Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Author Anita Higman reveals what it's like - "A Day in the Life" (2-book Giveaway)


Just what is it like to be an author? Do they sit at a computer all day pecking away composing thousands of words with ease? Do they have to clean house? Do they take out the trash? Graciously Anita Higman has shared a bit with us.

 A Day In the Life

I have been a morning person my whole life. I’m up at 5:30 every weekday morning—sharp—and after I eat a breakfast of granola, Greek yogurt, and fresh berries, I usually have a short devotion time with my husband. This sets the right mood for the day and this also gives us the spiritual strength to deal with all the many tasks and problems that invariably come up during the course of an average workday.

After my husband leaves for work, I go upstairs to my office to get started for the day. Once at my desk, I answer all my emails—which usually takes an hour or two—and then I occasionally allow myself a few minutes to read a few of my reviews.

Huge mistake.

I would not recommend this ritual, especially at the beginning of the day. If the reviews are gushy then you might get the idea that anything and everything you write will be like laying a nest of golden eggs. Even though reading the honeyed reviews can give you quite the swoony rush, it’s not an honest emotional place to be when you start on your manuscript. Why? You’ll get the feeling you no longer have to try so hard.

But.

If you read even one ugly review, well, those words will paralyze your spirit like a frog in frozen mud. You know I’m right. So, my advice? Start your day with prayer, not reviews.

If I’m working on a rough draft I try to meet a word-count target of about 2,000 words each day. When I hit my goal or nearly there, I can play for a bit, which means I’ll run errands or do some marketing work on my latest release.

There are some days when I don’t get all my work done by the end of the day. When that happens, I don’t usually treat myself to a fun movie or the chance to settle into my cozy den and read one of my favorite authors, such as B.J. Hoff or Jenny B. Jones. It means I’ll have to tromp right back upstairs in the evening and write some more.

Needless to say, it takes a great deal of discipline to be writer. You have to show up every workday—bum securely fastened to the seat of the chair—no matter what. Even if you don’t feel awake or well or motivated.

Or alive.

So, I stay put in that chair even when that rosy halo called the muse isn’t glowing around my head.

Where the "muse" hides
Yes, novel writing can be relentless, tedious effort. Can we say boring? But it can also be deeply satisfying. All the way to your soul. Especially when someone tells you that her life was changed for the better because she read one of your stories. It makes all the tedium, all the sacrifice, all the muscle aches and pains as well as the exhaustion, worthwhile.

Okay, after I finish an evening of writing I head to bed about 9:30. Of course, by then the muse is heated up and is now as bright as a street lamp shining in your bedroom window—which means I’m not going to sleep. My imagination as well as my next-day ta-do list can’t turn itself off. So, after I’ve gone to bed, many times my husband will see me pop right back up again to write something down.

After one or two or more of those rounds, I finally settle into slumber. Then, of course, my dreams take it from there. Rarely, though, have I dreamed scenes or concepts that I could use in one of my novels. That’s a shame, really, but I’ve heard other authors say that have incorporated pieces of their dream world into their books. I only wish that were the case for me.

Well, as you can tell, the life of a writer isn’t easy. The life of a writer doesn’t always include a good night’s sleep. But the life of a writer does mean they’ll be days—and sometimes nights—that will be filled with that inimitable and imaginative and miraculous thing called story!

Thank you, Anita, for such a good "share" with us. That gives those of us who are on the receiving end of your labor (your readers) some really good food for thought.

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the generosity of Anita Higman, two of Chat With Vera's readers have the opportunity to win their own copy A Marriage in Middlebury.  Begins January 15 & ENDS February 5 @ 12:01 a.m. Open to those in USA mainland addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the author: Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She’s been a Barnes & Noble “Author of the Month” for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends. 

Chat With Vera's reviews of Anita Higman's books:

22 comments:

  1. Thanks, Vera, for featuring me on your loverly blog again. Blessings to you and to your dear readers!

    Anita Higman

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  2. So thankful for many authors...Vannetta Chapman, Mona Hodgson, Dorothy Love, Debbie Macomber...just to name a few of my favorites!! Thank you, thank you for many hours of escape!!

