Wednesday, March 22, 2017

'Live your life to write well, because that reflects', says author Summerita Rhayne

Author Summerita Rhayne

When you are passionate about writing, but you are occupied in an alternative career occupation what’s the best way to strike a balance? How to go about passion and profession in such a way that both get their due?

Thanks for having me on your blog. This question strikes very close to my heart since I've faced this quandary from the time I started seriously writing. Writing is something that demands complete immersion into the subject. When you are deep into a book, it's hard to close your mind to the thoughts of your novel continuously flitting in and out of your consciousness.

In the beginning, I found it really hard to close off my mind to the story whirling round and round every moment in my brain. I became preoccupied. The family began to sense it too. Kids had to call twice to make me answer them. I'd finish all chores in record time and clear everything, which wasn't strictly necessary, from my schedule. It resulted in fewer outings for my family. I would get everything done in as short a time as possible, so I could get back to my work in progress. On top of that, I had a publisher. I had deadlines, and I became determined to tackle each far beforehand. During that time, when I was eating, sleeping, drinking writing, I wrote more than 8 books in one year. Some were complete, some not, but each was more than 60-90 per cent done. I used to read about 10 blogs on writing each day. I participated in writing groups and shared and beta read for others. Writing was blooming, but I wasn't doing much for my job, and family was being taken care of but not indulged.

Let me tell you that is NOT the way to be. Slowly, I came to realize that I had found my passion, but lost a lot of other passions which were equally important. I had to write, but on my own terms. I took up self publishing and gave myself clearance to form my own schedule of writing and my own (flexible) deadlines. I marked out weekends as writing free zone. During work hours, anything writing related was taboo. I got promoted and became the head of my department. Responsibilities increased. Writing had to be sidelined a bit. But was I ready to give it up? No.

The trick is to compartmentalize. That's the major hurdle that I learnt to cross. Family time should be sacred. Don't compromise on it, even if you don't get your first draft done on time. As far as career is concerned, you need to have focus and clarity. I decided to work on only one writing project at a time, take time off between books to promote and write blogposts and limit the hours when I write. I also try not to bring my work home. If I have to put in extra hours, that can't be helped, but I avoid working from home. That leaves writing time untouched.

It is also essential to rejuvenate yourself. So, I think regular breaks are useful rather than detrimental to writing.

To sum up, I'd like to say: Have a life, then only you can write interesting things. If you live in a boring way, your writing will lose its shine.

About the Author

Summerita Rhayne writes sensual romance which is sheer escapism with lots of emotional conflict. She first got published in 2013 and has won contests with prestigious publishers such as Harlequin and Harper Collins India. Writing, she finds, is the only way to deal with the numerous story ideas bubbling in her brain which pop up more rapidly than her keyboard can do justice to. Her pet belief is that even when writing time is in short supply, if the inspiration is strong enough, the story characters get a life of their own and will find a way to make the writer pen them down. When cerebrally confronted with the sizzling interaction of two Alpha characters, the only way to get peace is write their book!

At heart, she's a family person and even though she loves her medical teaching profession, she happily becomes a homemaker when not at work. She loves winding down with music, movies, cricket (strictly watching only) and social networking.

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