Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Running on the spot or Why did I agree to (insert extra obligation here)?

I've joined Twitter. At first I wasn't sure. I didn't see how I could say anything worthwhile in 140 characters. (Not when I write books that are 140,000 words long!).

This is my address on twitter if you're interested. @rcdaniells

But, oddly enough, I'm finding Twitter interesting. It's all the other minds out there, nattering on. It's the pictures that people share. Some funny, some poignant. eg. I shared this one. My daughter photobombing her year 12 students. (she's a great kid).

As well as the funny insights into human nature, there are heaps of links to interesting sites.

I came across this one. It's Robert Sawyer's Letter to Aspiring Writers.
Basically, he tells it like it is, no warm and fuzzies. Towards the end of his post, he has some insights specific to being Canadian

And along the same lines, here is Ian Irvine's truth About Publishing. This is Ian's insight into publishing from an Australian perspective.

What you'll see from these two author pages is that the info you get from us here at the MGC blog is frank and open. Nothing up our sleeves here. No hidden agendas. We'd like you to buy our books, but we're up front about this.

I don't know about you, but I'm scrambling. I feel like I'm running on the spot to:

Renovate the house -We have our bathrooms back. Yay! Next it's the kitchen. Who needs to cook? Not me. I could happily dine out every night. Why is it that my 3 teenage sons' most regular question to me is 'What's for dinner?.

Get on top of the yard - floods, heat, humidity and waist high weeds, trenches and gravel pits, arghh.

Keep up with all my blog posts on three sites, MGC, ROR and my own KRK blog, plus Twitter, plus Facebook, plus guest posts here and there.

Work - I go back to lecturing on the 14th of Feb. Then it will be nose to the grind stone with the accelerated course until a two week break in May and another in September.

Short stories and workshops promised - I promised a story for an anthology and it's brewing. Hope it's cooked in time. Meantime I've been asked to do a couple of workshops, but haven't heard back to have them confirmed.

Oh... and I have to deliver 3 books to my publisher by May. The Outcast Chronicles.

Did I mention that 5 of my 6 children are living at home with various partners staying over?

So, I'm scrambling to keep up with everything I must do, need to do, and want to do, without trying to keep up with what's happening in the publishing world.

This is why I find posts like Dave's one yesterday about E-books and the tipping point so informative. Just like to say thanks to the rest of the Mad Genius Club team for their generosity sharing their knowledge of writing craft and the publishing business and for inviting me along to play in their sand pit.

Is everyone else running on the spot to stop from going backwards?


Chris L said...

Hey Rowena,

Running on the spot gets you fit, tones the muscles and helps you prepare for when there's a clear path and then...

Start sprinting!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

LOL, Chris.

Very good.

As I keep telling my children, adversity is character building.

But Mum, they say, My character's been built up enough.

MataPam said...


Glad to see you're above water.

I'm putting off remodeling my kitchen as long as possible - at least all the appliances are newish, even though the original cheap cabinets are starting to crumble back into the sawdust from which they were made.

Your energy level is awesome, your accomplishments many.

Jonathan D. Beer said...

Hi Rowena,

How co-incidental, I joined Twitter last night (after some rather vehement oaths in the past to the contrary). I was convinced by my friends saying how much information and little snippets I was missing out on, and in one day idly checking the feed at work, they have been proved right.

I suspect I will be a pretty passive Twitterer for the time being - like you, life threatens to engulf should I contemplate taking a pause to breath. I have a short story that I swore to myself would be done by the end of the month, but that is looking distinctly unlikely at the moment.

So yes, you are certainly not alone in the running and not moving department :)

Anonymous said...

I'm not running nearly as much as I used to when I supervised Erica's twirling classes (15-20 hours per week), but I do still work a day job.

I'm having the opposite problem though. Since I have all this "off" time from work, what to do? It sounds like a totally weiner predicament, but I don't want to waste it, and I'm having a hard time deciding where to go with it. I am writing more, but I need to do even more. Most of my new time has been devoted to taking care of things in the house that were neglected for so many years. These things will be under general control soon, so I need to get my stuff together and pick a writing direction. Shorts or my first novel? Or a combination of both?

::huffing off to get my stuff together::


Dave Freer said...

3 books... by May? I hope they're well advanced. My life is not as frantic as yours, but I literally despair of keeping up some days. And yes why did I agree to (add list)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


The doors fell off some of my kitchen cupboards, the oven door is held closed with a hook my husband added. I've cleaned the bench so many times I've wiped the laminex down to the white underneath.

If I don't redo the kitchen I will never cook again!

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


I had to be careful what I say on Twitter because I have a very black sense of humour and people could take it the wrong way.

Somewhere on a link I saw some tragic twitter fails - comments that would make you cringe.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


Enjoy this time to yourself. We all need to catch our breath and work out what we really want to do.

I'm looking forward to when the house is down to only 2 or 3 kids and I have more time to myself.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


I'm close to finished on the books, but you know how you could just keep tweaking and cleaning up.

I look back on my childhood and life was surely simpler then. Our houses were smaller. We weren't connected to the whole world. We didn't expect to be all things to everyone. eg. mother, Lecturer, writer, house renovator. (And don't forget wife to long suffering husband who has just retired)

Kate Paulk said...

Actually, the correct question is, "Is anyone NOT running on the spot just to stay in place?" It seems like I'm constantly stomping out spot fires while the real fire roars up behind me.

What I do wonder is whether it's always been like this, or if the "good old days" really did involve less frantic scrambling. Because somehow, I don't remember my parents doing this.

Rowena Cory Daniells said...


I was thinking about this just the other day. I know my mother was busy, but I don't think she was as frantic as me. I really don't.

Yes, it feels like stomping out spot fires all the time.