Thursday, June 14, 2012

Never Off Duty

Get ready to Balance
your writing and your life
with  Harper Donohue

I had not thought about writing stories since I was a child but in 2007 I was absolutely compelled to write one. I was not writing to publish. I spent every spare moment I had over a period of three years writing that story and when I wasn’t writing I was thinking about it. I thought that would be the end of the whole experience but then I found I needed to write another and then start on yet another before the second was finished. 

I get very frustrated at not having enough time to write. I have two children at home, a job and on the bigger timeline have started writing quite late in my life. So, there is not that much time now and probably not as much as I need in the future. While I don’t have the number of hours I would like to sit at the key board my way of overcoming this is to think the story through continually. This may be while dropping off to sleep, in the bath or walking to school to pick up the children. There have been points where my attention to my fictional world has impacted on my real world. I suddenly realised I should have got out of bed half an hour ago or I’ve got out of the bath forgetting that I was supposed to wash my hair.

I also tune my brain to listen out for relevant discussions and spot pertinent articles or documentaries. I might look up something I need to find out about early in the morning and let the information percolate through my mind during the course of the day. Sometimes I must come over as really nosey when I meet a person who relates in some way to one of my fictional characters. I probably ask them way too many questions as I try and find out more about what makes them tick. I can’t believe how many of the things I write about do subsequently crop up in real life. I spent hours researching possible wedding venues all over the country for a story before eventually choosing a suitable candidate. The next day my eldest son was invited to a wedding at that very place. I guess rather than a time for writing and a time for real life I have them both running in parallel. I’m never off duty either way. 

I recently decided to experiment with e-publishing. I must admit that I did waste a whole afternoon of writing time one day as I got hooked on following my ranking on Amazon. I have also got a bit hooked on on-line writing groups over the last two weeks. It’s a phase though and it will pass. My story is called ‘The Last Day the Sun shone’.

Harper Donohue is a writer living in London. Following many years of working with people in a variety of ways she remains fascinated by the complexity of individuals. In addition to her natural interest she has formally studied child development and human psychology. In her writing she explores the continual struggle created by the human desire to relate to one another.

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