A writer’s dreams—and how life gets in the way

Stamford Grand, Glenelg, SA

Stamford Grand, Glenelg, SA

It’s the first day of the RWAus Conference 2016. I chose not to participate in today’s workshop, which means I find myself a lady of leisure. It doesn’t happen too often, I can tell you. As it’s been a while between posts, I thought there would be no better time to put my fingers to the keyboard and fill everyone in on the latest leg of my writing journey.

Or perhaps stagnation is a better term?

Shortly after last year’s conference, I had a change of career. Not only that, I switched from part time work to full time. Juggling the new day job hours with family commitments, combined with learning the ropes of a new industry, has not been conducive to much creativity. And hell, why not throw in a move to a newly built house.

I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, sometimes, life gets in the way of our dreams. And that’s okay—it has to be—because if I let myself believe that it’s not, the guilt I’d feel for not writing would eat away at me. And if I chose to squeeze in writing time, I’d be putting myself under enough stress to send myself bonkers.

This doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my dreams—far from it. I’ve just given myself a reprieve; told myself it’s okay that other things are taking a priority right now because it means I’m getting closer to the day when my writing will be the priority. I’m doing what works for me (and my sanity) right now.

sunstone-cover_150616_014256In saying that, I have managed some writing in the past twelve months. I wrote a short story, Breaking Free, for the RWA Little Gems competition, which won second place and will appear in the Sunstone Anthology (purchase link to come). It’s set in the Santa Ynez Mountains, California, on a winery estate and tells the story of Rachael, an Aussie girl intent on avoiding a relationship, and Nick, an arrogant Italian who knows how to get her attention… Stay tuned for photos! I’ll get my hands on some copies in the next day or two.

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Image courtesy of Monique Mulligan

I managed to submit to Serenity Press’ Writing the Dream anthology. My piece, Ultimate Dreaming, was accepted. In it, I share my ultimate writing dream and my struggles to achieve it. I’ll be keeping some pretty fabulous company with twenty-three other authors including Anna Jacobs, Juliet Marillier, Natasha Lester and Jenn J McLeod. From emerging to established writers, we all share our writing journeys and our top five tips for writers. It will be released in November, and if you pre-order from the Serenity Press website, you’ll receive a matching writer’s notebook.

I also attempted to write a submission for Serenity Press’ next romance anthology, A Bouquet of Love. Sadly, I didn’t make the deadline. Our house move inconveniently got in the way. But hey, the five thousand words I wrote are not wasted. I’ll eventually pull them out again, finish the story and find a way to send it out into the world.

And so, as I sit in a little café in Adelaide, I look forward to the next few days of the RWAus “Ain’t Love Grand” Conference. Surrounded by like-minded, passionate women (and some men), it’s hard not to feel motivated and inspired. So bring on the next twelve months—may it be full of productivity and creativity for all writers.

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