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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lifestyle Change by Margot Justes

I can’t say I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’ve always been a reader.  The need for a challenge allowed me to become a writer. When faced with mundane tasks, I’d hear voices in my head, and that was becoming more frequent when at work. My characters would hold some lively conversations, until one day I said enough, you’ll be heard.

I started writing. It was that easy, at least that is what I thought. I was wrong. Musings are lovely, but to make coherent observations, learn whose point of view (POV) you’re in, and all the other lovely writing essentials are hard to come by-osmosis notwithstanding.

It’s a continuous learning experience, one that keeps me challenged, that was after all what the process was all about. The challenge of putting a coherent product out, keep the voices in your head happy, and  get better with every word, while at the same time make it  fun. Writing for me has to be joyful, it cannot be a drudge, because then it becomes laborious in the worst sense possible.

I don’t plot out my stories, I have an idea and go with it. The most fun I have is when characters interact with each other, and take me on their journey. More often than not they surprise me. It keeps the process fresh and enjoyable, except when the evil writing block hits, and the voices are silenced. So far they have always returned.

I didn’t want my writing to become homework, an obligation. I wanted to have fun with it and learn by reading others, doing research, which I love doing anyway, and just seeing where it would lead. That was my first lifestyle change as a writer. I still kept my day job, and wrote in the evenings and on weekends when possible. That became increasingly more difficult.

My formal retirement notice was eighteen months-probably the longest in the company’s history. There was a perfectly logical reason to do so. I gave myself enough time to make sure I was disciplined enough to become a full time writer, and making it official meant I wasn’t going to back down. That time is fast approaching, one more week to be exact, and I’ll be a full time writer. I’m ready for that change of life.

It’s never too late to change.

Cheers,
Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
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www.mjustes.com

 

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