Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

L.M. Steel's Balancing Act of Writing vs. Real Life @LMSteel1 #AmWriting #WriteTip #Crime


One of the most common questions I get asked on a daily basis is, where do you find the time?
The honest answer is that a lot of the time I don’t. I have a full time job that requires my 100% attention while there. With this I have to do some CPD (Continuous professional Development) I’m a scientist and as we know science is advancing daily so we need to stay in touch with everything new.
I’m happily married with a little dog, my own little happy family. I have a house that needs, shall we say, maintaining.
I don’t have a dishwasher, I don’t even have a microwave and I’ve only had a toaster for six months.
I also like to keep fit as much as I can and do a lot of fundraising for charity doing crazy sport things.
As you can probably gather, finding writing time isn’t the easiest of tasks, but I make myself find time because I love to write. I’m lucky that I have a very supportive wife who understands that when I say I’m going on the computer it’s best to leave me be. (But of course she’ll always call me when Big Bang theory is about to start)
I’m an organised person, I like to have a plan of what I’m doing, I very rarely stick to that plan, but it gives me direction about what I need to do and what needs to be accomplished.
I find making notes is the biggest help, little ideas through the day are quickly written down.
I no longer commute, but when I did I’d take a notepad on the train journey and put my phone on total silent, I made it part of the journey that I couldn’t look at it till the end and could only focus on the notes I was writing. I guess I made the train like exam conditions..
Now, as I walk to work I have to take different approaches; on lunch, again a little note pad. I email myself quick ideas so they don’t get lost in the rest of the day.
Not  a lot of time, don’t think I don’t have enough time to write, I only have twenty minutes. Write one scene and save it. If you have all those little half an hours through the week they add up. I do that regularly and when I sat on Thursday night and organised them in the right order and spent a little extra time filling in the gaps, I saw I had actually written 13’000 words!
We all love the weekend, but this is golden time when it comes to writing. By all means I clean the house, take the dog for an adventure walk in the forest, get in that long run that I just can’t get in during the week, catch up on TV, have some couple time and most important… have a lie in!
Priorities must be made though. I make sure I sit at the computer on both Saturday and Sunday for at least two hours each day. I’d rather aim for four but sometimes life gets in the way. this is two hours just for writing. The marketing, social media etc. is something else.
I find the best thing that could’ve come into my life for networking and media is my smart phone. most of your readers and connections are all checking their stuff on the move, whether it’s on the train to work, or just as they head out or just while they’re on lunch, and that’s when I approach them. There’s no point me tweeting at 11am, I’m at work and so is almost everyone else.
So I aim to catch them as they are just checking their Twitter feed, or just checking in on Facebook, or will be just scrolling through G+.
For other sites you have to commit a little bit more. Goodreads is one, and Linkd In: these have threads and discussions and it’s best to actually look and see where the discussion has led so far before just dropping in.
The key though is to make sure you use the time you’ve set aside for writing, to actually write, otherwise you’ll always be ‘just doing this’.
On May 17th 1982, an infant girl is found in a stolen car abandoned on a bridge. The police call her ‘Lotus’ after the car she is discovered in, and ‘Ogden’ – the name of the dam over which the car rested. Abandoned for no one; for no one came to claim her as their child, no one came to say that they were responsible for this babe, no one came to love her. 

This was how it was to be; always. Following abuse at the hands of her adoptive father, foster families and others, Lotus finds unlikely allies in car thieves and drug dealers, but her life of crime extends so much further than any of them appreciate. So very young, she takes her first life and realises how easy it is, and how no one would ever suspect the poor, timid, shy little girl who nobody calls their own. 

“Villain? Anti-Hero? Whatever she is, Lotus Ogden is like a perfect storm of rage and pain, but she’s also disturbingly human.” 

“Feed the dogs and take the phone off the hook. Once you get into this book you’re not going to want to put it down.” 

“A fast read, a great story, full of twists and turns.”
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Genre – Crime, Thriller
Rating – PG-18
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