Wickeds are happy to welcome fellow New Englander Penny Goetjen today. We met her at the New England Library Association meeting in Portland, Maine recently. She’s even promised a signed copy of her Maine mystery The Precipice to one commenter on her post. Take it away, Penny!
We all live such busy lives and so often we can’t or simple don’t find the time to engage in activities we really enjoy doing. Our days get filled with everything we would categorize as necessary; working a job, running a business, taking care of our precious children, running errands, maintaining our cars and homes, shopping, cooking, squeezing in doctor’s appointments, caring for our elders, paying bills…well, you get the idea. Many of us enjoy writing but find it difficult to make the time. I used to think of writing as my “guilty pleasure.”
When I set out writing The Precipice, I actually had no intention of publishing a book. The Precipice started out as glimpses of a delightful story that was rattling around in my head during down times. I was just having fun with it while I was driving in the car without the radio on, drying my hair, or waiting for my children during various activities. It got to the point that I looked forward to those times when I had nothing else to think about and the story really started to develop. It seemed to be a culmination of all the summer vacations I had spent in Maine over the years and was morphing into a great mystery. After a while, I thought I should start writing it down because I had so much in my head and didn’t want to forget any of the details. It was time to find time for my guilty pleasure.
It began with a pad of legal sized paper. I jotted down character names, described locations, and developed the story line while waiting outside dance classes, sitting at soccer practices, and hunkering down in my car outside of hockey rinks, the latter of which required starting the car from time to time to stay warm. Once I had filled a couple pads of paper with my scribbled handwriting, I started a file on my computer to compile the notes and actually started writing the story. This took place late in the evening after my children had gone to bed and the house was quiet. I tend to be a night owl anyway, so the timing worked for me. Someone else might choose to get up a little earlier in the morning to fit it in. Apparently I was pretty good at squeezing in my writing time because no one, including my husband, knew I had written anything long enough to be a book until I started looking for a publisher.
The point is that we all have down time that we could turn into creative time, probably the most obvious of which is commuting or travel time, whether we are driving or we leave the driving to someone else. Just be sure to turn off distractions like music and cell phones. Let your thoughts wander unrestrained until your head is full and you’re anxious to sit down and start writing. Squeeze in your creative time consistently and you will be surprised by how your efforts add up.
If you are interested in a murder mystery that takes place in an old New England inn on the rocky, tumultuous coast of Maine, The Precipice is available on Amazon or at http://www.pennygoetjen.com. In addition, I am offering a signed copy of The Precipice to a commenter on this post. Make sure you leave your email address if you think the Wickeds don’t already know how to contact you.
Yours in mystery and intrigue,
Readers: How have you found time to write, or do other creative pursuits? Are you a night owl or a morning bird? Or ask Penny a question. She’ll stop in throughout the day to reply.