Today we have the pleasure and great honour to welcome Jackie Kabler to our blog. You’ve probably seen Jackie on TV, but now you have the chance to see her as an author too. In two weeks (22nd October) her debut ‘The Dead Dog Day’ will be released by Accent Press and is the first book in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series. We’re mega excited about this book and we’re also going to be part of Jackie’s blog tour, so stay tuned for our review. Thank you so much, Jackie for visiting our blog and for your lovely post. And as always, I shall leave the pre-order links bellow and now, off to lovely Jackie.
I read a quote recently which made me think. It was by Lao-Tzu, a philosopher and poet of ancient China, who said: ‘Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is like saying “I don’t want to”.’ Since I got my book deal last year, I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve told me that they too would love to write a book, but they don’t have time, and it makes me smile, because that was the excuse I used to use too. I have a full time job, so I don’t have time. I have a husband and a social life, so I don’t have time. I have to do the ironing, the gardening, the shopping, so I don’t have time. The truth is, if we really, REALLY want to do something, we MAKE the time.
I have no more spare time now than I had five or ten years ago, but I’ve written one novel and am halfway through my second. I still have the full time job, the husband, the social life, the chores, but because the desire to write grew from ‘one day I’ll write a book’ to ‘I need to write a book NOW!’, somehow I created the time to do it, just as Lao-Tzu said.
There’s another quote that I often see floating around on the Internet, sometimes attributed to Buddha: ‘The trouble is, you think you have time’. That’s another one that resonates with me. We put things off, because we think there’s always tomorrow, or next week, or next year. But what if there isn’t? In the past few years I’ve seen three close friends and my younger sister die. Without being too morbid and pessimistic, we never know what’s just around the corner for us, and that’s another reason to just get on with it and do it NOW, if it’s something you really want to do, writing or otherwise.
Of course, all of those wise words are easy to say. Putting them into practise can be the tricky bit! When we’re actually sitting at our desks, finally getting down to that writing, so many of us authors seem to find an astonishing number of ways to WASTE time! Procrastination seems to be endemic. I’ll start that next chapter as soon as I’ve made that phone call to my best friend. Oh, look how messy that drawer is. I’ll just tidy that, and then start writing. Awww, look at that cute squirrel out in the garden. Maybe I’ll take some photos of him for Twitter! Ooh, I’m hungry – maybe I should just make a quick snack, and then start writing? Hmmm, I wonder how many times I can swivel round in my swivel chair without stopping? (Yes, the latter really was one of my reasons for putting off getting on with it!)
Of course, we all get down to it eventually. Deadlines, and the wrath of editors, make sure of that! But as a debut author, the discipline involved is something I’m still getting to grips with. Experienced authors often recommend writing every single day, even if it’s just a couple of hundred words, and I think that’s great advice. It’s much easier to stay immersed in the world of your novel if you visit it daily. Sometimes, if I don’t write for a week or more, I have to waste time going back and re-reading the last few chapters in order to get myself back into my fictional universe.
Hence, although I used to write only at my desk, at home, on my big laptop, I’ve forced myself to change. I’ve invested in a second laptop, a small, light one, that I can take with me everywhere, and whenever I have a spare half an hour, I get it out and write. Sometimes it’s just a a few sentences, sometimes more. I’ve just returned from a holiday in Japan, and managed to write 3,500 words on the flight out there. It’s so easy to say we don’t have time – life is so fast-paced these days, and we’re all trying to cram so much in to every day. But as I’ve discovered, time really is a created thing. If we truly want to do it, we can make the time, somehow. Now, I need to get on with that next chapter. I’m just going to make another cup of tea first…
Jackie Kabler is a journalist and television presenter, currently working in London for shopping channel QVC. Before that she spent twenty years as a newspaper and television news reporter, appearing on GMTV, BBC News, ITV News, CNN and Setanta Sports News. She signed a three-book deal with Accent Press last year, and her first novel ‘The Dead Dog Day’ is currently on pre-order on Amazon ahead of publication day on 22nd October.