Writing: Job or Business?

I was reading a thread a few weeks ago about writing, specifically about the need to write every day and the idea that if you didn’t, you weren’t serious about being published. One of the you-must-write-everyday proponents wrote, “I treat writing like my job and show up every day.” As I turned that thought over it occurred to me “Is writing my job or my business?”
Now, in case I have been unclear in the past,  I’m am firmly in the camp that recommends writing when you can, making use of whatever time you have to write. Working this way has seen me through four published books with another novel set to release in September. A job usually has set hours and an expectation of working a set time. As a small business owner, in addition to being an author, I can tell you that working on your business is a matter of finding/making time to do what needs to be done. Owning a business involves thinking and dreaming, strategic planning, cash flow management, and setting goals.

Just showing up every day and putting words on paper does nothing if you don’t have a plan for what to do with those words. If having your book traditionally published or indie publishing is your goal you have to have a plan, and then you must take advantage of every second you have to work your plan.
As someone with a day job, who is also a spouse, a parent, and a daughter with older parents and in-laws this is the only way I’ve been able to get any writing done with the goal of publication. I’ve researched publisher sites and calls for submission databases sitting on the couch while my kid with a fever dozed next to me. I’ve written in hospital waiting rooms while various family members were having surgery, and in medical offices and occupational therapy waiting rooms, and very late at night when the house is quiet, and I can’t sleep.
When my kids were little, I had exactly 2 hours and 45 minutes to write between when I dropped them off at pre-school and when I picked them up. I wrote like a fiend during that time, unless I need to grocery shop, or had to run some other errand that would have been incredibly stressful with three-year-old twins in tow. Writing every day does not make you a writer or indicate the level of your seriousness. The things that indicate a serious approach to publishing your work are writing, editing, submitting your work, finding ways to improve your craft, and working steadily towards what you want. Writing for publication is not just about writing, it is about learning your craft, striving to make the next book better than the last, and most of all it is about not listening to people say you have to do X, Y, or Z to be considered serious writer. You do you. Find your way. Don’t listen to people who insist there is only one way to do anything, even me.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

Rainbow Snippet May 26-27

More from Italy this week.  My wife and I made our plans to travel to Oslo and Stockholm this summer and I already have some characters kicking around in my head that will have a grand time on this summer’s adventure.

From ONE

THEY STOOD ON the sidewalk, close but not touching. Lana reached over to hold Mac’s hand, her long fingers cool in Mac’s sweaty palm. She gripped Mac’s hand, her fingers loose and relaxed. “What are you doing tomorrow?”
Mac raised her shoulders and let them fall. “Dunno. I have a list of things I should see from my friends and a guidebook. “
“Would you like company? I have some time before things get crazy.”
Yesyesyes. Play it cool. Fuck it, be honest. No lines. She deserves better. Be better. “I’d love to spend more time with you.” Mac gave Lana’s hand a small squeeze and her pulse quickened when the barest hint of a blush spread across Lana’s face. The quick squeeze of her fingers on Mac’s hand kindled the spark of want and hope in Mac’s chest into a roaring flame. Lana’s limousine turned the corner, its headlights illuminating the street and sidewalk. Mac turned to face Lana. She tugged on her hand and pulled her closer. Now. Kiss her now. No. Don’t. Don’t fuck it up.
Lana rested her hand on Mac’s chest, her fingers wide. She looked into Mac’s face. Heat like a smoldering fire burned in Lana’s eyes. Mac trembled. Lana looked down before she leaned forward, pressing the length of her body against Mac and kissed her softly on the cheek. Mac swallowed hard. The sound of tires on pavement announced her car’s arrival. Mac froze. No no no. Why didn’t I kiss her? Damn car. They broke apart as the car glided to the curb. Lana trailed her fingers down Mac’s shirt, stopping short of her belt buckle before she stepped off the curb.
She looked back at Mac over her shoulder with her hand on the car door handle. “Tomorrow then? Nine?”
“Sure.” Mac stuffed her hands in her pockets.
“Ciao.”
“See ya.” Mac stood in the cool night air and watched the car pull away. She touched the spot on her cheek where Lana’s lips had been.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted. You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

Sister Friends, Growlers, and Rainbows

Sister Friends. Chosen family. The women who are there, no matter what, the ones who don’t give a rat’s patootie what your house looks like. The ones who are always ready to come for a sleep-over and eat whatever is in your cabinets and refrigerators. The ones who will parent your kid if you’re not there to do it. The friend you can tell anything to and know that they will 1.) not judge you, 2.) call you on your ish if you need it, 3.) cheer you on and tell you to go for it. My wife and I are fortunate to have a number of sister friends. This weekend one of our local sister friends came to visit. She’s fun and funny, and hella smart. Our kids get along and disappear to play their own games, so we can sit and sip good beer, and talk about anything and everything. We help each other, offering love and support in our personal lives, and in our professional lives.

