usually alone since I work at home and my husband is at work. My children are grown and have their own busy lives. As a creative person, I don’t mind the quiet to let me concentrate. In fact, I often crave it when I’m not at home in my usual routine. But I also have enough of the extrovert in me that I need to get out of the house and be with people. In particular, I find a working lunch, or even an after work drink, with author friends to be important to me. Why?
It’s not just about forcing myself to wear proper clothes for a change. You know, a bra under my shirt, and jeans/slacks in lieu of sweats or capris. The comfy clothes are a big perk about working at home!
It’s not just about eating someone else’s cooking, either. Having something more than leftovers or a sandwich is a nice break in my routine. Even if I do have to be careful as to the nutritional values of the food, especially salt and total calories. Writing is a sedentary activity which I have to balance with exercise and caloric intake. I’m trying to be better to myself… Eating a bit less. Exercising a bit more.
No, the main reason that I find lunch with author friends valuable is the networking, the sharing of ideas, and the sanity check on other ideas. It’s way too easy to think you have a fantastic new approach only to discover it’s been done. Having another person who understands the character voices in my head, or who can discuss answers to marketing questions, and much more, is what draws me to sharing a meal with a friend. A myriad of concerns swirl in my head every day, from specifics about a new release, deciding which contests to enter, sorting out the motivation for a character, or even what should I fix for dinner. So having a simple meal with a good friend becomes a highlight in my week.
I aim for at least once a week, but that doesn’t always happen due to my deadlines and theirs. I also try to ask a variety of friends to meet me over the weeks and months to keep my support network alive and vibrant. I hope that the thoughts and opinions I share with them is of equal value as to what I receive during our chats.
After all, writing a book takes a long time – months to a year depending on whether I’m writing a romance or a historical fiction. That’s a lot of time to spend alone at my computer. Then the business side kicks in when it comes to marketing and promoting each new title as well as keeping alive the backlist. As I venture into the world of indie publishing with my next series, the support of my author friends becomes ever more valuable. I’ve run a small business – freelance editing both nonfiction and fiction – but it’s very different from essentially running my own publishing house for my own books. So there has been a lot for me to learn and understand before I publish the next book. Whether to indie publish or traditionally publish each series/story is another decision, and perhaps the topic of a different post.
Oops! I’ve got to run. I’m meeting a fellow writer/librarian friend for lunch today. Her view of the world of books is a bit different from mine, which makes our conversation all the more interesting.
Stay tuned for more information about my new haunting, bewitching love story series, Secrets of Roseville, which will be launching soon!
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