What It Takes to Be An Author: Patricia Bradley, Author of "Justice Delivered"
I once asked God to teach me about patience, and He gave me a book to write.
As an author, even though He gives me the ideas and words, I have to show up each day in front of the computer to receive those words. I have to keep my seat in the chair until it’s time to quit for the day—either I have to go make dinner or I get my word count. Sometimes that means I don’t get to go to lunch with friends or take trips or just goof off.
I have a friend who wants to be an author, but to be an author one must write. What this friend really wants is “to have written.” For that matter, I’ve often wanted “to have written” because writing is hard work sometimes.
Did I just write sometimes? Writing is hard work anytime, even when the words flow. My day usually starts out at 5:30 a.m. and goes until ten at night. Five-thirty, because we all have that time that we’re most productive and that’s my sweet spot for writing.
I’ve found if I get up early and write first thing, I can usually knock out five hundred words before breakfast. And that takes some of the pressure off. I would suggest that authors find what their sweet spot is and block out that time to write.
But what if your characters or your story won’t talk to you? If you’re an author, I’d be willing to bet the farm that’s happened to you. Some people call it writer’s block. When it happens to me, it’s caused by not knowing my characters or sometimes my plot well enough.
I started off a plotter with outlines and plot points and pages of notes rather than just an idea that I took and wrote by-the-seat-of-my-pants. The problem is, deadlines loom whether your characters and plot talk to you or not. With a couple of my books, I simply had to start writing to discover what the story was about. That was scary…but it was also exciting. Every book is different, and until I start writing, I never know exactly how the process will work out. But it always does. God always gives me what I need. Rarely early, but never late.
So, if you want to be an author, understand it is hard work, and not always fun, but even on days when writing is like bathing a cat, I rather be sitting behind a computer pounding the keys than doing anything else.
Patricia Bradley is the author of Justice Delayed, Justice Buried, and Justice Betrayed, as well as the Logan Point series. Bradley won an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award in Suspense, was a finalist for the Genesis Award, won a Daphne du Maurier Award, and won a Touched by Love Award. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.