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  • May 8th, 2005 | 1:24 PM
A rough draft for my life plan

 I've decided that a blog, for me, is a rough draft sort of thing. A place where I can spill my thoughts, try to tie them into some sort of sense, and then leave them there to simmer into something I can work with down the road. Sure, I should be able to do this in a notebook, and sometimes I do, but this blog has the focus of trying to help me take steps to live a literary life as well as define what a literary life means, for me. I'm also hoping it will help me find a focus, a voice, a definition of my writer-self. So I imagine that there will be fits and starts and bumps in the road.

In an ideal world a literary life means (to me) being able to work at my writing full-time. Since I live in the Silicon Valley where housing is outrageously expensive, that makes it tough. I could ask my husband to live in bad part of town where the environment seriously affects my ability to create (and not in a good way) but we've "been there, done that" and boy, that SO did not work. Which means I need to keep the DDJ where I work in the engineering department for a tech company. You might have guessed that has nothing to do with writing. And it is frustrating as heck. Go ahead, tell me how John Grisham wrote while he was working as a lawyer and any number of other famous writers, more famous than I could ever hope to be, did the same thing and I say, "Good for them." I DO write while I balance the day job but it is not my ideal literary life and that is what I am trying to build. Maybe it is Pollyanaish of me to even imagine being able to do so while living here in the Silicon Valley (and moving out of the area is not an option) but Pollyana has worked for me over the years. She's part of my "fake it til you make it" aresnal.

I love to write and I love the Internet and it seems to me that a writer ought to be able to combine her tech knowledge with her craft and make a living of sorts. That's my plan. I am not so naive as to expect I stay home and write children's books full-time and match my current salary. I know I need to work at many things and that's okay. I just want them to be related to my career and not to building more widgets for a tech coblogginmpany. We have enough widgets in the world already, thank you very much. My thought is that it is time to get back to work on my adult book projects. One I could have back out in the mail in a week if I would just move it to the top of my list. (Note to self: finish BOR.) I love to speak but in order to make decent money at it with school visits I would need to do a lot of it which would mean taking the time off work (which cuts into my vacation) and right now that doesn't seem like the best use of my time. I will be picky about the speaking gigs I take on right now merely because of the time investment required. I need to do more articles, maybe try some essays, branch out into other writing areas that appeal to me. But it is scary because it means starting over in a place where I am a beginner and have no connections. (sigh)

For now, the biggest project in front of me is still to finish the website redesign. Once that is launched I can promote it, and me, at the same time as well as my books and my writing workshops (taught online, of course) and anything else I can think of.

And that's how it will happen. My literary life. Taking steps, little as they might be, toward my goal. One literary life step a day. That's all I ask of myself-to do one thing every day that will help me live a literary life.

I feel like I need a pep talk. Time to go back and reread one of my favorite books Making a Literary Life by Carolyn See.

Write on, right now.

Previously posted on my original blog - Write on Right Now! 
I am moving all old post into this journal.

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
--Bonnie Friedman

"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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