Four years, 175 blog posts, and five books ago we sat in my living room one icy cold January after we had tucked the kids in bed, fueled by some amazing stout we spent the evening brainstorming this blog. We voted on a name from several I had written down, and in general mapped out my career. Fast forward to this spring, more beer, family talk, writing advice, career goal discussion, and after a hard rain, a rainbow. Fitting, and accurate for our time together.  My wish for all of you is sister-friends and rainbows.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.    You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

Rainbow Snippet May 19-20

Hello Snippeters, I’m writing this on my porch, it is raining like hell and the sun is shining which is always special and I’m hoping for a rainbow.  This week’s snippet is from One. A book I released last Fall. Set in Italy it is a favorite story of mine as it reminds me of a fabulous trip I took with my wife.

From ONE:

“THE NIGHT-MANAGER let them in through the small barred door next to the drive. The parking lot of the hotel was paved with cobblestone. Lana held Mac’s arm as she picked her way across the lot, her heels and the three glasses of wine she had consumed with dinner making it hard for her to navigate the rough round stones. They walked to the tiny walled garden at the back of the hotel. Small brass candle lanterns lit the wrought iron tables and benches in the seating area, bathing the entire area in a seductive pale golden light. The smell of warm bricks mingled with the floral scents of the late blooming flowers that overflowed their terracotta pots surrounding the tiny oasis.

“I’ll be right back.” Mac left Lana sitting on the high-backed bench. She turned to look at her. Damn. So beautiful. So perfect.She lingered in the doorway watching Lana unobserved, memorizing everything about the night and the woman who waited for her. They had spent dinner laughing and talking about racing and engines and favorite drivers. Smart. Sassy. Passionate. She made Mac ache for things she hadn’t known she wanted.”

 

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

 

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Breakthrough- Kris Bryant

Looking for a fun and funny light read with hella cute animal antics, and a smoking hot butch ranger? Look no further. Kris Bryant delivers a low angst, light-hearted read, well written with just the right amount of tension to keep you interested and invested in the love story.   A classic butch/femme tale, set in Alaska,  Fearless reporter Kennedy and wildlife sanctuary director Brynn, have a chemistry that explodes. I particularly like that even though Kennedy has many wacky accidents, she is not portrayed as stupid only inexperienced. Her bravery after being the only eyewitness to a crime and her strength of character is shown in a way that you believe she will be an excellent match for Brynn. Both women are well-developed characters.

 Breakthrough kept me engaged and entertained.  Be warned, reading this book will most likely result in Alaska moving to the top of your list of places to see.  In this well written, first-person narrative, Kris Bryant’s characters are well developed, and their push/pull romance hits all the right beats, making it a delightful read just in time for beach reading. 

Available May 15 from Amazon, Bold Strokes and other e-book retailers

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Books available at:

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

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Rainbow Snippet May 12-13

Hello Snippeteers! Both Ends of the Whip released  on Monday, this week’s snippet takes place the morning after last week’s snippet. Wishing all of you a great week. 

From Both Ends of the Whip:
Bridget leaned her head against Octavia’s chest and pressed herself tighter into Octavia’s arms. “I’m sorry about last night. I’m glad you woke me.”
Octavia opened her mouth to speak but shut it when she heard Vivian clearing her throat as she entered the kitchen. Breaking their embrace, they turned as one to face her.
“Is there coffee?” Her voice was rough around the edges. Her tight curls were swept up in a head wrap, showing off her profile. She wore a silk thigh-length aqua-blue dressing gown that clung to her. Her dark nipples were visible through the thin fabric. The shortness of the robe displayed Vivian’s long legs. A wide keloid scar blossomed in the center of Vivian’s calf and crossed the front of her knee before it disappeared under her gown.
Nothing on under there. Damn. What the hell made that scar? Car accident? Damn. Don’t stare. Too late. Octavia’s cheeks grew warm, and she shifted her gaze to Vivian’s face. The raised eyebrow and cool look in her eyes let Octavia know she had noticed her staring. Octavia glanced at the floor and tucked her hands in her back pockets.”

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this groupyou’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

You can find her on Facebook by clicking here.

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

https://www.amazon.com/Both-Ends-Whip-Brenda-Murphy-ebook/

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

 

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The Four Stages of Submission

 

No. Not that kind of submission. I’m talking about hitting the send button after I’ve polished my manuscript to hell and back and send it off to my editor. That kind of submission. With all due apologies to my friends who have to deal with me between the time I send a manuscript out and hear back from my editor, this is what I experience every time I send a book off for evaluation.

