Here's Kira Janene Holt!
I’ve always wanted to write novels. I wrote short stories as a teen and took a few creative writing classes in college. I started a novel in the 1990s, and after completing close to 200 pages, shared it with a friend. One negative response and the project ended.
I spent long hours at work. I’m a professional and it seems as if more is heaped upon employees who do their job. I have a large circle of friends and family so there are unlimited opportunities for celebrations and parties. I love to travel and live the stories I wanted to write. The novel was pushed further and further into the future.
I met a new man. Relationships take lots of energy. We literally built a house on some land I had owned for several years. We moved in when the walls were studs, and we had to string in a light from the pole outside. We washed our bodies and our dishes using a hose tied over a tree branch. Building a house is a never-ending endeavor.
Suddenly I was about to turn fifty. I realized the future was forever and that the one creative passion I’ve had my whole life could be put off and never realized. I had spent my adult life putting everyone else’s goals and desires ahead of mine, and it had to stop. I meant it too.
I declared my forty-ninth birthday “The Year of Kira.” To hell with housekeeping. Cut out the obligations. I can’t go to yet another party. Work will not steal all my energy and time so that someone younger can push me out when I’m exhausted. My husband can fix his own damn meals. He understood since he’s also an artist. He’d been encouraging me to write.
I started waking up at 4:00 a.m. to write while I was fresh. I cut out checking my emails every twenty minutes to see if there was an emergency. I took the hotel time from my travel job to write instead of reading reports. I even wrote at work. Within a year, I had a first draft. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!
That was four years ago and my novel comes out May 2012. It’s titled Rapid Descent – Nightmare in the Grand Canyon. Turn hedonistic travelers out into an isolated environment and emotions run rougher than rapids.
I’ve never stopped writing since. Fantasty Rocked Reality, the sequel to Nightmare will publish in 2013. I’ve written the first draft of a third novel. I entered a MFA in Creative Writing program although I’ve about decided it’s not for me. I have a non-fiction piece titled Cookbook for Getting Your Kid to College that is next in line for publishing.
I don’t believe I can tell anyone exactly HOW to balance life against writing. My advice is that each writer needs to look at what’s of value in his/her life. What can be cut? Where does a writer want to spend his/her time? Life is a series of choices so choose what matters most.
Kira Janene Holt lives and writes on a hill outside of Austin, Texas. Her Upcoming novel, Rapid Descent – Nightmare in the Grand Canyon, was short listed in the 2010 Pirate’s Alley William Faulkner Creative Writing Contest. During the day she works on college readiness issues. Cookbook for Getting Your Kid to College will publish in late 2012 as a guide to help parents guide their kids through the college search, application, and admission process. She also blogs at kiraholt.com