Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Q&A!

Welcome to our monthly feature - Friday Q&A! This month, I'm asking the Luckies: 
It takes a long time to perfect your writing craft, which means it leaves less time for other things. What have you sacrificed for writing?

Kit Grindstaff has sacrificed Hubby time. Friends time. Exercise time. Sleep. Meals. Her day job (writing songs). Chocolate. All except for the chocolate
Oh, and it's ongoing...she still sacrifices those things!

For Liz Fichera, it's a regular hair appointment.

Alison Cherry waved goodbye to the weekly paycheck and excellent health insurance that came with the day job she no longer has time for!

Kelsey Sutton sacrifices time for her schoolwork. Some people make it look effortless, but she finds balancing writing and school impossible. Usually writing takes precedence, and the grades silently scream as they fall.

What about Rachele Alpine? Cleaning! Not that she's complaining – she has to invite family over once in awhile, so she's forced to clean the house!

For Melissa Landers it's television. Once in awhile, she'll catch a random episode of "The Walking Dead" or "Falling Skies," but other than that, her poor TV is dormant.

Elisabeth Dahl sacrificed Money. As she says, writing books is an INVESTMENT, for sure.

Helen Douglas is another Lucky who's had to cut down on television. She rarely has time to watch anything these days, though she makes time for Homeland. And sleep. She's a morning person, so she prefers to write before heading off to the day job rather than after.

Cat Winters has sacrificed laundry, keeping up with dirty dishes, TV, reading time, family time (the latter of which is the only one that fills her with guilt).

April Tucholke has fallen behind with her reading. She works with words all day and often doesn't want to read come nighttime...and considering the fact that she was a hardcore reader before she became an author, this was a serious sacrifice.

She's also had to sacrifice long, 2 hour + hikes.

And that awesome feeling of being done--done with work for the day/week. Because with writing you're never, ever really done.

And last but not least, privacy. She kind of misses the fact that she used to be able to type her name into google and it came back with NO results.

What about Caroline Carson? "The ability to talk about something other than books for more than 5 seconds at a time."

Melanie Crowder misses her pottery wheel. Sigh.

Lydia Kang has sacrificed sleep. Craftiness (no more crocheting or making random stuffed animals). Her organization OCD is out the window. And TV. She hardly watches anything anymore.

Laura Golden mourns the loss of a clear and free mind. She's constantly thinking about, pondering on, and questioning issues and topics related to her works-in-progress – even in her sleep. It becomes rather exhausting.

Mindy Raf has given up her sanity. Just kidding. (She laughs, stares into space and then continues to type, 'all work and no play make Mindy a dull girl')

Pat Zietlow Miller has sacrificed three things:
"1. Sleep. I do most of my writing in the evening.
2. TV. I only watch "Glee" and the occasional episode of "Chopped."
3. Cash. I buy so many children's books, I should have a line item in my budget just for that."

Christy Farley also has a list:
"1. Sleep!
2. Reading for hours on end without feeling guilty.
3. Cooking
4. Long runs. I've resorted to quick ones because these days every second counts."

Peggy Eddelman has had to give up virtually all other creative hobbies. That, and the ability to stay on top of everything. (Or, some days, the ability to stay on top of ANYTHING.)

Before Liz Coley began writing, she spent a lot more time either in the garden or involved in household decorating projects, like sewing and painting. Now when she's in in extra-heavy writing mode, all the anti-entropy activities (laundry, dishes, housecleaning) fall to pieces. She frequently forgets to pay bills for the entire month of November during Nanowrimo.

Sara Polsky has sacrificed time for cleaning, for sure. She does the dishes as a break from staring at the computer, but she's much less likely to take the vacuum out of the closet!

For C.J. Flood,  the biggest sacrifice has been losing writing as a hobby. "It used to be my favourite thing to do! A way to relax! Second is reading. I can't really read for pleasure any more. Even when a book's so good I forget to analyse it, I have to go back and check later. Reading now, is like work. Gorgeous work, mind you."

Kelly Barson has, like so many of us, sacrificed cleaning. Yard work. "And, of course," she adds, "my sanity--my head is always some place else, I talk to myself, and what happens in my WIP affects my moods."

And Ashley Elston? "Definitely reading! My TBR pile is a mile high!" (Oh, Ashley, I hear ya…)

Mindy McGinnis says: "knitting, scrapbooking, genealogy ... hobbies in general. Also brushing my teeth… oh wait... did I say that?"

Nicole McInnes sometimes wonders where her sanity has gone. She's also sacrificed a clean house. And her dogs and horses probably feel like they don't get out enough.

Mindee Arnett gave up mostly the little hobbies, like doing puzzles. That's the one she misses the most. Oh, and she's made zero home improvements. No more wall painting for her!

For Liesl Shurtliff, it's Saturdays, television, folded laundry, and a clean house. "And I have to sacrifice family time too," she says, "but I'm very careful with that one. If it feels like too much, I pull back."

Elle Cosimano is absolutely clear on this one: "My day job, and the people in my life who couldn't/wouldn't support my efforts toward this goal."

Bethany Hagen misses non-sticky floors, crocheting, a day without fretting about imaginary people who live in her laptop...

And me? Mine are sleep and TV. I've got used to feeling left out when everyone's talking about the programmes they've been watching and I have NO idea what they're on about!

How about you? What have you sacrificed for your writing?

Emma Pass grew up at an environmental studies centre near London, went to art school in Cornwall and now lives in the North-East Midlands, UK, with her husband and The Hound. She is represented by Carolyn Whitaker at London Independent Books and her YA dystopian thriller ACID is out from Corgi/Random House on 2nd May 2013. You can find her blog here, view her website here and catch her procrastinating on Twitter here.


  1. I love this, Emma! Some of the answers cracked me up! And so many of them were true!

  2. Thanks for this post, Emma! Makes me think.

  3. You're welcome! Thanks for such great answers, everyone!

  4. Ha! And here I thought I was the only writer in the history of literature who's ever made sacrifices. :-)