  1. Elation. The highest high, I’ve finally sent it off. Woo hoo I am done. Now I can start on that awesome idea I had for a book in the middle of this book.
  2. Anxiety. Oh hell, what was I thinking? It wasn’t ready. I should have spent more time editing it. Damn it’s too late. They’ll hate it. I better get to work on the next book.
  3. Anger. The hell with it. What do I care if they don’t accept it? I have other stories. So many  other stories to write. Let me channel my anger into this scene.
  4. Relief. The editor has responded. No more wondering. No more obsessively checking my email fifteen times a day.
    Substages: *1. They accepted it. Woohoo. Time to celebrate and then get to work on the next book. 2. They rejected it. Damn. Time to wallow in sadness for a bit, soothe myself with old movies, and bourbon. Then I let it go and get to work on the next book.

The key to surviving as a writer is to always get back to work. Feel the feels and then sit down and write. 

What are your stages of submission?

 

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Rainbow Snippet May 5-6

Hello All,  this weeks snippet is another snip from Both Ends of the Whip, available for pre-order now. Relase day is Monday May 7. Wishing you all a joy filled week.

From Both Ends of the Whip

“Bridget. Wake up. Hey, love. Wake up.” She patted her shoulder.
Bridget started awake. Her breathing was rapid. “What?” She grabbed Octavia’s hand with both of hers.
Octavia squeezed her shoulder. “You were dreaming. It didn’t sound good. I woke you.”
Bridget snuggled closer. “I was. It was awful.”
Octavia shifted her arm and held her tight. “You want to talk about it?”
“No.” The sharp tone in Bridget’s voice pricked at Octavia. “I don’t.”
“I wasn’t trying to piss you off. Talking about it might make it better.”
“If it bothers you, I can sleep in the other room.” Bridget sat up, pushing away from Octavia.
“For fuck’s sake.” Octavia bolted upright and turned on the light. She squinted against the flare of brightness. “What the hell, Bridget? I wasn’t trying to start a fight. I thought it was the right thing to do to wake you up.”
“I don’t want to talk. It doesn’t help.” Her voice was flat. She lay down, turning away from Octavia. “Sorry I woke you.”
What the hell? Why won’t she talk to me? Octavia stared at the tight set of Bridget’s shoulders. What to say? Say nothing. Let it go. She’ll talk to me when she wants to. Or she won’t. Octavia stifled a sigh and turned off the light. She flipped her pillow over and lay down before rolling on to her side to face away from Bridget and the distance between them.

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those are her monkeys.  When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.  She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

You can find her on Facebook by clicking here. 

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

Both Ends of the Whip

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this groupyou’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

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Rainbow Snippets April 7-8

 

Hello Snippteers, I had a lovely week off at my aunt’s farm, whatever you celebrated, I hope it was good. This week’s snippet is from my novel Both Ends of the Whip scheduled for release May 7th. This novel was inspired by a tour of a vineyard in northern Italy.  Above is the gorgeous cover from Natasha Snow and NineStar Press. I hope you enjoy this snippet. 

From BOTH ENDS OF THE WHIP

“Do you still work as a photojournalist?”

Vivian brought her gaze back to Octavia’s face. “No. After…” She glanced at her hands before she brought her gaze back to Octavia’s face. “Everyone with a phone is a photojournalist now. I do portraits. Private events. I work when, and if I choose.”

Pain. Sadness. So much sadness. Let it go.Octavia wanted to cross the room and take away the sadness in her eyes, wanted to kiss her perfect mouth until she was breathless. What is the story there? Why so much pain?

Bridget made a soft sound, breaking the moment. “What time would you like your breakfast…? Um, what should we call you?”

“Vivian is fine. I’m not as—” she focused her gaze on Bridget’s face and Octavia’s stomach tightened with desire watching the exchange between them. “Formal as Martha, although we are alike in other ways.”

Bridget’s face flushed. “Could I see the kitchen please? Vivian.”

How long? How long will it be before she offers herself to her? Will I be there? I want to be there. Octavia stood up. “I think I can find the barn, if you two don’t need me.”

“Need and want are two different things.” Vivian raised her gaze to Octavia’s face, a half smile playing over her lips. “Come to the kitchen with us, and then I will accompany you to the barn while Bridget prepares dinner.”

Power and control flowed from Vivian like water over smooth rocks washing way any doubts Octavia might have had about what they had signed up for, leaving no doubt who was in charge.

 

Rainbow Snippets( https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/)is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).

In this group, you’ll find anything from romance and historical fiction to mystery and YA. The common thread is that every story’s main character identifies as LGBTQ+. The snippets could range from zero flames to full-on sexytimes, anything goes content-wise. The only rule is snippets will be 6 sentences long–one for each color in the Pride flag.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/

Brenda Murphy writes short stories and novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America. Her nonfiction and short fiction have been published in various collections. Her most recent novel, One was published by NineStar Press. When she is not loitering and writing at her favorite tea shop, she wrangles two dogs, twins, and an unrepentant parrot. She writes about life, books, and writing on her blog, https://www.brendalmurphy.com/blog.html

Website: www.brendalmurphy.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Writing-While-Distracted

 

Books available at

Amazon

NineStar Press

ONE  

Sum of the Whole 

Dominique and Other Stories

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