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  3. Normally I share with emails, posts on FB pages & reviews on various websites.

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  4. I totally enjoy having Christian fiction to read! Julie Lessman, Liz Curtis Higgs are a few of my favorites. I share favorite books with my Mom and Aunt and a few others.

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  5. So much of what is out there is too "smutty" for my taste. It's nice to know there are plenty of tasteful romance options available!

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  6. I show appreciation to authors by leaving them good reviews!

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  7. I very much appreciate the wide variety of Christian fiction available now. I like to read contemporary, historical (wide range of eras here), mystery, romance, and sometimes suspense. I can choose Christian fiction in all these genres (and more). It's such a relief to know I won't encounter vulgar language, explicit violence or sex. I follow quite a few authors via their blogs and Facebook and will sometimes leave encouraging comments for them.

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  8. How would I show appreciation to authors if I had the opportunity? I know I already have the opportunity to leave reviews of their books on Amazon, Goodreads, CBD, etc., and sometimes I do, but I have a hard time with this. It's not that I don't want to leave a review, I just find writing them to be rather difficult. I'm much better at reading than writing! I do try to recommend books and/or authors I especially like to my book club.

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    1. Pam K. - For someone that says they find it difficult to write, I find that you have expressed yourself very nicely here in these two comments! Do feel encouraged to write even a few short sentences as a comment or review on a book you enjoy. You don't have to blog or write a formal review. Just a few words about how the book encouraged, entertained, or impacted you. The book seller sites such as Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, BarnesandNobel.com all have opportunities for you to leave a comment.

      Another way is to leave a Facebook or other social media comment for the author to see where you recommend a book you enjoy.

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  9. I love to read! I have found so many Christian authors that I enjoy. It can be hard to pick a new book or author to read, but there is assurance in reading Christian fiction that I will be not only entertained but also encouraged.

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  10. When I first started serious reading, I quickly stopped because the books had language that I didn't like as well as subject matter. When I discovered Christian fiction, I couldn't stop. This was my style of reading and I appreciate that others share similar values.

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  11. I enjoy a chance to enjoy the book without worrying what I will run into concerning language and content.

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  12. I would thank the author for taking their time to write and give us something to read.

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  13. I like Christian books i don't read any other book, some of them may be ok but i am not taking the chance, some has thing in them that i do not like to read about. I love Anita Higman books they are a joy to read. I like the way she brings God into each of their lives. Thank Vera for a great interview.

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  14. I can tell a big difference in the way I think and feel since I have been reading Christian books. I have gotten many more wonderful lessons from reading Christian fiction than I have attending church. Plus they are more fun. I have been truly blessed to have read a lot of different Christian authors. Thank you all so much for sharing your talents with the world.

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  15. I like reading clean books that I don't have to worry about.

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  16. Vera, thanks for inviting Anita here for a review. She is a good one. I think she lives in my area and would love her to have a book signing so I could meet her in person. For now will just have to thank her for all of the time she puts in writing these sort of books that we don't have to worry about what we are going to find in the books or a granddaughter picking it up and deciding to read it. I love so many authors and do try to let them know how important their writing is to so many.I have gotten to meet Vannetta Chapman and Jennifer Beckstrand and it was so neat to be able to actual talk to them in person. Would love to meet so many more, including Anita. Thanks for the give-away. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  17. When I can meet a author I will let them know how much it means to be able to read their books and encourage them to keep writing good, clean books for us to enjoy.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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  18. Having good books is extremely important to me. Reading is a passion for me. I am a fairly creative person and can make up some pretty good stories in my head. I would never have the dedication and skill to make a story into a book, though. I truly appreciate authors because it takes so much work to write. I am just happy that I am able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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  19. I love to read good books and certainly appreciate those that entertain while holding good values in their writing style. I show my appreciation by writing reviews and encouraging others to check out the books I've read, as well as the authors other books.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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  20. I want to thanks authors for their creativiity! :)

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  21. I'm always comforted when I read stories and know that I'm not alone. Author's sharing their thoughts are so comforting.

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